BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians would love to find and draft Carson Palmer’s successor in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Could that person come in the form of former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones?
Jones was on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday, and he let it be known that he has private workouts scheduled with the Buffalo Bills and the Cardinals.
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) March 28, 2016
Jones played in 23 games with the Buckeyes and was a perfect 11-0 as the team’s starting quarterback. That’s the best winning percentage for a quarterback in school history with at 10 or more starts.
Jones’ career took a major turn in 2014 – his sophomore season. Then-quarterback J.T. Barrett injured his ankle against Michigan, and Jones took over, guiding the Buckeyes on a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive on his first series. Jones would get his first career start after that, in a 59-0 pasting of the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game. Jones was 12-of-17 for 257 yards and three touchdowns in that game. Jones would then lead Ohio State to a 42-35 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, followed by a 42-20 win over the Oregon Ducks in the College Football Playoff National Championship. In those three postseason games, Jones threw for 742 yards and five touchdowns, to go along with 90 yards rushing and one more score on the ground.
NFL Media analyst Maurice Jones-Drew was on NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft,” and he was very high on Jones being selected by the Cardinals in late April.
“For me, I think he goes to the Cardinals,” Jones-Drew said. “He fits that system. He’s that Bruce Arians type of guy, he’s going to take the hits. He’s a big strong guy with a strong arm.”
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah was also on “Path to the Draft,” and he has Jones slotted as a second-round selection. That would be unfortunate for the Cardinals, since they have no second-round pick – they dealt that to the New England Patriots in the deal that sent guard Jonathan Cooper to New England and brought outside linebacker Chandler Jones to Arizona.