Landry Jones (QB, Oklahoma) vs Oklahoma State

It’s easy to forget, but this time last year Landry Jones was going to be a top-ten pick. That was the consensus opinion among many high-profile draft pundits, an opinion that remained right up until he hit rock bottom at the end of last season. If you’d said this time last year Jones would remain at Oklahoma for his senior season, a lot of people would’ve laughed hysterically.

Oklahoma’s high-octane pass offense generates huge passing numbers and Jones threw more than 45 times in eight games last year, recording 4463 passing yards along the way. Believe it or not, both numbers were lower than his 2010 totals. Nobody could question Jones’ production, but was it taken for granted that statistics = quality? On August 17th last year I wrote a piece questioning his suitability as a top-10 pick, noting: “Jones isn’t close to the same level as Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley and talk of him going in the top ten is premature. However, he is at the top of a list of second tier quarterbacks who can really pump up their tires with a great 2011 season.

Unfortunately, the tires went flat.

A few weeks later I noted: “Because he doesn’t have explosive physical talent or elite accuracy, you’re always going to be wondering whether he can cope with a much more demanding system and whether he’ll stand out (in the NFL). Teams will gamble on a Jake Locker ‘getting it’ because he looks like John Elway physically if not necessarily in terms of performance at this early stage in his career. Teams won’t always gamble on a guy with all the yards and scores you’d ever want, but with a lingering concern that without his vast array of swing passes and screens he’ll just be found out.”

Jones consistently looked poor in big games, especially the one you’ll find below against Oklahoma State. You’ll hear a lot of reasons why he didn’t declare for the 2012 draft but let’s get one thing straight here – the main reason is because his stock was lower than a snakes belly. Coming back was absolutely the right thing to do, because he at least has a shot to leave on a more positive note. Jones isn’t going to develop into a more mobile passer who can improvise, get out of the pocket and make things happen on his own. He will always be a system and timing quarterback, glued to the pocket. But if Oklahoma wins a lot of games and Jones puts up monster numbers, he’ll have much greater momentum to take into the draft. He had zero momentum at the end of the 2011 season.

I’m completely sceptical as to whether he can wrestle a pro-career out of the NFL, but he has a year to convince at least one team he’s worth the shot. Personally I’d struggle to give him anything more than a mid-round grade, but given the way teams are drafting quarterbacks these days he could go higher.

Note – thanks again to JMPasq for providing us with these videos.


  1. Jmpasq

    This game was a very poor performance and a Microcosm of why I dont think Jones is an elite , 1st or even 2nd round prospect. People in the Jones camp say he got a 1st round grade from the draft committee if thats true I really wonder what these guys are looking at. The thing that bothers me the most about Jones and the biggest thing that drops QB’s for me is how a QB handles pressure. Not only does Jones have a myriad of issues when facing a crumbling pocket but it starts pre snap. Jones just doesnt recognize where a Blitzing LB or safety is coming from even when confronted with the simplest reads. At 7:41 Jones doesnt even lift his head to acknowledge the safety.Good luck with Dick Lebeau. Having Nerve and being able to handle pressure in the pocket is something U have or u dont.

    • Kip Earlywine

      I think the first round grade comes from the eyeball test. Landry Jones LOOKS like a 1st round QB. He doesn’t play like one, but he looks like one. In terms of size, arm, footwork, dropback, and throwing motion, he looks like a late career version of Carson Palmer. There are a lot of front office execs who believe that a QB must have X height and Y weight while throwing well and having a good arm. They think that everything else can be ironed out. Landry Jones isn’t a fabulous athlete, but he’s adequate athletically, and the rest of his measurables score as a top 10 pick.

      Of course, I don’t think Jones deserves to go that high, really if anything it’s more revealing than anything else, revealing of how close minded a lot of front office execs are about QBs. Brandon Weeden was a 1st round pick based solely on his measurables, and by contrast a terrific QB like Chandler Harnish (who stands only 6’1″) very nearly went undrafted. Barring a disaster season, Landry Jones will be a 1st round pick next year. Not because he deserves to be, but because NFL GMs just can’t say no to a QB with Jones combination of tools and production.

      • Jake

        That’s what Jevan Snead thought… Then he played his Senior year and went undrafted.

        • Jake

          sorry, facts slightly off…

          Snead did come out his RS-Junior year… but he should have come out after his RS Sophomore year. He had already spent 4 years in college at Texas and Ole Miss. He went back trying to improve from mid-1st round grade to a #1 overall grade. He was miserable his RS-Junior year and went undrafted after declaring early anyway.

        • Kip Earlywine

          TBH the Snead hype always mystified me. He compares more to say a Mike Teel than a Landry Jones.

  2. Jake

    If I was running a team, I would pick him up as an UDFA and give him a shot to earn a spot – maybe use a 7th if I had some compensatory picks.

  3. Colin

    Wow. Perhaps the worst game of 2011 for Landry Jones. The guy had no ability to get anything done. Simply helpless against OK state. How could he garner a 1st round grade? Only way I can think is his value is locked into his position, not his play.

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