Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones (12) runs the ball against Oregon Ducks linebacker Derrick Malone (22) during the third quarter in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Truthfully, it would be easy to slot J.T. Barrett of Ohio State (34 touchdowns and fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy) here as well, but until Urban Meyer decides who will start for the Buckeyes, it’s kind of a toss up as to who the dominant quarterback will be in Columbus.
Cardale Jones‘ remarkable end-of-the-season run that culminated in wins over Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game, a Sugar Bowl win over powerhouse Alabama, and then a dismantling of Oregon in the BCS Championship, revealed the type of player Jones is and propelled him to elite status.
“(Cardale) has great physical tools, but he won’t be in the first-round mix unless he can win a starting job in Columbus.” – Mel Kiper, ESPN
Although a little bit raw, a characteristic that Meyer will no doubt erraticate, Jones embodies everything one could want in a quarterback. Fleet of foot for a man who weighs 250 pounds – he’s been timed at 4.7 in the 40 – Jones possesses the strength to bounce off tacklers, and yet has remarkable touch when throwing down field. In just three games he passed for 860 yards and seven touchdowns, against just two interceptions, while completing 61 percent of his passes. And he did it against three of the best teams in the land.
Jones does need to learn to handle pressure better as he tends toward tucking the ball and running before checking down to open receivers when he is rushed. He also needs to scan the field better, avoiding locking on to a particular receiver.
The Browns could be interested in Jones should he be available in the second or third round. There’s no doubt that Jones would be a popular choice among some Browns fans, as he is a young man from Greater Cleveland who played locally at Glenville High School under the watchful eye of head coach Ted Ginn Sr.
Next: Cody Kessler, USC