Duke’s Daniel Jones is an enigmatic player to watch and try to profile. He has prototypical size (6’5”, 220lbs), and displays some the sort of athleticism that is in high demand in quarterbacks entering the NFL in recent seasons. Jones also demonstrates a nice touch on certain types of pass, but his college numbers are pedestrian and he leaves college with a win percentage barely over .500 over his last two seasons.
Reviewing his tape, even his highlights don’t show Jones to have an elite arm. He floats too many balls, especially when throwing deep, which will lead to interceptions at the next level, and the throws where he drives the ball into tight spaces are almost non-existent. However he excels at throwing fades in the red zone, showing great touch and using his height to loft the ball for his receivers to go up and get. He is a strong runner and is hard to bring down when he gets going, thanks to his long stride and has enough size to be a threat in the Red Zone.
His NFL comp is Josh Allen (but not as well built), but whereas Allen has a low floor but extremely high ceiling thanks to his elite arm and athleticism, Jones I think has a slightly higher floor but a much lower ceiling.
One of my biggest concerns was highlighted by Warren Sharp, where he compared this year’s quarterback crop and studied their numbers when playing the best and worst pass defenses. Jones barely made 60% of his passes against the worst pass defenses he faced (and only 54% against the best), just 6.7 yards per attempt and a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio, all way behind the other top rated passers in this year’s class.
Comparing top QB prospects & their performance splits between tough/easy pass defenses. pic.twitter.com/4xPIEj4POf— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 7, 2019
Despite all the negatives, Jones has a high football IQ and adjusts well pre-snap and makes good decisions after the snap as well. He was named the MVP of the Senior Bowl and has been coached by the man who taught both Peyton and Eli Manning, David Cutcliffe so will be well prepared to enter the NFL.
Daniel Jones College Stats
Best Fantasy Fits
- New York Giants: Jones’ ceiling in this draft will be as a mid-first round pick, and that puts the QB needy Giants firmly on the radar to select him. If he does go to the Giants, I wouldn’t expect to see Jones play in 2019 but if he does, there is enough talent in the offense to support a rookie quarterback, with Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate as viable passing options.
- Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have been treading water for a couple of years and though Andy Dalton has shown flashes in his career, it’s been mostly underwhelming and his contract is such that they can cut bait at any time now. There are some weapons for Jones to work with in A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon, and his athleticism would offer a potential upgrade to the Bengals’ offense that has lacked a dynamic element in recent years.
- New England Patriots: I quite like the fit here. The Patriots offense does not stretch the field, which suits Jones’ and his high football IQ would fit in well with the scheme that morphs more than most to match up against each opponent. A flier on a future quarterback at the end of round one feels like a good spot for Jones to go in this year’s draft.