Landry Jones: How Will Pittsburgh's Newest QB Fare in the Pros?
With only three quarterbacks drafted in the first three rounds of the 2013 NFL draft, there was prime talent on the board for the taking in Round 4. Just 18 picks into the fourth round, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted the fourth quarterback of the round, that being Oklahoma's Landry Jones, at the No. 115 overall selection.
After an up-and-down career at Oklahoma, Jones' selection over more highly rated quarterbacks such as Tennessee's Tyler Bray and Miami (Ohio)'s Zac Dysert came as a surprise, but he has the physical tools and overall ability to develop into a solid NFL quarterback.
Jones has very good size (6'4", 225 pounds) and has the ability to complete any throw on the field. His arm strength is about average for an NFL quarterback, but he maneuvers his feet very well in the pocket and has a great deal of college experience (50 starts).
He has a long way to go in his development, however, if he is going to develop into a starting quarterback down the road. He is inconsistent with his accuracy, and has a tendency to make head-scratching reads that lead to turnovers.
Additionally, while he put up tremendous numbers over the course of his career at Oklahoma, he played primarily out of the shotgun in a spread offense where most of his passes came within 10 yards.
Jones will be a backup quarterback to Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. He has minimal fantasy value for the 2013 season unless Roethlisberger misses time due to injury.
Jones' current skill set and ability leaves him better suited to be a backup quarterback in the NFL, which he will be for the Steelers.
Jones will face competition for the second-string quarterback job from veteran Bruce Gradkowski, which will be an important battle for Jones to win. Considering that Roethlisberger has not played a full 16-game regular season since 2008, Jones will have a very good chance of seeing the field at some point if he earns the second spot on the depth chart.
Considering the number of injuries that Roethlisberger has suffered in recent years, having a good backup quarterback is imperative for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers drafted a very capable No. 2 quarterback in Landry Jones, who was the most polished and ready-to-play quarterback available on the board.
While Bray has more long-term upside, Jones was the best choice for the need to be able to play off the bench if needed as a rookie. With quarterbacks coming off the board quickly in Round 4, he was a smart choice.
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