The Buffalo Bills didn’t get that immediate competition for Tyrod Taylor early in the 2016 NFL Draft, but they did end up adding a ridiculously talented quarterback in the form of Cardale Jones in the fourth round.
We told you a QB was coming.
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) April 30, 2016
Jones started towards the end of the 2014 season for Ohio State after both Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett went down to injury. He ended up leading Urban Meyer’s squad to the national title with an amazing all-around performance down the stretch.
With a sky-high stock, it seemed Jones was destined to cash in and declare for the NFL draft. Instead, he decided to return to the Buckeyes as a part of a three-man quarterback competition with Barrett and Miller.
After Miller switched to wide receiver, Jones ended up winning the starting job for the defending champs.
Unfortunately, the big-bodied quarterback failed to perform up to the level that we saw in 2014 and was eventually benched in favor of Barrett.
At 6-foot-5 and 253 pounds, Jones has the frame to hold up in the NFL. Boasting a strong arm and the ability to see over the line of scrimmage, he’s also your prototypical pocket passer.
The issue here is his raw overall skill-set. A lack of accuracy remains Jones’ biggest issue. Though, a lot of that has to do with below average mechanics. Simply put, he’s a project quarterback.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Buffalo. While Jones won’t come close to competing for a starting job early in his career, he can sit on the bench and learn the nuance of the NFL game. All of the flaws that we see on tape can be fixed with good coaching and experience.
It’s Jones’ plus-level talent that cannot be learned. He has the highest ceiling of any non first-round pick in the draft and could eventually develop into a good quarterback at the NFL level.
In reality, this was a great pick for Rex Ryan and Co. It also cements Taylor’s status as the team’s starting quarterback for the 2016 season.
Considering the team was said to be going after early-round quarterback options, that’s good news for Taylor following a darn good first season in Western New York.
Jones ended his college career throwing for 2,322 yards with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 starts.