The identity of the 2012 Sooner offense rest squarely on two major factors. First, the play calling of offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and secondly the decision of Landry Jones to return for his senior year or to forgo college football for a spot on an NFL roster. At 6-4/229, Jones has the size and arm strength for the NFL and with over 12,000 passing yards and 92 touchdowns over the last three seasons he has also built an NFL resume. However, those aren't the kind of intangibles that may affect his decision.
Even with ending the season by losing two of his final three games ESPN's Mel Kiper still has Jones at #14 on his latest Big Board Rankings.
I still like the way he's battled so far in 2011, but he has some interceptions and has made some odd decisions. Accuracy is still very good. Good size, strong arm but needs to improve footwork. - Mel Kiper
There's no doubt that Jones' performances since losing Ryan Broyles has caused his draft status to drop and sure he could benefit from another year in the college ranks but he's still widely considered as a first rounder and that equates to a lot of dollars. Jones is still in Scouts Inc's Top 32 NFL Draft Prospects at #16.
Top Quarterback Prospects For The 2012 NFL Draft
|Overall Draft Rank
|Robert Griffin III
The key factor in Jones' decision to declare for the draft or to stay enrolled at OU is Whitney Hand who is a junior guard on the women's basketball team. Jones and Hand were engaged last summer and will wed this summer. Does that mean the LJ will stay in Norman one more year to be with his wife? It sure could. Logic says to take the money and support your wife with a lavish lifestyle from the get go. However, that doesn't appeal to Jones or to Hand. Both of them are strong in their faith and both of them have aspirations much bigger than athletics. However, if Jones decides to stay in school he may be passing up a golden opportunity that won't be there next year.
NFL Teams Needing A QB
|Projected Draft Position
Todd McShay has Jones at #18 in his Top 32 and despite his slide over the last month there's nothing to lead you to believe he won't be a first rounder. Currently there are at least four NFL teams (Colts, Redskins, Dolphins, Seahawks) looking for their next franchise quarterback and if the Kansas City Chiefs decide to part ways with Matt Cassel then it could be five. That trend may not continue into next season which could make this year a special year for quarterbacks in the draft. Will that affect Landry's decision? Who knows. I guess we're going to have to wait it out and see.