We have had a lot of recent discussion about our current QB situation, and what route we should take in the offseason to fix it. Many have argued for a top flight QB in the 2012 draft, while others have suggested a FA QB, and use our picks to rebuild the offensive line.
We can pretty much all agree that QB has to be addressed this offseason, and the consensus seems to be to use our first round pick on a player like Barkley, Jones or Griffin, or to attempt to trade up and draft the coveted Andrew luck.
Well, the one draft prospect that has come under the most criticism as of late, would be Oklahoma's Landry Jones, a 6' 4" 230 pound gun slinger, who possesses about every attribute that NFL teams covet. The doubts on Jones may be more from what his counterparts have done this season, opposed to what he has or hasn't done himself. It's tough to top a 4500 plus passing year, with 38 touchdowns and a 65% completion percentage, so people are pointing to any flaw they can find, to pick apart his game.
For those of you who may not be fimilar with Jones and his talents, I wanted to put together this post to highlight some of his attributes, and why I feel they are a good fit with the offense we run in Washington.2010(13 games) - 405 comp 617 atts 4718 yds 65.6 comp% 7.65 YPA 38 TD 12 INT 19 sacks 2011(11 games) - 312 comp 487 atts 4052 yds 64.1 comp% 8.32 YPA 28 TD 12 INT 5 sacks
First will be my personal assessment of Jones:
Accuracy - Jones is a very accurate QB, both on the move, and in the pocket. He throws well on the short to intermediate routs we often see Kyle Shanahan call, but where he really excells is in the deep passing game. He shows excellent accuracy on the deep in, deep out, back shoulder throw, and the deep go. Another interesting aspect of his game is that he has 2 different release points. He will show the classic over-the-top release, and also has a beautiful 3/4 release to go along with it. This is important in determining the trajectory of the ball, especially on deep passes. Sometimes the 3/4 release will allow him to use a slightly lower trajectory to fit the ball between the LB and safety on the seem. You will also see him use the classic over-the-top throwing motion on many of his go routes.
Arm Strength - This is an area where Jones really excells. He has the ability to make every NFL throw, both in the pocket, and on the move. His arm strength is a notch below elite, but is easily one of the strongest in college football.
Pocket presence/Mobility - This is an area where Jones' critics have come at him hard, and I believe many underrate him in this catagory. Fact is, Jones is a very good athlete. He was All-State at Football, Basketball and Baseball in high school, and that athletic ability often shows intself on the football fiels in a number of different ways. First, as we all know, Bob Stoops like to operate out of the shotgun. You do not get to see the quick 3 and 5 steps drops from under center, as you would from a Matt Barkley, but it's not to say Jones can't do this. His strength however, is sliding in the pocket. He's very good at sensing pressure, and sliding to avoid it. He also excells at rolling out of the pocket, and throwing on the run. This is another myth, and knock on Jones from many pundents, that he does not move exceptionally well, and is not often asked to throw on the run. This can't be further from the truth. Stoop's offense, just like Kyle's, uses a lot of play action fakes, and bootlegs, in order to get the ball deep downfield. Jones excells in this area.
leadership - This is another area where Jones has grown and matured. He has grown into an excellent leader both on and off the field. He leads both by example, and will also get in a teamates face when necessary. He is a deeply spititual guy, and does a lot for the cummunity outside of football. Another part of his leadership comes out in game situations. He is a big game player, who often finds himself on some of the biggest stages in college football. he has the ability to put the team on his back, and lead them to victory on the road, against good defenses. The 2011 game against Florida State, on the road, against one of the best defenses in college football, is a good example of this.
Football IQ - Jones is a student of the game. He has great ability to read a defense both pre and post snap, and he does well using his eyes and shoulders to manipulate the safety. He has also done a very nice job of going through progressions, and finding the open receiver.
Below is a highlight film I found on Jones, that shows some of these abilities. Like all highlight films, it obviously does not point out his deficiencies, as much as his strengths, but it does help to illistrate some of the things I talked about above.
I will post the link to the film, then below, I will post time marks where I have picked areas to focus on. Take a look and let me know your opinion:
.15 sec - Shows pocket presence/mobility
.32 sec - Deep seam accuracy
.40 sec - Fits ball into tight window
.52 sec - Show off arm strength
1:09 - Throw on the run
1:15 - Throw on the run/back shoulder throw
1:22 - Throw on the run /accuracy and arm strength
1:30 - On the move
2:12 - Deep ball over 60 yards in the air, with ease
2:22 - Deep out on rollout
* Notice how easy it is for Jones to throw his deep ball
*Notice the ammount of playaction he does(Redskins like to do this too)
*Notice the different arm angles and ball trajectory he uses
Now please watch this tape from his junior year in highschool. I understand it is highschool, but please take note of the athleticism this kid has.
Finally, here is a link of Wes Bunting, comparing him to Andrew Luck. Tell me if you agree with some of the negatives Bunting says about Jones.
This is the 2011 game against Florida State(a top 10 team at the time), with a top 5 defense nationally, on the road, in front of a hostile crowd. In my opinion, although this was not his best game, it was his defining moment as a QB. I like this video because it shows both the positives and negatives in the game. Take notice at the 1:20 mark in the tape, as this is the drive that untimately won the game for Oklahoma.
.35 sec mark - Uses shoulders to manipulate defense
.42 sec mark - Shows good pocket presence to avoid the rush
.50 sec mark - Under center(people on HH have complained he can't operate from under center - I beg to duffer. Watch this perfect ball to Stills off of play action.
1:00 - Again, under center play action
1:20 and beyond - The game winning drive. Tied 13-13 in a hostile environment on the road with 7+ min left in the game.
Now I ask you to formulate your own opinion on Jones, and i will also ask you to watch tonights game vs. Oklahoma State, so we can discuss what we saw tomorrow.