If you’re looking for a poor man’s combination of Kyler Murray’s mobility, Dwayne Haskins pre-snap reads, and Drew Lock’s experience, Daniel Jones may be your quarterback in this class. A 3-year starter for Peyton Manning’s former QB coach, Jones completed 764 passes for 8201 yards, 52 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions with the Blue Devils.
-3 year starter.
-Wins before the snap.
-Very good athlete for the position.
-Up to 15-20 yards he looks like a great thrower, after that all bets are off.
-After the snap he can get frazzled. Pressure fazes him.
-Does not work through progressions quickly enough.
-Questions about his supporting cast are warranted. They were bad.
What I’ve heard read
Three-year starter who operates with a rare level of quality mechanics coming from the college game. Jones doesn’t have special arm talent, but he can make pro throws and has the ability to attack deep with accuracy. He completed just 59.9 percent of his career passes, but his receivers -- who dropped 38 passes this year alone -- really struggled to get open at times. Jones has good football IQ and is relatively mobile, but he appears to be more of a game manager than “franchise” talent. He’s more of a Day 2 draft pick than Day 1.
A three-year starter for renown QB guru David Cutcliffe at Duke, Jones has the size, athletic ability, experience and pedigree the NFL is looking for. With that said, he doesn’t have top arm talent and lacks development in terms of anticipation, decision making and vertical passing that cautions his projection. It should be noted that Duke’s offensive line was poor, as where his receivers which certainly limited Jones to an extent. I don’t see a high level NFL starter in Jones, but he has low level starter upside with more development.
Why he fits
Every NFL offense is better when the quarterback can win before the snap. Adjustments to pressure packages or tells by the defense are one of the more underrated qualities you look for in a future franchise guy. Jones shows a lot of promise in this area and he’s one of the more cerebral guys coming out this year.
Another area where he’s really intriguing is the running threat he’d provide. All coaches dream that the plays will go exactly as they’re drawn up, but the modern NFL has finally begun to embrace the guys who can make something happen when things go awry. Jones scrambling and escapability will be an asset if the pocket breaks down. He’s also a good enough running threat that designed bootlegs and roll-outs could be used to stress the edges, which only helps the run game.
Why he doesn’t
One of the big reasons Joe Flacco is considered a strong fit in the Rich Scangarello offense is because his arm will open up the entire playbook. Jones arm would close it back up. He really has to work to get the ball down the field and his accuracy nosedives the farther out the ball goes. If he was drafted to take over the starting job, the Broncos offense would need to morph into a spread’em out attack where the passing game’s primary job is to stress the field horizontally.
Elway gets a lot of flak for his affinity for strong armed tall quarterbacks, but I’d much prefer someone like Drew Lock, at least he has real upside. To be perfectly honest, Daniel Jones would not be drafted before Day 2 most years. The fact that he’s in the discussion as a first-round pick really emphasizes the sad state of this quarterback class. Trevor Sikkema from the Draft Network agreed with that assessment when he joined the MHR Radio Podcast (iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher). If the Broncos drafted Jones before the third I’ll need to be strapped down before I throw my computer.