Scouting Report: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

By: Pete Davidson : April 16, 2013 2:57am

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Landry Jones is not a name you will see on many underrated lists. He’s on a few overrated lists for sure and that’s what compelled us to include him among our list of 20 underrated prospects. Jones is a classic example of a player that gets killed for failing to live up to his own past. He never really improved on his 2010 breakout season and by most accounts, he’s actually hurt his draft status by staying in school.

Jones was statistically outstanding in his first two years as a starter. The expectations for him were extremely high in both his junior and senior seasons. In both cases, Jones disappointed those who went to bat for him. That’s always a tough spot to be in for an athlete. Jones doesn’t have much backing now. Allow us to throw our hat into the ring.

There are three strong-armed pure pocket passers in this year’s draft.

  • Mike Glennon, NC State
  • Landry Jones, Oklahoma
  • Tyler Bray, Tennessee

Of the three, we’d draft Jones first without thinking twice. We do like Bray some and we’d be willing to draft him in the later rounds, but Jones is way ahead of him developmentally. Glennon is not a player we would draft, period. He’s a deer in the headlights when things get rough and we think his arm talent is somewhat overrated. He’s just not our kind of player.

So, apart from the mediocre statistical trend, why has Jones’ star fallen so far? Quite honesty, I am not sure. He does have a few things to work on.

He can make better decisions with the football. His reads were too aggressive at times. This is fixable. His ball placement leaves something to be desired at times, though, quite frankly, there are guys ranked ahead of him in a lot of mocks that are even worse in this regard. Regardless, this is an area where Jones needs to set higher standards for himself. Towards that end, Jones could tighten up his release a bit, though the idea that he needs some kind of mechanical overhaul is nonsense. Landry Jones throws a beautiful ball, particularly the deep ball, and makes all the throws with ease in terms of arm strength. He indicated at the combine that he’s been working with quarterback guru George Whitfield this offseason and that can only be a good thing.

Jones also has some weaknesses that are less fixable. He’s not fast nor will he ever be. That said, his movement in the pocket is sufficient. He needs to continue to be coached to get the ball out and to throw it away when the play is not there. You don’t want this guy trying to extend plays with his feet unless it’s needed. He can do it at times and he does have the strength and athleticism to shed some would-be tacklers in the pocket.

So, just to sum up the things we think make Jones a good prospect for the next level....

  • Arm strength. Jones has a big arm and a nice natural throwing motion. NFL all the way.
  • Size. Height is key for a pocket passer and Jones has it at 6’4. He’s also got some heft to him at 218 pounds. Adding a few more would be just fine. He has a frame that can handle it.
  • Experience. He’s been the man at Oklahoma for three years and part of a fourth. Jones has felt the pressure of the big crowds and big games. That should serve him well going forward.
  • Confidence. Landry is not a guy carrying around a lot of doubt. That can get him into trouble at times, but it’s better than the alternatives.

If Jones really is falling down draft boards as some seem to think, he could be one of the biggest steals in quite some time. That’s the kind of upside he has if he gets in the right situation. There are more than a few places we could see him going.

  • Tennessee
  • Houston
  • Chicago
  • New England
  • New York Jets
  • Atlanta
  • Dallas
  • Tampa Bay
  • Cincinatti
  • Jacksonville
  • San Diego
  • Oakland

That’s what happens when you fall in the draft. More teams become realistic landing places. Teams without a need can now take you because you’re a good value. You no longer carry the pressure of a high pick and teams can look to develop you over time. We’ll have to wait and see if that happens. We tend to think that NFL teams will have a better understanding of Landry’s strengths than the draftniks do. We’d be surprised if he made it out of the third round. Jones’ dynasty value will depend greatly on where he goes, so we’ll be updating him after the draft. Here’s a few looks at Landry Jones.

We’ve still got seven underrated players left before next week’s draft. There will only be one defensive player in our group of twenty. Kudos to anybody who can predict who that player is. E-mail your guesses to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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