Jones completed 58.1 percent of his passes for 3,198 passing yards, 26 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. Though he had the expected ups-and-downs as a first-year starter, his 418-yard, three-score performances in the Sun Bowl helped Oklahoma beat Stanford. As a sophomore, he won the Sammy Baugh Award (nation's top quarterback) and was named honorable mention All-Big 12 by league coaches after increasing his completion percentage (65.6), throwing fewer interceptions (12), and leading the nation in passing yards (4,718 yards) and attempts (617). He finished second in the FBS with 38 touchdown passes.
Though Jones has done an excellent job taking over the reins of the Oklahoma offense from Bradford, comparisons between the two are folly. Jones has good size and a strong enough arm to make all of the throws, but does not have the superior accuracy of the Rams' current starting quarterback and must improve making throws when pressured. Still, in a passing-happy NFL, a strong-willed pocket passer like Jones would covet plenty of attention by scouts as a top ten pick with a strong junior season.
Accuracy: Possesses above-average accuracy when settled in the pocket or on designed roll-outs. Leads receivers down the seam and on crossing routes, places throws low in traffic where only his man can make a play. Fade throws to the sideline are on the money between linebackers and safeties, even when on the run. Makes the back-shoulder throw with regularity. Puts sufficient air under deep balls to avoid over-throwing and allowing receivers to run underneath, but can also use a lower trajectory to thread the ball against cover-two or 40 yards downfield. When pressured consistently through a game, starts backpedalling early and loses accuracy, even on shorter throws.
Arm Strength: Already owns a very strong arm, could become elite over the next few years. Displays serious juice on throws to either sideline and stretch the field vertically. Ball comes out of his hand nicely, with a fairly tight spiral to aid velocity and accuracy. Throws between the hashes can beat zone defenders to the spot. Takes something off passes to flat, but not too much. Loses some zip and accuracy when feet are not set, especially if leaning back.
Setup/Release: Possesses NFL body with good height and relatively thick build. Mostly works from the shotgun but comes out from center on occasion for runs and some play action. Displays good enough footwork and urgency on handoffs to easily transition to regular under-center work in the NFL. Keeps feet active in the pocket to maintain rhythm. Steps up into the pocket when outside pressure comes. Slide out of the pocket with his eyes downfield to avoid a defender, though he occasionally gives up big loss by trying to evade inevitable sack. Adjusts to low shotgun snaps despite his height. Possesses over-the-top release which can be fast enough to make the quick slant, also able to drop his arm to make throws around defenders when needed. Carries the ball low in drops. Delivery lengthened, and sometimes a pause comes at the top, when trying to aim the ball instead of throwing. Set-up breaks down if pressured regularly, will backpedal early instead of standing in to deliver; makes some throws in those situations, but lacks the arm strength to be consistent downfield when not set.
Reading Defenses: Gets cues from the sideline, but shows intelligence to make calls and make pre-snap reads on his own at the next level. Most drops from under center are on play action, so he has one deep reads then checks down; must learn to read on the drop. Looks safeties off his primary read at times, but also trusts his arm too much, throwing into traffic. Must work on throwing before receivers come out of their breaks instead of waiting for them to be open. Gets a lot of big plays from play action. Coached to check down often because of his team's defense, will need to prove himself capable of making secondary reads downfield at the next level.
On the Move: Better athlete than given credit for. Capable of running bootlegs effectively to either side, sells fake handoff quite well. Squares shoulder while running left to make accurate throws. Generally accurate when on the move, as well, leading receivers open even if a bit high or wide. Runs upright and not very elusive in the open field, but has straight-line speed to pick up first downs with his feet on naked boots and if defense gives him room up the middle.
Intangibles: Relatively quiet player off the field who has increased his leadership role over the past two years. Usually even-tempered on the field but is willing to let receivers know when they run the wrong route or fail to help him on extended plays. Solid character, strong in his faith. Named for the late Tom Landry, long-time head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Engaged to Oklahoma basketball player Whitney Hand."
- Has experience playing from both the gun and under center.
- Gets good initial depth on his drop, balances himself well and is comfortable off play action.
- Does a nice job pre-snap identifying his hot man and gets the ball out of his hands quickly.
- Showcases good rhythm and timing underneath, gets the ball out quickly with "plus" ball placement.
- Throws a very catchable football on all levels of the field. Is comfortable taking a little off the throw and dropping bucket throws into his receiver's hands down the field.
- When he does throw with a wide base from the pocket he can spin the football well in the intermediate pass game and stick throws on a line into tight windows with above-average accuracy.
- Possesses more than enough natural arm strength to make all the throws.
- Spreads the ball around well, doesn't play favorites and uses his full arsenal of weapons.
- Exhibits a consistent release point, gets the ball out quickly and is able to make all the throws needed over the line of scrimmage.
- Will locate a second target in the pass game.
- Possesses average foot coordination when trying to reset his feet and align his body when coming off an initial read and trying to find a secondary option.
- Has been very productive during his three years as a starter and has overcome the adversity to replacing a talent like Sam Bradford.
What I don't like…
- Is a limited athlete inside the pocket, has a tough time avoiding the rush with subtle movements and too often his eye level drops when he feels pressure.
- If you get him to move off his spot he doesn't look real natural buying time in the pocket and his accuracy suffers because of it.
