Cardale Jones might be a developmental prospect to NFL scouts, but don't assume the Ohio State quarterback will be taken with a draft pick that typically corresponds with such a label.
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes Jones will hear his name called in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, due in part to the vast potential he wasn't able to fully tap into during limited college experience.
"I think a lot of people say fourth round, maybe a little later -- he got benched this season -- I'm going to put him in the second round," Jeremiah said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft". "It might be the bottom of the second round, but there's going to be a quarterback coach (or) an offensive coordinator who is going to go to the GM and say, 'This guy has such rare physical tools, give me some time to work with him, I will get it out of him.'"
Jones started just three games in 2014, but those games came on the biggest possible stage as the Buckeyes won consecutive games over Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, Alabama in a College Football Playoff semifinal, and then Oregon to win the national title. Jones won the starting job over J.T. Barrett to begin the 2015 season, but gave way to Barrett after seven starts when the Buckeyes' passing offense struggled. For the season, he completed 110 of 176 passes for 1,460 yards and only eight touchdowns, playing in a relief role in three games subsequent to losing the starting job.
Still, at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, with rocket-like velocity, he's an attractive prospect for NFL clubs, even if one that will need an extended learning curve.
"There is too much upside here. I think somebody risks it there in Round No. 2," Jeremiah added.