Photo of Cardale Jones
Drafted By: Bills

Combine Results

Grade
5.44 ?
  • 4.81 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 36.0 INCH
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

This was a connection many around the organization had made prior to the draft. "12 Gauge" has the size and arm to push the ball through the elements. With the futures of Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel in limbo, Jones could eventually be "the guy" in Buffalo. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'5" Height
  • 33 3/4" Arm Length
  • 253LBS. Weight
  • 9 3/4" Hands

Overview

Jones went from relative unknown (outside Ohio) to superstar to backup during his tumultuous Buckeyes career. He signed with Ohio State a semester early after a stellar at career powerhouse Glenville (coached by Ted Ginn, Sr.), redshirted in 2012 and played just 39 plays from scrimmage in 2013 (1-3 passing, 17-128, one TD rushing). But when Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett were lost to injury before and during the 2015 season, respectively, it was Jones’ turn to shine. He came in for Barrett to finish off Michigan, beat down Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, and then led the Buckeyes to a national title a month later. Jones finished the year completing 60.0 percent of his throws for 860 yards and seven touchdowns against two interceptions, as well as rushing for 296 yards and a score. Head Coach Urban Meyer named Jones the starter after a heated battle between he and Barrett, but Jones' inconsistency caused him to lose the job to Barrett halfway through the season (eight starts, 1,460 passing yards, 62.5 percent on completions, eight TD, five INT; 193 yards, two TD rushing). With Barrett returning for another year in 2016, Jones decided to enter the NFL draft as an early entrant rather than finishing his career at another college.

Analysis

Strengths

Great size to see over offensive line and bulk to withstand NFL hits. Pocket passer with as much arm as you need. Generates very good velocity without having to get feet set. Can rip it into tight quarters, challenge field-­side cornerbacks and attack safeties over the top. Almost 11 percent of his pass attempts were 20-plus yard completions. Completed 59 percent of intermediate throws and 41 percent of deep throws. Touch and ball placement on long ball is pro caliber. Can drop feathery, touch throws on fade routes. Has size, athleticism and toughness to call his own number in run game and is a chain mover as a scrambler. Interceptions generally due to overthrows and poor timing over bad decision­-making. Though not yet a strength, did show ability to get through progressions and find third option.

Weaknesses

Handed starting job and never owned it. Disappointing accuracy issues with difficulty hitting simple slants. Uncorked interceptions where unrushed pocket throws sailed way over the top of targets. Eyeballs receivers and brings heat from instinctive linebackers and defensive backs. Had issues reading and reacting to zone coverage underneath. Doesn't hold safeties with his eyes. Failed to execute timing throws out in rhythm. Will pump and re­set too often forcing out routes against the sideline. Tends to overthrow near goal line and leave touchdown passes on the field. Saw completion numbers drop almost 30 percent when forced to throw on the move. Below average pocket feel and blitz awareness. Was unable to move from checkers to chess against defensive coordinators.

Draft Projection

Rounds 4 or 5

Sources Tell Us

"You want to buy into the size and arm but his accuracy and game management just aren't there yet. He doesn't even have 300 passes under his belt! Compare him to (Teddy) Bridewater and (Derek) Carr. Blows those guys away with the physical stuff but he can't touch their poise and leadership as young quarterbacks." -- NFL offensive coordinator

NFL Comparison

Logan Thomas

Bottom Line

Jones is like a complicated meal that may or may not have all the ingredients present and will likely take a long time to prepare. Will the pay­off be worth the investment of time? Jones has very little starting experience and struggled to adjust once defensive coordinators had time to prepare for him this season. The right quarterback coach and passing scheme could promote rapid improvement and high-end production with his ability to strike downfield, but his issues with consistency and accuracy make the "bust" label a very real concern.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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