After earning a national championship ring in 2014, and a mediocre 2015 season where he was benched after a record of 11-0 as a starter, former OSU signal caller Cardale Jones has been drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round. Jones is the 12th Buckeye selected in this year’s draft.
Jones drew attention after filling in for the injured JT Barrett for three games, and leading the team to its eighth national title.
In those three games, Jones threw for 742 yards and five touchdowns, along with 90 yards on the ground and a score. The performance was enough for many to feel he could enter the 2015 NFL draft and be picked in the first few rounds.
During a press conference held at his alma mater, Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio, Jones announced he would be returning to school.
“The NFL has always been my goal and dream,” Jones said. “It’s literally right there in front of me, but I also have a goal to graduate.”
Even though Jones had helped lead the Buckeyes to a national championship victory, OSU coach Urban Meyer stated that the starting position would be up for grabs when JT Barrett was healthy.
Jones was the first to stroll onto the field in the 2015 opener at Virginia Tech, but Barrett also saw playing time. Starting the first seven games of the season, OSU was 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country. But on Oct. 24, Meyer announced Barrett would take over as the starter for OSU. Jones played in the next three games, but was on the bench for the last three games of the year. He finished the year with a 62.5 completion percentage, 1,460 yards, and eight touchdowns with five interceptions.
Although Jones possesses a cannon arm and the stature to play quarterback in the NFL, he lacks the pose and refined mechanics that many of the prospects in the draft have. The Bills will most likely have Jones prove his worth during training camp, and work to better mold Jones into a quality quarterback.
He joins the likes of Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins under the supervision of coach Rex Ryan.
Buffalo begins their regular season against on the road in Baltimore at 1 p.m. on Sept. 11.
Jones joins fellow Buckeye Adolphus Washington who was selected by Buffalo in the third round.