Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones heard a report that NFL teams are shying away from him as a first-round draft pick over health concerns.
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After throwing out the first pitch at an Atlanta Braves spring training game on Sunday, Jones dismissed any possibility his stock in the 2013 NFL Draft has been compromised.
"That ain't true," he said of the report, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "People are still talking to me. Nobody has taken me off the board. The doctor said I was fine and cleared me and the combine went fine for me. I was cleared medically. Teams know my situation. Everything went great. I did everything they asked me to do. I'll have my pro day, and then I'm going to meet with a whole lot of teams."
ProFootballTalk cited a league source last weekend in reporting that concerns over Jones' neck have prompted "multiple teams" to reconsider if he's a safe first-round draft pick.
Jones suffered a neck injury during the 2009 season and was sidelined for the entire 2010 season. Jones was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, and USC doctors refused to clear him for contact and recommended he retire from football. Jones instead chose to transfer to Georgia, where he was medically cleared.
Jones will give NFL teams another glimpse of his physical skills at Georgia's March 21 pro day, but it's clear his camp is wary of bad press as the draft approaches. NFL.com's Gil Brandt wrote this week that Jones' agent, Joel Segal, contacted Brandt after his latest mock draft had Jones going late in the first round.
Jones must have had his reasons for sitting out of NFL Scouting Combine workouts, but that inactivity -- combined with the reported neck concerns -- had the effect of letting doubt creep into the picture.