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Jarvis Jones showing signs of improvement from 2013

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2013 first round draft pick, Jarvis Jones, had an underwhelming rookie campaign, but after just one preseason game there are signs of improvement for the outside linebacker.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

You might be hard pressed to find a rookie that fell under such scrutiny as Jarvis Jones in 2013.

The NFL level looked to overwhelm the first round draft pick from the University of Georgia, but under the tutelage of former Pittsburgh Steelers great, Joey Porter, Jones looks to be markedly better than the 2013 version that strolled on the field and occupied space.

Granted, improving from a one sack season shouldn't be that difficult, but Jones showed a new dimension to his game in the few minutes he was on the field Saturday that Steelers fans had yet to see in a black and gold uniform.

The biggest play for Jones against the New York Giants was his sack of Eli Manning. When stood up at the line, he showed the intelligence to use his speed and leverage to move inside and eventually bring Manning down with a shoe string tackle.

That play by itself was something Steelers fans and the entire organization have been waiting to see since being selected in the 2013 draft.

The ongoing scrutiny on Jones as a rookie was often extreme and hasty, but Jones has proven that his game is adapting and is learning the nuances of rushing the passer in the NFL, something that doesn't develop overnight.

Although one preseason game doesn't define a player making his mark on the team and the league, it certainly is a step in the right direction.

Jones' understanding of the defense, as well as what it takes to put pressure on the quarterback, have all improved since 2013, and that is something the Steelers desperately need if they want to succeed in 2014.