The 2011 season has yet to start, however it is never too early to look ahead at what could be in store for the future of the Washington Redskins.
I have been watching a lot of film recently on quarterbacks that could be possibilities for us in the 2012 draft. Thanks to my friends at Scout.com, I have had the chance to see high school film of some of the top prospects, and have been able to break that down from where they were, to where they are now. To me, rating a college QB has a lot to do with the maturation process one goes through from their junior year in high school, to present, so that is what I have put a lot of my foucus into.
I can tell you that Matt Barkly was one of the most polished QB's coming out of high school that I have seen in a while, and that talent has transfered positively to his career thus far at USC.
Who I have come away most impressed with is Landry Jones. Landry had every tool in high school, but the maturation process was what worried me the most. Boy, did he come out in a big way once he took the reigns over from Sam Bradford. Imagine having to follow in the footsteps of a player like that! Well, Jones has not only filled the shoes of the departed Bradford, he may actually be growing out of them.
From watching film over the last 4 years I can tell you this: Man is Landry Jones good!
The kid playes in one of the best programs in the country. He faces some of the best college athletes every day in practice. His coordinator is an offensive genius. He possesses all the attributes to make him great. He is, in my humble opinion, the best quarterback in college football.
Accuracy - Jones is an extremely accurate passer. He completed 58% of his passes in 2009, and jumped that total to 65% in 2010. What impresses me the most is his accuracy on the move. He is able to deliver a bullet on the run at the 15 yard deep out, or he can float a pass to a RB on the wheel route just over the outstretched arms of a defender. He does an excellent job leading his receiver to a spot on the field, and placing the ball between the belt and shoulder pads.
Arm Strength - Landry is a notch below elite when it comes to arm strength. He's not quite Ryan Mallett, but he is damn close. He can thread the needle on the skinny post and dig, and can also air it out 70 plus yards off of play action. He fits the ball into tight windows that many quarterbacks can't, and this combined with his accuracy, sets him above many others. He also adjusts arm angles without loosing any velocity on the football.
Decision Making - This is an area where Jones has come a long way. He no longer locks on to targets as he did in high school. He does an amazing job using his eyes to move the safety, and goes through his progressions with comfort and ease. One area that has impressed me is his ability to read coverages pre-snap, and decide what to take based on what the defense is giving him. In 2010, Jones boasted a 38-12 TD to INT ratio.
Mobility - Landry Jones is 6' 4" and 220 lbs. He is a slightly more mobile version than his predecessor Sam Bradford, who was about his size going into his junior season. Landry sets his feet well both in the pocket and on the run. He usually operates out of the shotgun formation, and tends to step back or roll out instead of stepping up in the pocket, but he does show the ability to step up to aviod the outside rush, while keeping his eyes downfield.
Leadership - I spoke to a member of Scout.com who got to know Landry pretty well coming out of high school, and who still keeps in touch with him to this day. He said Landry is a natural leader who leads by example, but is not afraid to get in a teamates face when he needs to. He tends to get a little too emotional at the beginning of games, but once he settles down, it is all business from there. From what I have read, Jones has become a very spiritual kid, who relies and believes in his god given abilities. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG0JmTsP9FI
I am excited about this year in college football. There are many prospects who I believe can help our beloved Redskins, but none more than Landry Jones. For a team without an identity, Jones could be the answer to our two-decade QB drought.