Daniel Jones 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Daniel Jones
CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 17: Daniel Jones #17 of the Duke Blue Devils drops back to pass against the Clemson Tigers at Clemson Memorial Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 220 pounds
School: Duke Blue Devils

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.81 seconds
Vertical jump: 33.5 inches (third-best among quarterbacks)
Broad jump: 10 feet (tied for best among quarterbacks)
20-yard shuttle: 4.41 seconds

Daniel Jones 2019 NFL Draft Profile

The Duke Blue Devils are suddenly playing winning football on a consistent basis. In recent years, Daniel Jones has been a big reason why. His solid quarterback play contributed to the team finishing with a 15-11 combined record over the previous two seasons. It included rather convincing wins over Northern Illinois and Temple in the Quick Lane Bowl and Independence Bowl respectively.

Before those exploits, Jones was a multi-sport star at Charlotte Latin High School. He led his team to two state championship game appearances and set school records in career passing yards and touchdown passes. Despite those impressive credentials, Jones didn’t receive a single FBS scholarship offer and subsequently walked on at Duke.

Jones redshirted in 2015 but eventually won the starting job a year later. It was a bit of a learning experience for him as the Blue Devils limped to a 4-8 record and he managed just 16 touchdown passes. Even in 2017, he accounted for just 14. But in both seasons, he showcased an ability to scramble when the situation called for it, finishing with a combined 14 rushing touchdowns. And as a redshirt sophomore, he was one of six Power Five signal callers to throw for 2,500+ yards and run for more than 500.

Some of Jones’ best performances came with a lot on the line. He won the MVP of the Quick Lane Bowl in 2017 and earned Independence Bowl Offensive Player of the Game accolades at the end of last season. In that 56-27 win over Temple, Jones erupted for 423 yards and five touchdown tosses. Perhaps even more beneficial to his draft stock, he was named Senior Bowl MVP after leading the North team to a comeback win.

Strengths

  • possesses ideal physical traits for a next level signal caller;
  • quick release with polished overall mechanics;
  • capable of making a diverse array of throws;
  • does a great job hitting deep receivers in stride on nine routes;
  • can make the delicate touch throws where only his receiver can get it;
  • fairly accurate when making throws on the run;
  • able to make positive plays with his feet;
  • exposed to pro-style concepts at Duke;
  • collegiate head coach, David Cutcliffe, helped develop both Manning brothers;
  • seems to relish the big-stage – named MVP of the two bowl games he played in;
  • team captain at both high school and collegiate level;
  • exhibits the leadership qualities NFL teams look for in a quarterback.

Weaknesses

  • can force the issue at times with risky throws into double coverage;
  • deep ball tends to float, giving safeties adequate time to make a play on the ball;
  • too much of a primary read passer at this point;
  • opposing corners can undercut his throws to the boundary;
  • needs to let receivers get open instead of overly resorting to scrambling;
  • was a victim of plenty of avoidable sacks due to not effectively eluding pressure;
  • bit of a durability concern after he suffered a broken collarbone in 2018.

NFL Comparison: Josh Allen

Teams With Need at Position: Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Los Angeles Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins

Projection: First round

Bottom Line

Any team who makes the decision to draft Jones is getting a pro-style pocket passer who’s far from a one-trick pony when it comes to the throws he’s capable of making. In fact, when taking that into account as well as the offense he played in under Cutcliffe, he may be as pro-ready as any of this year’s quarterback prospects. He’s obviously far from a finished product, though. Jones must improve his ability to read coverages as well as shedding his tendency to remain too static in the pocket. While it’s possible he could garner starter reps as a rookie, it’s probably best for his development to sit for a year and familiarize himself with a given system. That may be the best scenario for him to realize his ceiling as a regular starter in this league.

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