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Cardale Jones could be perfect project to prepare for post-Palmer

Bruce Arians isn't much for waiting to play a QB, which makes Jones a great selection.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones is a player who divides Cardinals fans. We are beginning to hear reports about the team's interest in him and the buzz around things I hear from people who hear things is the interest in him is real. We very well might see the Arizona Cardinals drafting him.

While some are reminded of all the mid-to-late round quarterback projects of the past few years and cringe (John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Logan Thomas will do that to you), Jones might actually be the perfect project for Bruce Arians.

While many see Logan Thomas again, let's just take a look at why he makes a great pick for the Cardinals, given their situation at quarterback.

Head coach Bruce Arians has been on the record many times saying he is not a fan of having young quarterbacks sit. They don't learn by sitting. They learn by playing. But with Carson Palmer around and playing arguably at a championship level, you can't just move on.

So drafting a quarterback high doesn't make a lot of sense, unless he is a guy the Cardinals are absolutely in love with. That one guy is Carson Wentz, by all accounts, and he will be long gone by the time the Cardinals select at No. 29. Arians likes him so much, he has publicly said it now before the draft. He was enamored with Blake Bortles two years ago, but wouldn't say who he really liked until the draft was over.

Any guy the Cardinals draft at quarterback is going to sit for two seasons.

Jones is different. He doesn't have a lot of tape. His physical attributes are off the charts good for Arians and the players he likes at the position.

While this past season wasn't great for him and he ended up being benched in favor of J.T. Barrett, some of the tape he showed the season before, leading the Buckeyes to a national championship, was very good. We will have more info from Seth Cox about things some scouts are saying, but some of his tape is Jameis Winston good.

Where Logan Thomas failed was in the mental side of things. He couldn't learn things quickly enough. Jones supposedly is a quick learner.

If that is the case -- he has the physical tools and he has the brains, but not he experience, drafting Jones is the perfect guy to groom for two years as he learns how to process defenses and read them.

Some believe he could be the second best quarterback prospect in this year's class. Yes, he is raw. But we have seen championship decisions and elite play in a small sample size.

Rather than taking a Paxton Lynch in the first round and waste a first rounder (although the Cardinals are keen on doing that lately), take a guy with a higher ceiling with a lower pick and let Arians do what he does with top end quarterback talent -- develop it into great quarterback play.

If the Cardinals are going to draft a QB this year, Jones would be the perfect project to put behind Palmer.