After one of the more improbable runs by a quarterback and his team, Cardale Jones is forgoing the NFL Draft to remain at Ohio State next year. The 6'5", 250-pounder announced his decision at Glenville High School in Cleveland.
After injuries to Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett, Jones was elevated from third-string status to starter. He was money in the Buckeyes' three biggest games to end the year and win the College Football Playoff Championship. Adding in some minimal spot duty, Jones completed 56 of 92 passes this season for 860 yards and seven touchdowns. He ran the ball 72 times for 296 yards.
Jones' first start came in the Big Ten Title Game, where he led the Buckeyes to a 59-0 thrashing of Wisconsin, followed by a 42-35 upset of the No. 1 ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Jones capped off his amazing three-game run by throwing for 242 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score against the Oregon Ducks in a 42-20 win in the National Championship.
Despite having just three collegiate games under his belt, many draft analysts believed Jones would have had a draft grade in the 2nd-to-4th round range.
FWIW, Mel Kiper on Cardale Jones: "No worse than four, possibly the second round."— Eleven Warriors (@11W) January 15, 2015
On Cardale Jones NFL situation, thought of Jay Schroeder at UCLA who started one college game before being 3rd round pick by WSH in 1984.— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) January 13, 2015
Interesting. ESPN's Mark Dominik (former NFL exec) says he could see a team like the Ravens taking OSU QB Cardale Jones in round 2.— Garrett Downing (@gdowning14) January 15, 2015
Cardale Jones has 7 TD's & 232 more yards passing than Matt Cassell had in his college career when the Pats took him in the 7th round.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 15, 2015
I think Cardale Jones should enter the NFL Draft. I'd guess he goes 3rd or 4th round to a better team w/ an older QB & gets to sit & learn.— ADJ Sports (@ADJSports) January 15, 2015
Kiper just said Cardale Jones best pro prospect of 3 #OSU QB's..2nd round pick if he comes out....if he goes back to OSU a Top 5-10 next yr.— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) January 14, 2015
Plusses for Cardale Jones in going: No assurance he'll start at OSU, weak QB class, learning in NFL; Minuses: Draft position very uncertain.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 15, 2015