Jarvis Jones the top overall NFL prospect?

semerson@macon.comSeptember 20, 2012 

ATHENS - Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones moved into the top spot on Mel Kiper Jr.'s draft board on espn.com on Wednesday.

Jones, a former standout at Carver High, was No. 2 last week behind USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

Kiper wrote Wednesday about Jones, "Didn't play Saturday as he rested a tweaked groin, but dominated Missouri the week before, showing off the full range. An explosive, relentless edge rusher, he profiles as a 3-4 OLB. He has a quick first step and violent hands, tackles well, and closes fast. Solid against the run, and can really cover."

In two games, Jones has 17 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one interception.

Jones, of course, is a junior with one more year of eligibility. Richt was asked if he were resigned to losing Jones after this season.

"I'd be excited for Jarvis to get drafted that high. It's just a matter of when," Richt said. "If that day comes, I'll be the first one to be genuinely thrilled for him."

Meanwhile, Jones continued to practice and participate in agility drills Wednesday.

Jones vowed after Tuesday's practice that he would play against Vanderbilt, but coach Mark Richt stopped short of saying that.

"I'm hoping he'll feel healthy enough to go," Richt said. "I'm not 100 percent sure he will be."

O-line juggling

Based on the early portion of Wednesday’s practice, the plan appears to be to start sophomore Mark Beard at left tackle and shift Kenarious Gates to left guard. That was the set-up after left guard Dallas Lee sprained his ankle during last Saturday’s game.

Lee, however, is still trying to get on the field.

“I would guess there’s a good chance of him playing. But it’s not guaranteed,” Richt said. “I think you’d have to measure a gimpy Lee compared to a healthy Beard. What do you do? So even if he’s given the OK to go, he still may not start. Or if he starts we may rotate more than normal. Because Beard played good enough to prove he can get in there.”

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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