Jarvis Jones is making a strong push to start at outside linebacker as a rookie for the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to the National Football Post. Rookies have a history of riding the bench in Pittsburgh, but Jones may be too good to keep off the field, and the Steelers have a big void to fill after not re-signing James Harrison this offseason.
Jones is competing with Jason Worilds for the job. Worilds has performed well in his limited playing time through three seasons, recording 10 sacks. However, his pedigree doesn't quite match Jones'. Jones led the nation with 24.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks at Georgia last season before being selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
In the past, the Steelers have taken athletic defensive ends and groomed them to play linebacker. While the tactic has been successful, the learning curve meant that players saw little playing time when they were first trying to see the field. Jones is a much more polished product, however, having already played as a rush linebacker in the Bulldogs' 3-4 defensive scheme.
According to ESPN, only center Maurkice Pouncey has started for the Steelers as a rookie since the selection of tight end Heath Miller in 2005. This season, the Steelers may have two rookie starters. Along with Jones, running back Le'Veon Bell also plays a position of great need.