The Buffalo Bills gave every indication that they would, in fact, take a quarterback at some point of the 2016 NFL Draft. With their first selection on Saturday, they held up to their end of the bargain.
With the final selection in the fourth round, the Buffalo Bills selected Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones with the 139th pick in the draft. Jones, a 6-foot-5, 253-pound prospect carried a starting record of 11-0 in his time with the Buckeyes.
Jones was the starter for Ohio State when they captured the National Championship after the 2014 season, and after his performance during that run, was thought to be one of the top prospects for the upcoming year. After starting the season for the Buckeyes, Jones was benched in the middle of the season for backup J.T. Barrett.
The Bills said that Jones will be their developmental option, and EJ Manuel remains the backup for the team.
Joe B’s Take
This is only the fifth quarterback the Bills have drafted since 1996, and it’s about time that the Bills started taking some swings at the most important position of the game. I fully endorse the Cardale Jones pick, knowing full well that there’s a good chance he never amounts to anything.
Jones has the size, mobility, big arm — and according to the Bills, he’s got the desire to be great as well. He most certainly has had his struggles with accuracy and hasn’t had all that much experience reading defenses, which is something the Bills will have to work with him on quite a bit through the next season.
That said, I believe it’s the perfect situation for Cardale Jones. He gets to sit on the sidelines for the entire 2016 season and work exclusively with David Lee and Greg Roman, and with less than 300 pass attempts to his name in college, there are no set bad habits to his game right now. They are getting raw talent, and a raw prospect that they can develop as they see fit.
It’s a big swing and he could develop into a longterm starter if all goes well. There certainly isn’t any guarantee that he will — after all, he is a fourth-round pick and the odds are against any player from this point in the draft developing into something truly special. However, if you’re going to take a quarterback at this point, take one with the most intriguing skill-set that could equate to greatness if all goes well.
Finally, the Bills threw “safe” out the window when it comes to quarterbacks, and I commend them for it.