The 2012 draft has officially come to a close. A quick look back will tell you all you need to know about the Oklahoma Sooners...the coaching staff is preparing players to play on the next level. In total, the Sooners filled seven draft spots through various rounds while also landing another in the NFL on a free agent signing, and that was in a "down" year for NFL prospects coming out of the university. However, one thing remains true, Oklahoma was unable to thrust someone into the first round. Could Landry Jones be the next first rounder?
Landry Jones had been given a first round draft grade by some of the "experts." Just on the opposite side of the fence sit many college football fans. Up to this point, Landry has put together a nice résumé in terms of stats but there is more to it.
Through his first two season, Jones lacked a confidence that Sooner fans have grown accustomed to seeing in terms of leadership from a QB. However, that moment seemed to be behind Jones with a solid come-from-behind victory of the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the final Big XII Championship game. Poise was Jones' best friend as he delivered time and time again to take the crown as well as the bid to the Fiesta Bowl. It would have seemed that the growing pains had come to a screeching halt and Jones was on his way to redemption.
If it had played out that way, the sky would be the limit for Jones as he returns for his senior season. But, such is not the case. After the Ryan Broyles injury, Jones took a few steps back after making tremendous progress in the offseason. His go-to-guy was no longer an option and it rocked Jones to the core as no receiver stepped up into that role.
Not all of this can be pinned on a receiver as the QB needs to remain consistent. Instead of poise, inconsistency became Jones' best friend while his passer rating plummeted after not being able to complete a touchdown pass in the final three games of the regular season.
More than inconsistency was the lack of leadership. The Landry Jones that was on display in the final Big XII Championship game was nowhere to be found. Instead, Oklahoma fans watch the Landry of the first two season step onto the field. Growing pains are part of the process but there must be a time when one moves on from them and matures.
Landry will have one final statement to make before he makes himself eligible for the NFL draft. Scouts will be watching to see how he handles this offense in terms of leadership but eyes will also be on how consistent Jones can be. For now, we have seen Jones go to a guru but the result remains to be seen.