Cardale Jones only started nine games at Ohio State, but those first three, in 2014, were so damn memorable. Remember how the Buckeyes destroyed Wisconsin (Jones was flawless), then upset Alabama (Jones was good) and beat Oregon (Jones was very good) to capture the title?
Those games feel like forever ago. Jones lost his starting job at Ohio State the following year, then he fell to the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He was 3rd on the depth chart this season and only attempted 11 passes as a rookie with the Buffalo Bills.
But with Buffalo ownership lukewarm on Tyrod Taylor – so much so they fired coach Rex Ryan because he wanted to play the former Virginia Tech QB in Week 17 – it appears there’s at least one member of the front office who wants to start Jones next season: The GM who drafted him, Doug Whaley. From the Buffalo News:
Otherwise, they might be inclined to follow through with a plan that is thought to be appealing to at least one member of their hierarchy, General Manager Doug Whaley, and that is going with Cardale Jones as the starter.
Whaley of course knows that his job is on the line this season. Whaley took over as GM in May 2013. His 1st pick as GM? EJ Manuel, the QB from Florida State. That pick has been a disaster. [Ed. Whaley was the assistant to GM Buddy Nix at the time, so it was a joint effort. Two weeks after the draft, Nix resigned.] His 2014 1st round pick, Sammy Watkins, can’t stay healthy. His 2016 1st round pick, Shaq Lawson, missed half his rookie season due to surgery.
Naturally, Whaley has a great interest in Jones succeeding. But it seems to be a massive reach to say he could have more of an impact on the Bills next season than Tyrod Taylor.