Can Landry Jones become the next Joe Flacco?

The narrative for the Baltimore quarterback is a familiar one around these parts. Landry Jones spent his entire Oklahoma career facing the same type of criticism. Just maybe, though, Flacco's story provides some much-need perspective on Jones.
by Jenni Carlson Published: January 25, 2013


photo - Senior Bowl South Squad quarterback Landry Jones of Oklahoma (14) throws during football practice Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.  The Senior Bowl will be played Saturday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) ORG XMIT: ALDM106
Senior Bowl South Squad quarterback Landry Jones of Oklahoma (14) throws during football practice Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The Senior Bowl will be played Saturday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) ORG XMIT: ALDM106

Wait.

Mike Glennon?

Those other quarterbacks might be familiar to you, but the North Carolina State quarterback is probably unknown to many a college football fan. (He is playing in the Senior Bowl on Saturday afternoon if you want to check him out.) According to some NFL mock draft types, Glennon is one of the quarterbacks who will be picked ahead of Jones — and maybe way, way ahead of him.

It seems crazy. Jones has fantastic arm strength paired with great touch. He can make every throw. He is a solid yet fluid 6-foot-4, 221 pounds. He can check off pretty much every box you want on a quarterback.

But we all know that playing quarterback is about more than measurables. It's about having that “it” factor.

Does Jones have “it”?

There were plenty among the Ravens faithful who were sure that Flacco didn't. Much like Jones, Flacco is a quiet, reserved guy. He isn't a rah-rah leader, and some mistook that as a bad thing.

Now, Baltimore loves its steely, steady leader.

Could Landry Jones be the next Joe Flacco?

It doesn't seem entirely kooky. Flacco was much-less heralded in college. He transferred to Delaware from Pittsburgh, where he couldn't beat out Tyler Palko. But he became a first-round pick because he impressed the scouts and because quarterbacks generally tend to rise through the pre-draft process.

Jones will likely rise, too.

He can be successful as an NFL quarterback if a team will surround him with the right players and ask him to do what he does well. Of course, that's a big if, since plenty of NFL teams lack good players and ask their quarterback to do too much.

The situation, as is often the case, will have to be right for Jones. But who says it can't be?

Beyond Saturday's Senior Bowl, no one has any way of knowing where this journey will lead Jones. But Flacco is a reminder that regardless of what detractors might say, the path might just lead somewhere great.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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