Duke University doesn’t have the greatest tradition of success on the field or putting players into the NFL Draft, but that has improved the last several years with David Cutcliff as their head coach and even saw offensive guard Laken Tomlinson go in the first round. With Daniel Jones entering his fourth year on campus and third year as the starter it is no better time than to see if he’s the best quarterback prospect Duke has ever had.
Who is Daniel Jones
A local prospect Jones is a part of an athletic family where his brother plays basketball at Davidson and one sister plays field hockey at Davidson and the other is a part of the US National Soccer system. Jones initially redshirted his first year before taking over for Thomas Sirk after he suffered a season ending injury. In his first full year as the starter Jones helped lead the Blue Devils to a 7 win season while throwing for 2,691 yards and 14 touchdowns.
What Daniel Jones Does Well
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) July 30, 2018
Daniel Jones is at his best when he is making quick short throws distributing the ball to all of his weapons. On these short throws Jones uses a quick release to get the ball out and does a good job with his ball placement. Jones does well to put the ball in places where only his receivers can make the play and also allow them to keep moving and not have to slow down or adjust too much to make the catch. Jones doesn’t have a cannon for an arm but can drive the ball to fit it into tight spots on hooks and comeback routes. On his deeper throws Jones does show the touch to drop the ball into his receivers. Jones also has the ability to move around the in the pocket to elude defenders and extend plays.
Concerns about Daniel Jones
The further down the field Jones’ throws go, his accuracy starts dipping. Part of it could be he’s trying to guide the ball too much which leads the ball to being too far inside or too short. Another factor could be his anticipation skills are off and he’s not leading the receivers enough. Regardless if Jones wants to take his game to the next level, he needs to have more success on those throws. Jones also has trouble turning the ball over with 20 career interceptions over his two seasons.
Through all the positives and negatives Daniel Jones has some traits to be an NFL quarterback, but that may be more as a backup then a starter. Sure Jones can look like he’s throwing darts out there on his short throws, but to have success in the NFL you can’t be just a dink and dunk guy. There are plenty of game managers having success in the NFL, but if you are going to be one you have to take care of the ball and hi 30 TDs to 20 INTs and 59.7% completion percentage raises some red flags. There is still time for Jones to develop and working under David Cutcliff will help.