- Rarely is asked to work the entire field, more of an initial read guy who will stick to one side of the field only when trying to find a secondary option.
- Can be a bit slow footed when he knows the football needs to come out. Will throw flat-footed and stand upright, taking away from his accuracy/velocity in the pocket when throwing down the field.
- Doesn't have a great feel throwing receivers open prior to them getting out of their breaks outside the numbers.
- Too often needs to see the throws before letting go of the football.
- Not the kind of athlete who can consistently square his shoulders up on the move, throws from some bad angles at times, which hurts accuracy and ability to deliver the football.
- Doesn't consistently reset his feet, widen his base and really stride toward his target, causing passes to hang on him at times.
- Strikes me as a fair weather quarterback who hasn't played his best on the road in tough situations/environments.
Impression: Is a natrual thrower of the football, but struggles with balance and footwork when he feels pressure. Doesn't decipher information overly well in the moment and is going to need time before he's NFL ready."
Coaches will want to reshape his throwing motion and shorten it up.
The knock on him is that he isn't all that athletic.
He does well enough feeling out pressure in the pocket, but needs to remain technically sound once his feet start moving. His long throwing motion only complicates things when flushed out of the pocket.
Jones does a great job making reads and checking (or calling audibles) pre-snap.
After the snap, he shows a proficient ability to work through his progressions to find the open man.
Though, he sometimes forces passes and relies too heavily on accuracy and confidence.
Jones has really matured in his years as Oklahoma's leader. The pressures of the position has molded him in the right direction. Throwing him into the fire to replace Bradford has really accelerated his growth.
He throws the ball with good velocity and can make every pass. Above average arm strength helps him and he maintains good accuracy whether it's a short drag route or an out route.
Analysts are going to nitpick his throwing motion and mechanics, but Jones is among the elite prospects of the 2012 NFL Draft."
Bold Statement: Jones has the physical ability to challenge Andrew Luck as the best quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft class.
Games Viewed: Connecticut ('10), Nebraska ('10), Baylor ('10), Missouri ('10), Texas ('10), Florida State ('10), Stanford ('09), Nebraska ('09), Texas ('09).
• Jones has a compact, moderately quick release that comes from the three-quarter area.
• Has shown he can throw the ball well on the move when the pocket breaks down. His Fiesta Bowl pass to Ryan Broyles was picture perfect for an escape throw.
• While he's not Ryan Mallett in terms of arm strength, he's strong to be a vertical threat throwing the ball.
• When pulling back from underneath center, Landry needs to move around at a much better pace. Can be slow handing off and rolling out, giving away the play.
• Is a confident player who stepped into a tough situation at Oklahoma and was a success. Was surrounded by a great supporting cast that eased him into the starting lineup.
• Generally an accurate quarterback who can fit passes into tight windows. At times will get a little high on deep passes, but doesn't put his receivers in a bad spot.
• Will face a learning curve when he's asked to make reads pre-snap and adjust the play.
• Jones has played behind good offensive lines so he hasn't faced a lot of pressure around him. His pocket poise is something that will have to be closely monitored this season.
• Has had some trouble against zone blitzes and disguised blitzes (see the Missouri game from last year).
• Regarded by coaches a hard worker.
• Has had no issues with durability and is built to take a hit.
• Showed marked improvement in the second half of the 2010 season."
Has good size and can take a hit in the pocket; has a live arm and can make all the throws, although release could be a little quicker and comes a bit sidearm; improved accuracy especially on underneath throws; completed 65% of passes in 2010 and can fit the ball into tight spaces;
Will force the odd throw into coverage and had 12 picks last fall;
Decent athlete who can move around the pocket and make the occasional play on the move, but no threat to run;
Works almost exclusively out of a shotgun in a spread offense so not as experienced in the mechanics and reads involved in running a pro offense;
Good character kid who wants to go into the ministry when his playing days are done."
Negatives -- Struggles when asked to push the ball down field, poor trajectory and accuracy past twenty yards... Really struggled at the end of 2011, threw for zero touchdowns and five interceptions over his final three games... Seemed to regress a bit as a junior, numbers fell off and went from looking like a sure-fire top ten pick to a candidate to fall out of the first round... Completion percentage is surprisingly low for the offense that he plays in, only completed 63 percent of his passes this year; to compare, Sam Bradford completed 69 percent in his two years in the same offense... Struggled when his number one target, Ryan Broyles, missed games due to injury... Has a bit of an awkward throwing motion, appears like he has to wind up before throwing... Is a below-average athlete and struggles outside of the pocket, doesn't get many yards with his feet and can get chased from behind by defenders... His mechanics will break down when he's under pressure, will panic a bit and make throws that he shouldn't... Plays in a gimmicky offense that runs a lot of wide receiver screens and quick hits that end up inflating his statistics.
Works primarily out of the shotgun but has very good vision down the field, as well as excellent footwork in the pocket. Goes through his progressions and knows how to read defenses. Has the arm strength to be able to fit the ball into tight spaces. His accuracy has dramatically increased, as I pointed out, and he has a very quick release.
Not a scrambler by any means, but knows how to work outside of the pocket and use his athleticism to his advantage. Arm strength overall is very good to excellent. Great placement on his deep throws, and I would love to see him decrease his interception totals even though the Sooners are a big time passing offense. Could compete with Andrew Luck to be the top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft if he chooses to come out."