Duke quarterback Daniel Jones deserves better than the hype and attention he’s received up to this point. His stock should continue to rise.
As the 2018 College Football season kicked off back in August, the prospective nature of this quarterback class just didn’t look promising. However, as we sit here days out from the 2019 NFL Combine, the quarterback class has developed into one of the more promising classes of the last five years.
Mainly because of these three guys, sitting atop the class:
-Heisman Trophy Winner Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray
-Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins
-Duke QB Daniel Jones
While there has yet to be an abundance of NFL executives, or even draft media personalities who have Duke QB Daniel Jones as one of the top two quarterbacks in the class, that argument deserves to be made.
Daniel Jones Duke Stats (2016-2018)
8201 Passing Yds. 60% 52/29 TD:INT 1323 Rush Yds. 17 TDs
At first glance the observer’s first impression would simply be underwhelming. The issue you run into with Duke QB Daniel Jones’s evaluation is similar to the issue we ran into with the evals of Wyoming QB Josh Allen and NDSU QB Carson Wentz; the lack of consistency in surrounding personnel.
Going through all of the throws Jones made during the 2018 season, the glaring number of drops cannot go without notice. Even with the consistent struggles from the surrounding cast, Jones has put together a resume worthy of being selected as a top 10 pick this April in Nashville. Specifically with the demand put on the QB position during the NFL Draft, we should expect nothing less from the David Cutcliffe protégé.
Most Translatable Traits
While Jones may not possess the spectacular athletic traits of Kyler Murray, or the arm talent of a Drew Lock, the full array of traits the Duke signal caller possess, stacks up against all others within the class.
His quick twitch decision making and elite short-mid accuracy were on full display in the teams bowl game, which allows for the offense to consistently put together long drives throughout the game’s entirety. The lack of indecision, as well as missed throws on all three levels of the field, are the key aspects to Jones’s game.
If the play does break down, there is enough athleticism present for Jones to evade pressure consistently at the NFL level. He excels with touch and anticipation throws. He has the cleanest footwork of any rival QB in the class, which allows for Jones to consistently evade defenders from within the pocket. He’s also able to make any and all throws that an NFL offense/defense would demand of him to throw.
Some may question the arm strength, but that rings hollow, especially after the 2018 Pitt/Army showing.
Jones is one of the two most accurate QB’s within the draft class, while also holding the top rank within the class as the cleanest, most decisive decision maker. A trait that is shared by former #1 picks in their respective draft classes; Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield and Cal QB Jared Goff. Expect Jones’s game to translate at a slower rate, but expect the translation of the shared traits to the NFL game.
The concerns within Jones’ game are limited, however, undressed by an NFL coaching staff, issues will arise in the future.
While the short-mid level accuracy from Jones is the top in this class, he struggles at times to hit the big play when given the opportunity to do so. The issue doesn’t pop up on tape consistently, mainly due to the nature of the Duke offense, however, you’d like more consistency on the 20-plus yard throws. He doesn’t possess the athleticism to pose as a serious dual-threat capability.
The lack of statistical production in the 2017 campaign, or overall production (compared to Murray, Lock, Haskins, Grier), could be alarming at first glance. Again, the issue of the surrounding supporting cast shouldn’t be ignored in Jones’s case, especially when evaluating the statistical production during his tenure at Duke.
Jones possesses the most consistent skill set of any passer in the 2019 NFL Draft class, and some may argue he’s the prospect most capable to stepping into the starting QB role for an organization early.
Jones is an ideal fit for a West Coast based passing offense due to the nature of his skill set, which coincidently, directly coincides with several teams drafting at the top of the draft.
Expect the former Duke QB’s stock to continue to rise up until April 25th.
Potential Landing Spots
- New York Giants
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Washington Redskins