Jones (6-2, 245) notched 14.5 sacks in 2012 for the Bulldogs. If Jones is to push for a starting role as a rookie, it would likely be at the expense of veteran Jason Worilds.
That said, the Steelers generally don’t rush their rookies into the lineup. They have to earn their way onto the field. Maurkice Pouncey played in his rookie season of 2010 because he was too good to sit, and guard David DeCastro looked poised to be a Week One starter before a knee injury last summer.
“Quite honestly, I don’t envision anyone coming in and being an impact in Year One,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said this week, according to the club. “I never do because I think there is always a growing process that has to occur.”
It can take time for Steelers’ outside linebackers to master Dick LeBeau’s defense. LaMarr Woodley, it should be noted, did not start as a rookie in 2007. If Jones can at least be a solid situational rusher (a la Woodley as a rookie) and pick up the defense, he will have done well, considering how other rookies have fared with this veteran-laden club.