Thursday Links of the Day

There’s plenty of news in the NFL today, so let’s break down a few items:

  • With Dwight Freeney and Jonathan Abraham apparently pricing themselves out of range for the Broncos, Denver may be looking at starting the 18th-overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, Robert Ayers, at defensive end. The Denver Post’s Mike Klis has a full breakdown, including the idea that Denver will go for a situational pass-rusher in the first- or second-round.
  • While Florida St. quarterback E.J. Manuel rises on draft boards, he has been quite vocal about being a first-round talent. There’s a good chance Manuel may be drafted in front of USC quarterback Matt Barkley.
  • LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu impressed at LSU’s pro day, as did pass-rusher Barkevious Mingo. NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks has Mathieu pegged as a second-round talent that could fall into the third-round due to character concerns at LSU.
  • In NFL.com’s Scout vs. Scout feature, Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks argue who’s better, Jarvis Jones or Dion Jordan. One of the sticking points is athleticism (Jordan) versus production in college (Jones). Another point made by Jeremiah is concerning Jones’ poor pro day performance and possible fall from the top-ten in the draft.

Last, but not least, Matt Barkley has been all over the news due to his pro day yesterday afternoon. NFL DR will be posting a feature on Barkley later tonight.

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Jarvis Jones’ Stock Dropping?

The University of Georgia pro day was today, and the performance of Jarvis Jones may very be quite important to his draft stock–in a negative way.

Note, Jones ran dramatically slower than inside ‘backer Alec Ogletree–that’s not a good sign for a supposedly explosive and quick pass-rusher.

NFL.com’s Kareem Copeland has the full story, but a short summary of the matter is Jones performed worse in every aspect than expected. Only one linebacker (Virginia Tech’s Bruce Taylor) ran a slower 40-yard dash, and his 20 reps on the bench press was only good for 16th out of linebackers.

Jones’ injury history was already a bit questionable, and although he had been medically cleared to perform at the NFL Combine, Jones decided to wait until his pro day to post his numbers. While this may not be enough to drop Jones out of the first, these poor numbers will likely make teams looking at Jones in the top-ten think twice about choosing a questionably athletic pass-rusher.