In a report published on CBSSports.com on Friday afternoon, NFL reporter Jason La Canfora required 975 words to report that the Buffalo Bills are fans of Ohio State quarterback prospect Cardale Jones, and that the team might just draft him on the second day of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Buried within the negatively-spun Bills fluff (evidently, they're the only NFL team to ever over-draft a talented quarterback prospect), La Canfora writes of the Bills' interest in the quarterback: "Jones fits their profile best - it would be a splash move, he has amazing physical prowess yet is exceedingly raw, and I continue to hear that their interest in him is quite strong."
Jones is not even close to the only quarterback the Bills have scouted thoroughly and obviously this offseason - La Canfora also notes the team's interest in Kevin Hogan and Christian Hackenberg, and there are others on their radar, as well - but if what La Canfora is selling is accurate, Jones may just top their list.
A revelation in 2014, when he started three games and helped guide the Buckeyes to a national championship, Jones regressed notably in 2015, losing his starting job while struggling with consistency and, more importantly, accuracy issues. He is as raw as he is talented, which makes him a tough player to peg when it comes to potential draft position. But as the Bills have a 2016 starter in Tyrod Taylor, they have some time to help a talented prospect overcome some of his current weaknesses.
As for the "profile" that the Bills are looking for, rather than being splashy and raw, as La Canfora posits, it seems as if the Bills are targeting a talented prospect that they don't have to spend a Round 1 pick on - hence their interest in quarterback prospects with a few more warts than the perceived top guys. In effect, they're repeating what they did with EJ Manuel in 2013, except they won't have to draft the unpolished player in Round 1, because they're in better shape at quarterback today than they were then.
How would you feel if Jones ended up being the Bills' quarterback prospect of choice later this month?