The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Duke quarterback Daniel Jones led the team for three seasons and now is in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Class: Redshirt Junior
2018 stats: 2,674 passing yards, 22 touchdown passes, nine interceptions, 60.5% completion, 6.8 yards per attempt, 319 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns
Size: 6-foot-5, 221 pounds
Jones was inserted into the lineup as a freshman after returning starter Thomas Sirk tore his ACL in the offseason and was unable to play. Through his three seasons as a starter, Jones has gotten to work with his head coach David Cutcliffe, who is credited with developing Peyton and Eli Manning.
Over his career at Duke, Jones threw for 8,201 passing yards, 52 touchdowns and 29 interceptions on 59.9% completion. He has added 1,323 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns as well. Jones was only able to win four games in his freshman season, but improved to seven and six wins in his last two seasons respectively. He likely would’ve added to the win total in his senior season, as Duke won eight total games, but he missed time with a broken clavicle. Jones’ emergence as a solid quarterback coincided with Duke’s reemergence as a bowl-eligible team.
Although he wasn’t always seen as a player that could go in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, his stock has improved over the last couple of months. Now Jones could be one of the first quarterbacks selected and may even go in the first half of the first round.
Jones has the ideal size for a quarterback, which allows him to see over the line of scrimmage at all times. His build also allows him to shake off pass rushers and extend plays. His size will also help keep him healthy, as he does like to take off and run at times.
He has solid accuracy, especially on passes that are within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage. His bread and butter is throwing the ball over the middle. Jones can throw a nice deep ball, but underthrows some too. His accuracy is complemented by his good touch, as he can deliver the ball, while giving receivers a nice chance to run after the catch.
One of his biggest strengths is his decision-making. He does not turn the ball over very often, as he only had 11 interceptions last season. Jones will keep the ball out of harm’s way for the most part. He will often throw the football only where his receiver can get it.
His arm strength is his biggest weakness. Jones does not get enough velocity on the ball to complete passes beyond 20 yards past the line of scrimmage or passes outside the numbers at a high rate. His touch allows him to complete some deep balls, but a lot of them have been underthrown and tailed off near the end of the throw.
A lot of times Jones will throw a quick pass before adequately reading a defense. It works sometimes, but because he predetermines where he is throwing the football, it gets him in trouble. Because the offense allowed him to do this rather than focusing on more complex passing routes, he averaged just 6.4 yards per pass attempt.
With a lot of short throws, Jones needs to progress through his reads more. With a lot of his throws coming on screens and slants, he wasn’t forced to go through his progressions as much as other quarterbacks in this draft class. Teams working with Jones will need to help him understand what to do if his first read isn’t open.
Projected Draft Range: First round-Third round