Jones said after Ohio State's 42-20 win over Oregon Monday that he wasn't sure he would return to OSU in 2015. The NFL's deadline for underclassmen to file for early draft eligibility is Thursday, Jan. 15.
Jones has started just three games in his college career, but he couldn't have drawn more attention to his 6-foot-5, 250-pound, dual-threat presence in catapulting the Buckeyes to a Big Ten and national titles in consecutive wins over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon. Still, the scout cautioned that evaluating Jones on only three games would have to include some scouting guesswork as to what Jones could become at the pro level.
"The obvious pros are size, arm strength, athletic ability," the scout said. "... I think everyone (would) tread lightly, but it only takes one to fall in love."
In those final three games, Jones combined to complete 46 of 75 passes for 742 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions, while rushing for another 90 yards.
While Jones' body of work as a college quarterback is obviously lacking, he could find the idea of turning pro preferable to the possibility of losing the Buckeyes' starting job in the spring to either of two more proven and equally exciting options: J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller. Miller was a Heisman Trophy candidate in the preseason after leading the Buckeyes to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons in 2012 and 2013. Barrett replaced the injured Miller at the beginning of this year and delivered an 11-1 record as a starter before a fractured ankle against Michigan thrust Jones into the starting role.