Duke QB Daniel Jones has a high probability of being a 1st Round selection come draft day. He’s got the size and the so-called intangibles. He’s certainly made it known he thinks he has the leadership ability. Tom Coughlin is likely going to take one look at the Blue Devil, see Jones’ resume with QB “guru” David Cutcliffe, and sprint his 174-year-old rear end to the podium. But through both tape and this week’s Senior Bowl practices, it has become clear that Jones is just not the answer.
It’s easy to see the appeal with Jones. He’s got a massive frame, has the experience (3-year starter, 2-year captain, early graduate), all the while helping lead Duke to some relatively newfound success. Working with noted QB “guru” David Cutcliffe, Daniel has been able to develop in a very pro-ready system, displaying an advanced sense of check-downs, RPO’s, and a plethora of different underneath concepts. Possessing ridiculous movement skills, Josh Allen-like, Jones is a dual-threat that can be used as such in the NFL.
Glanced at a few potential QB draft prospects over the past few weeks. Duke QB Daniel Jones is impressive. His anticipation on RPOs in the short-to-intermediate areas is legit. pic.twitter.com/2u6oQfOYmA
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) September 25, 2018
Bland—Boring—Vanilla. However you want to describe it, Jones is mediocre in every sense of the word. He doesn’t have the arm to succeed deep. He doesn’t have the eye manipulation and quick decision-making to succeed short. And he doesn’t have the natural ball placement or tight window ability to succeed in the middle sections of the field. He’s just kinda “there.” Lethargic in his movements and lackadaisical in his anticipation, Jones has limitations all over, and despite a willingness to take a hit to make the throw, has no sense of an internal clock.
A shockingly week deep ball thrower for a player of his size, the Blue Devil just can’t generate any RPM’s when asked to pass with distance, and it hampers his game as a result. In the end, he’s just an average dude. If I’m taking a QB early, I at least want him to have some elite level traits. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but Jones has none.
Duke QB Daniel Jones throws a gift to Virginia $ Juan Thornhill.. both have a lot to prove this week at the Senior Bowl – pic.twitter.com/AF46sSzqT1
— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) January 21, 2019
With the buzz aplenty, Daniel, to no one’s surprise, dominated weigh-ins in Mobile. While some QB’s looked like punters (ahem Ryan Finley), Jones appeared like a linebacker, showing off his 6’5 self in all its glory. Through two days of live practices, I also saw him display much more short to intermediate velocity than I expected while tossing some beautiful, multi-layered throws.
Daniel Jones with the throw of the day. Lays it perfectly to the sideline. pic.twitter.com/eqdkb2s0Hr
— Carter Donnick (@CDonScouting) January 22, 2019
The rest of Jones’ week was not exactly stellar. He wasn’t impressive in media interviews nor with his accuracy, took too long to process, and missed some egregious throws while letting deep balls hang. There was even one drill where the QBs were throwing WR screens, and Jones missed so badly he hit the fence on back to back reps. Entering Mobile with Drew Lock as the two most highly sought after senior signal-callers, Jones looked like maybe the 4th or 5th best QB there. A couple of Senior Bowl practices don’t mean much, but when it matches with the tape, it means a whole lot more. A Top 10 pick shouldn’t be struggling against air in throwing sessions. Daniel was.
None of the QBs impressed during North 7-on-7’s.
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 24, 2019
I still don’t necessarily mind Jones at the right price given how appalling this QB class is in its depth. At his best, he’s about Ryan Tannehill. If you can structure a West-Coast Offence around him with some quick passing, Daniel can at least be competent despite his limitations. But is Ryan Tannehill truly moving the needle for a franchise? The answer is an emphatic no.
If you want Jones in the 3rd or 4th Round, I’m all for it. But this Top 10 talk is making me nauseous, with the Senior Bowl only validating my previous film concerns.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to find me on Twitter @CDonScouting to talk about any NFL draft prospects.