The Bills said they’d draft a quarterback.
Buffalo made good on that promise early on Saturday.
Quarterback Cardale Jones was the first Bills pick on day three of the draft, selected with the final pick of round four.
He’s big (6-5, 250), athletic and has a cannon for an arm.
So, why did every NFL team pass on him four times? Accuracy is a major issue and overall, he has much to learn.
“Our system is really intricate, a lot different than what he ran in college, so his learning curve is going to be steep.” Bills GM Doug Whaley said. “But, we think with the physical ability and his drive and everything he brings to the table, his mentality and willingness to learn and want to be the best, this sky’s the limit.”
That’s the carrot. If Jones can learn to read NFL defenses, manage a pro offense and smooth out the accuracy issues, his physical traits are almost unmatched.
“He’s got the talent to possibly be a franchise guy,” Whaley said. “Is he there yet? Absolutely not. He’s got a lot of work and a lot of ways to go, but this guy’s driven. This guy’s a proven winner. He’s undefeated. We got a nice guy to work with, with a high upside.”
Jones came off the bench in 2014 and led Ohio State to wins in the conference championship, national semifinal and national championship.
He won a three-headed battle to be the starter in 2015, but eventually lost the job to J.T. Barrett. Jones, as Whaley referenced, did win all 11 of his starts.
Whaley says Jones will likely be the third quarterback behind Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel.
“We got a piece of clay and we can mold him,” Whaley said. “With our offensive staff, I’m very, very happy to know that we got some qualified guys to help mold him.”