Barkevious Mingo. Ziggy Ansah. Dion Jordan. All big names in tomorrow's draft, all elite pass-rushing prospects, all projected based almost entirely on potential.
You know who else was drafted based on potential? Vernon Gholston.
That's so important that I'll repeat it. You know who else was drafted based on potential? VERNON GHOLSTON!
You know, Vernon Gholston, the No. 6 pick in the 2008 draft. The guy who spent years eating the New York Jets' cap space without providing a single sack. The guy who was supposed to be a stud pass-rusher for a decade and never amounted to anything more than a fringe backup.
As a Jets fan, I want nothing to do with a project like Gholston. I want someone who produced in college. I want someone who has something to point to beyond their height, weight and speed. I want a football player, not an athlete.
I want Jarvis Jones, and you should too.
If Manti Te'o didn't exist (see what I did there?), Jarvis Jones would have been the near-consensus Defensive Player of the Year in college football.
Jones had 14.5 sacks in 2012. He had 13.5 in 2011. He led a Georgia defense that almost took the Bulldogs all the way to the national championship game.
So what's the problem? There are two, and neither is an acceptable excuse for Jones' fall.
The first is his spinal stenosis. A serious neck condition, no doubt, but he has spent the past two seasons showing us that he can play with it.
The second? His combine numbers apparently weren't up to snuff. Newsflash, neither were Jason Taylor's, Cameron Wake's, Jared Allen's, Elvis Dumervil's or Robert Mathis'. Teams miss on pass-rushers all of the time because they aren't freak athletes in the mold of Jason Pierre-Paul.
Not everyone can be, or else the Pierre-Pauls of the world wouldn't be special.
You don't win football games with athletes. You win them with football players, and Jarvis Jones is a football player.
Meanwhile, the Jets barely have any football players. They have a locker room filled with malcontents and children. They are slowly trying to fix that, and Jones would be a big step in the right direction.
Ultimately though, the Jets need someone who can get after the quarterback. That's Jones. His sack stats were incredible, and he's the type of player Rex Ryan can mold into a star. The Jets shouldn't hesitate to grab Jarvis Jones with the No. 9 pick in tomorrow's draft.