Jarvis Jones may still be in play for Raiders

INDIANAPOLIS – One of the bigger stories Saturday at the NFL combine was the health of Georgia star pass-rusher Jarvis Jones.

Jones is considered one of the top prospects in the draft -- and a definite possibility for Oakland, which picks third overall. However, there are long-term health concerns about Jones' neck; he had to leave USC four years ago after being given a diagnosis of spinal stenosis.

Jones met with the media after spending most of Saturday getting “pulled and yanked” by physicians. Jones said initial talks with doctors have eased his mind. Jones points to the fact that he was healthy and productive for three years at Georgia, including a redshirt season, as evidence he will be fine.

Though he wouldn't guess at what NFL teams might make of his injury history, Jones said he is fully confident he will have a long, healthy pro career.

Clearly, the complete medical reports and team physicals will be crucial for Jones in the next couple of months.

I think it is premature to take him off any team’s list, including Oakland’s. To be sure, this is the high season for over-analysis on such matters.

Jones is a fine player with a medical issue. He isn’t the first NFL prospect to fit that description. So, unless there is evidence he is regressing, I’d still consider him a top prospect for the Raiders.