For a team that doesn’t select a quarterback early in the 2019 NFL Draft, Duke’s Daniel Jones could be a strong consolation choice.
Jones generally is believed to be the fourth quarterback who will come off the board at the draft, following Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Missouri’s Drew Lock. He is a potential first-round pick, with much of the buzz focusing on the possibility that the New York Giants will select him at No. 17 overall, assuming they don’t go for another quarterback with the sixth overall pick.
New York also has the fifth pick of the second round.
Giants offensive coordinator Mike Shula was among the team’s contingent at Duke’s pro day on Tuesday, when Jones drew positive reviews for his 40-time — a reported 4.67 seconds — and seemed to show better arm strength to pair with his known strong points of touch and accuracy.
Former NFL quarterback and current TV analyst Troy Aikman chimed in on Twitter: “Caught the tail-end of Duke’s Daniel Jones’ pro day on @nflnetwork and liked what I saw – accurate ball placement which is #1 for me when evaluating QBs”
Jones (6-5, 221) decided to skip his senior season after passing for 8,201 yards and 52 touchdowns against 29 interceptions in three seasons with the Blue Devils.
Ideal Eli successor?
If the Giants view him as an eventual successor to Eli Manning, it could be a seamless transition. Duke coach David Cutcliffe coached Peyton (Tennessee) and Eli Manning (Ole Miss) in college, and Jones has attended the Manning Passing Academy.
When Eli visits Duke’s campus, Cutcliffe said on NFL Network, “Daniel follows him around like you would follow Mother Goose.”
After Tuesday’s workout, Jones told NFL Network that getting to know the Giants’ brass during the scouting process “has been awesome.” He is expected to have a private workout with the Giants later this week, according to ESPN.
“With a guy like Eli Manning, to have that opportunity, if I did, to learn from him and watch him on a day-in and day-out basis, and kind of study him would be awesome,” Jones said.
“I have been lucky to do that a couple of times when he has come down — and I have gotten a lot from that.”
Jones made a quick rise at Duke after his only other Division I offer was from FCS school Princeton.
“He did a lot of things naturally well,” Cutcliffe said of his impressions of Jones as a recruit. “I knew he had a shot at being special and, boy, was I right.”
Cutcliffe added that scouts should not be fooled by Jones’ boyish looks.
“I think some people probably read that as him being a guy who is not a fierce competitor and not tough,” Cutcliffe said. “Don’t challenge him. He is physically and mentally tough.”
–Field Level Media