Well, the Steelers took their “quarterback of the future.”
I just figured that it would have been Tyler Bray of Tennessee or Zac Dysert of Miami (OH), not the record-breaking yet inconsistent Landry Jones of Oklahoma.
While I totally agree with Pittsburgh’s decision to take a signal-caller at that point in the draft, I’m not sure that I agree that the former Sooner is the “answer” at the position once Ben Roethlisberger retires.
Nevertheless, I will not be too much of a “Negative Nancy” about the acquisition of Jones, because there are some positives to his overall game, and him as a quarterback. During his career in Norman, Jones was a four-year starter and threw for 123 touchdowns and 52 interceptions. In addition to those numbers, Jones was able to racked up large amounts of passing yards in the Sooners’ pass-happy offense. Landry threw for over 4,000 yards during each of the final three seasons of his collegiate career, and passed for 4,267 yards last season.
A big-framed quarterback (6’4″ 225 lbs.), Jones is most at home in the pocket, and when he receives time to throw is a very accurate passer at all levels of the field. His work in the short and intermediate games with the Sooners should help him adjust well to what offensive coordinator Todd Haley wants to do in Pittsburgh, but he definitely has more than enough arm-strength to stretch the field vertically.
Unfortunately, Jones is not the most mobile quarterback, and made quite a bit of bad decisions during his career when he was under duress. Considering that Pittsburgh’s offensive linemen outside of Ramon Foster and Maurkice Pouncey are young and still developing, Jones could definitely be in trouble if he is pressed into action too early.
While he was statistically the most prolific passer in Oklahoma history, Landry was definitely a frustrating player for Sooners fans to watch after the Sam Bradford-era ended. On one hand, Jones could fire strikes and do some impressive things in the passing games. But then on the very next play he would make a bone-headed error with a pick, cough up the ball by not taking a sack, or simply not make a correct read.
While I believe that Round 4 might have been too high for Landry Jones, he does have some solid tools for Haley and quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner to work with early in his career. Plus, some people like Bill Polian believe that Jones could very well be the best signal-caller in this year’s draft class.
Granted, I do not agree with Polian, but I just hope that Jones does not have to see the field until Big Ben retires. The worst thing that could happen to Landry is if Pittsburgh’s coaching staff presses him into action too early because of a Roethlisberger injury.
Final Grade: C
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