Despite it being a year too late, Ohio State Buckeyes backup quarterback Cardale Jones is headed for the NFL draft.
Cardale Jones reaffirms he is headed to NFL, not transferring. "My loyalty and my heart is to Ohio State."
— Dave Briggs (@DBriggsBlade) December 30, 2015
Jones will likely hear his name called during the 2016 NFL draft, though the selection definitely won’t be as high as it would’ve been had Jones left Columbus after his redshirt sophomore season.
When Braxton Miller sustained a season-ending injury, J.T. Barrett stepped in and set Big Ten records as a freshman. However, an ankle injury sidelined Barrett, and Jones finished the year, winning the three most important contests of the year.
Jones led Ohio State to victories over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game followed by a pair of triumphs against Alabama and Oregon to win the inaugural College Football Playoff. He accounted for 832 yards and six total touchdowns then made the surprising decision to return for 2015.
The limited tape on Jones was good. His proverbial draft stock could only get worse. And it did.
Although he kept the starting job at the beginning of the season, Jones never truly shined. Head coach Urban Meyer benched Jones on multiple occasions, and “12 Gauge” failed to impress during his opportunity against Minnesota when Barrett was suspended.
Fortunately for Jones, he’ll no longer have to play school. Unfortunately for the 6-foot-5, 250-pound quarterback with a rocket arm, the NFL draft won’t be as kind to him as it could’ve been.