Although Landry Jones has set numerous records at Oklahoma and touts impressive career statistics, he does not have the tools to succeed in the NFL.
Sure, Jones has a very strong arm and is capable of fitting the ball into tight spaces, but his overall ineptitude when pressured and shaky decision-making will doom any chance he has to do well at the next level.
Let's return to the issue of statics once more. Considering the overall success of the OU offensive system, Jones' statistics can be misleading. His high passing yards and touchdown totals in large part are a tribute to the athletes and the system he has worked with.
This is not to say that Jones doesn't have talent, rather that one must not forget he has been surrounded by talent (Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills, DeMarco Murray, etc.) and works in a high-octane offense that can thrive with many different players.
Not all of Jones' statistics cast him in a favorable light, however. His completion percentage has not been great (58.1% in 2009, 65.6% in 2010, 63.1% this season) and reflects his struggles at times to read defenses and make quick decisions. He also has thrown a fairly high amount of interceptions (30 in three seasons).
Jones' recent touchdown-to-interception ratio also is not favorable. In the last three games, he has thrown zero touchdowns and five interceptions. Since the Sooners lost Broyles, an incredibly gifted receiver who can make many quarterbacks look good, Jones has struggled mightily. If not for Broyles, Jones' career at Oklahoma could have been much less impressive.
The real problem, however, is Jones' inability to deal with pressure. This trend has persisted throughout his career, and OU fans will know what I'm talking about, but it was glaringly apparent against Oklahoma State this season; his fumbles in the second and third quarters were game-changing. Although the second one was mostly a matter of bad luck, a quarterback simply can't make these kinds of mistakes.
Will Landry Jones be successful in the NFL?
Another example that comes to mind is the near-catastrophe against Texas last season. With little time left and OU simply needing to take care of the ball and kill the clock, Jones, under duress, rolled out, looking utterly confused and laid the ball on the turf. Luckily, the ball rolled out of bounds and Texas let the Sooners off the hook by fumbling on their next possession, but this ineptitude when the game is on the line is unacceptable.
These examples are merely the first two that come to mind. Throughout his career, Jones has struggled substantially when under pressure; he seems to break down and lose, almost entirely, his ability to make plays when he doesn't have time to throw. That fact alone is enough to say he will not be a success in the pros. All good NFL quarterbacks are able either to make plays with their feet to escape pressure or have the wherewithal to make a clutch throw even when facing the heat.
Essentially, what Landry Jones lacks is the intangible quality of delivering in the clutch. By clutch, I mean under pressure and when the offense needs a big play. He has physical skills, but defenses can have a field day if they are simply ably to apply sustained pressure. And this will only get worse in the NFL.
If a quarterback can't deal with and thrive under pressure, he cannot succeed.