Oklahoma Sooners Football: Landry Jones Smart to Return for Senior Season

Tom GuthrieContributor IIIDecember 24, 2011

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 19:  Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Assuming Oklahoma junior quarterback Landry Jones does indeed return for his senior season in Norman, he will have made a wise choice.

Jones' performance faded considerably down the stretch this season, as he clearly struggled adjusting to the loss of star receiver Ryan Broyles.

Indeed, in his last three games, Jones threw for five interceptions and zero touchdowns, completing just over 50 percent of his throws against Iowa State and Oklahoma State. His two crucial fumbles against Oklahoma State, additionally, demonstrate the fact that he simply hasn't lived up to expectations recently. 

Jones hasn't been up to par for what one would expect from an Oklahoma quarterback, much less a professional quarterback. Overall, he has regressed from last year, when he showed huge improvement from his redshirt freshman season by throwing for 4,718 yards with 38 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. 

This season, he has thrown 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, with roughly 400 fewer yards. A 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio is not particularly impressive, and it certainly won't help his draft prospects. 

All things considered, Jones should do his best to turn in a solid performance in the upcoming Insight Bowl against Iowa and stay for his senior season. He could raise his draft stock considerably with an impressive senior season, which would also help to overshadow his struggles in 2011. 

Right now, Jones doesn't have that strong of a resume. Sure, he has accumulated impressive statistics, but he lacks the progression curve that is desirable for a quarterback potentially preparing to advance to the NFL; instead of showing steady improvement throughout his career, he has been inconsistent, showing both improvement and deterioration.

Again, if he plays at OU next season, he would have the opportunity to show analysts, scouts and NFL GMs that 2011 was an anomaly and not reflective of his true abilities.

Hopefully, Bob Stoops' "gut feeling" that Jones will stay for his senior year is correct. Otherwise, Landry Jones will have made a huge mistake.