Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State – 2016

Bills, Round 4. He was a junior who declared early for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Postseason Events: NFL Combine.

Positives: Excellent height and weight for the position – built like a good-sized tight end. Above-average hand size. Above-average accuracy on intermediate patterns. Willing to throw the ball away in the red zone and in the rest of the field. Seems to handle the pressure of a national championship in his third start pretty well. Pretty good escapability. Above-average speed and lateral quickness – and good for his size. Above-average balance after contact. Runs tough and with good power – willing to stiff arm and lower his shoulder as a runner. Churns very well through contact. Patient runner behind the line. Adequate track speed for the position, but above-average for his size. Good vertical leap for the position. Good arm strength and above-average velocity.

Negatives: Throws high consistently when he steps up in the pocket and when he is rolling to his left. Needs to learn when to vary his velocity – will consistently throw too hard on short passes and also float passes to the sideline that are nearly intercepted. Eyeballs receivers pretty hard, and will throw it into coverage even on short passes. Consistently holds the ball too long under pressure – especially near his own end zone – and nearly took safeties in both of the 2014 playoff games. Needs to know where he is on the field, and multiple times in 2014 bowl game he drifted back towards his own end zone escaping from pressure. Doesn’t consistently step into his throws when he is able to. Suspect ball security on the move and will hold the ball in one hand loosely while being tackled. Injured hamstring during 40-yard dash at Combine and didn’t participate in drills.

Pre-Draft Projection: Round 2. He is a physical specimen with very good athleticism, size, and strength. He is also very raw, with very few starts in college, but it looks like there is a lot to work with. Could eventually grow into a very good quarterback in the NFL, but can also regress and waste a lot some team’s time. Personally, I think he will develop into at least an adequate NFL starter, and his athleticism will earn some fantasy teams a lot of points.

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