At least two NFL teams will get an up-close look at Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones during the final leadup to this year's NFL Draft.
The San Diego Chargers and Arizona Cardinals are planning separate trips to Ohio in the next week to visit with the Buckeyes quarterback, according to Cleveland-area high school coach Ted Ginn Sr., who mentors Jones. Ginn Sr. will also meet with the teams in Cleveland about his former Glenville High School signal-caller.
Cleveland is Jones' hometown, but lately he's been training at Ohio State. Usually, this late in the draft process, visits are for both parties to get to know each other.
The 6-foot-5 Jones is one of the draft's most intriguing quarterback prospects because of an Ohio State career that included a national championship win and a benching in less than 12 months. He was brilliant in 2014, throwing for 860 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions while guiding the Buckeyes through the College Football Playoff in relief of an injured J.T. Barrett. He added 296 rushing yards and a score on the ground. But after beating out Barrett for the starting job in 2015, Jones threw seven touchdowns to five interceptions before being demoted in favor of Barrett in late October.
A recent positional analysis from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted scouts as calling Jones a '"a poor man's JaMarcus Russell' and a talent "you can't pass" on. That's what you call NFL range. Jones has earned the nickname 12-Gauge for his big arm, which was on display at Ohio State's pro day in March.
As one NFL offensive coach who watched that pro day said: "Lots of talent and lots of question marks. Just don't know how much he loves football."