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Oklahoma football: Landry Jones continues to fall on NFL Draft boards despite marked statistical improvement

LANDRY JONES — Statistically speaking, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones had one of his best years in 2012. He improved in touchdowns, completion percentage and interceptions thrown, but he continues to fall on NFL Draft boards.
by Jason Kersey Published: April 20, 2013

photo -  Landry Jones and Oklahoma host Kansas on Saturday at 6 p.m. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE
Landry Jones and Oklahoma host Kansas on Saturday at 6 p.m. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVE

The four-year starter's talent and ability resulted in lots of eye popping statistics and a 39-11 record for Oklahoma in his 50 starts over the past four seasons.

Jones set virtually every school passing record, and ranks third in NCAA history in career completions, attempts and passing yards.

But his career peaked during his sophomore season in 2010, when he recorded career-highs in passing yardage, touchdowns and completion percentage, and a career-low 12 interceptions. He won the Sammy Baugh Award that year as the nation's best passer, and led the Sooners to a 12-2 record, a Big 12 championship and a Fiesta Bowl victory.

Jones appeared last week on ESPN's “Gruden's QB Camp,” where former NFL head coach Jon Gruden works out and watches film with NFL Draft prospects. On a conference call last week, Gruden said despite Jones' list of accomplishments, there were several disappointing performances, like last year's home loss to Kansas State and Texas A&M's Cotton Bowl rout.

In OU's 24-19 loss to Kansas State, Jones fumbled into the Wildcats' end zone, resulting in a second-quarter KSU touchdown. Then later in the game, with the Sooners leading, Jones threw an ugly interception off his back foot. Seven plays later, Kansas State scored to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

“I don't remember many sophomore quarterbacks in college football doing what he did,” Gruden said. “He did not have his best year (in 2012). ... You expect so much more. But production, his personal traits, we all know he wants to be a minister or a preacher. He's married and solid off the field.”

Gruden attributed some of Jones' struggles, though, to what he called Oklahoma's “one-dimensional” offensive system that lacked a reliable tight end.

“I think if you're looking for a quarterback that's proven he can take care of the football, make a variety of throws and be reliable person on and off the field, I think Landry Jones might be for you,” Gruden said.

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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