November 17, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jarvis Jones (29) and linebacker Alec Ogletree (9) combine to tackle Georgia Southern Eagles wide receiver Darreion Robinson (7) during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Georgia Southern 45-14. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Saints are in need of outside linebacker help going into the 2013 season and the upcoming draft is littered with possibilities. Two from the University of Georgia that are potential draft picks for the Saints have some areas of concern.
Jarvis Jones was slated to be at the NFL Scouting Combine but declined to workout due to reports that he wasn’t in the shape he wanted to be and will instead showcase his skills at Georgia’s Pro Day. While other players have done this, Jones is a special concern because of a medical condition he is diagnosed with.
Jones suffered a neck injury in 2009 when he was at the University of Southern California and was found to have spinal stenosis(abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal). He wasn’t cleared by the medical staff at USC so he transferred to Georgia.
The spinal stenosis is cause for concern not just for the Saints but the other 31 NFL teams since it can cause neurological problems. Not being cold-hearted, but although Jones is scheduled to be a first round pick, it’s a gamble on how long his shelf-life will be. Reports are that he should receive a favorable medical report prior to his Pro Day.
Alec Ogletree is another attractive outside linebacker that is slated for the first round. What isn’t attractive is the off the field issues that he has compiled starting in 2010 and culminating in an incident just days before the NFL Scouting Combine.
In 2010 Ogletree was arrested for theft of a scooter helmet and suspended for one game. In 2012 he was suspended for four games for what was reported to be a violation of the team’s substance abuse policy. The incident right before the NFL Scouting Combine involved him being cited for DUI(Driving Under the Influence).
Ogletree seemed unfazed by this as he was shown at the Combine laughing and joking around. What won’t be fun for him though is when a team like the Saints will begin asking Ogletree the tough questions about why he had multiple incident in a three year span.