In the latest 2013 NFL Mock Draft from SBNation.com - this one penned by Dan Kadar - the Buffalo Bills are projected to select Georgia pass rusher Jarvis Jones with the No. 8 overall pick.
Writes Kadar: "While the Bills do need a signal caller, an outside linebacker that can blitz is also a top need. For this mock, we went with Jones, the premier natural outside linebacker in the class."
Jones, a junior, will actually turn 24 years old this fall, as he redshirted the 2010 season after transferring from USC. The reason he transferred? A diagnosed case of spinal stenosis, which caused USC to recommend that he quit football permanently and bar him from playing as a Trojan again.
Since then, Jones has spent two healthy seasons with the Bulldogs, accumulating 155 tackles, 44 tackles for loss, 28 sacks and an interception in 26 games with Georgia. Easily the most productive pass rusher in this year's class, the 6'3", 241-pound Jones is being compared to 2011 No. 2 overall pick Von Miller thanks to his elite edge rushing ability, his versatility to play in several different defensive looks, and his top-flight athleticism.
Unlike Miller, however, Jones has that one major caveat that could knock him down draft boards. Jones' case of spinal stenosis (click that link; it's a very good read) is not considered too serious, but any time you start talking about increased pressure on the spinal cord within the context of a collision sport like football, it's a major risk. Teams interested in Jones athletically - and you can bet that approximately 32 teams will be - will have to weigh the pros and cons of taking a player that looks like he's a slam dunk to produce, but may not have a lengthy career due to his medical condition.
Would you like to ask Kadar about Jones' draft stock? Or about the Bills' No. 8 pick in general? Be sure to stop by Buffalo Rumblings on Wednesday, February 13 at 8:30 ET, when Kadar will be on-blog for a live draft chat.