Daniel Jones has drawn comparisons to in Peyton and Eli Manning, just a couple of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. That's in part because he played for David Cutcliffe at Duke, but also because he physically resembles the Mannings at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, and scouts have said that he has similar mannerisms -- how he holds the balls, how he drops back, how the ball leaves his hand. But Jones is both more athletic and more inconsistent than the two brothers who were high first-round picks and destined for the Hall of Fame.
Jones started 12 games as a redshirt freshman and never relinquished the job. He completed 62.8 percent of his throws in 2016 but had just seven more touchdowns (16) than interceptions (9). In 2017, Jones completed 56.7 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. And last season, he had his most consistent showing: 60.5 completion percentage, 22 touchdowns, nine interceptions.
Jones is tough too; he fractured his clavicle against Northwestern on Sept. 8 and returned three weeks later to throw for 226 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a loss to Virginia Tech. He's also more athletic than first appearances might suggest; Jones rushed for 186 yards against UNC. He finished his college career with a dominating Independence Bowl performance over Temple, going 30 of 41 with 423 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions in the 56-27 victory.
Among all FBS quarterbacks, Lock ranked 11th in Pro Football Focus' adjusted-completion percentage, and was among the top 25 in adjusted completion vs. the blitz, adjusted completion vs. pressure and deep pass adjusted completion percentage.
Combine/pro day results
32 1/2 inches
9 3/4 inches
Here are Jones' highlights from the combine:
#NFLCombine workout: Duke QB Daniel Jones. 🎯🎯🎯— New York Giants (@Giants) March 2, 2019
📺: @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/uwycfFQc0w
Strengths: Jones played for David Cutcliffe and the nuances of his game are more refined than the other quarterbacks in this class. He's good with his pre-snap reads, is very mobile, is accurate on shorter routes -- though he suffered from substandard receivers at Duke (Jones ranked No. 2 in FBS in passes dropped, according to PFF).
About as pretty a three yard touchdown pass as you’ll ever see, courtesy of Duke’s Daniel Jones. pic.twitter.com/HGavCoFdJG— Rob Rang (@RobRang) October 27, 2018
Weaknesses: Arm strength is a question -- Jones floated balls during the Senior Bowl game. His decision-making can also get him into trouble and his accuracy suffers on deep passes and when he's forced out of the pocket. NFL teams need to figure out if his struggles are a function of playing behind a suspect offensive line with average pass catchers or if that's who Jones is no matter who you surround him with.
From CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Chris Trapasso:
Josh McCown. I don't know if Jones will ultimately stick around for as long as McCown has, but they seem like similar quarterbacks. Smart, good arms, decently accurate to all levels but antsy under pressure and can be somewhat easily baited into making bad decisions. Jones is a plus scrambler, yet the team that drafts him likely won't be installing designed runs for him, although he was used on those at Duke. Anyway, Jones is a West Coast Offense signal-caller who you don't want holding onto the ball for too long.
NFL teams in play to draft Lock
Giants: All indications -- from former team executives to former league executives to media reports -- are that the Giants won't take a quarterback with the No. 6 pick and aren't interested in either Oklahoma's Kyler Murray or Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins. More likely, it seems: New York targets Jones, either with either the No. 17 or No. 37 selection. Again, the comparisons to the Mannings make this seem reasonable, even if Murray or Haskins are better players. But with needs at edge rusher and along the offensive line, and the insistence on sticking with Manning for another season, general manager Dave Gettleman doesn't appear in any hurry to find New York's next franchise passer unless, of course, this is the most elaborate predraft subterfuge in some time.
Dolphins: Miami has moved on from Ryan Tannehill, replaced him with Ryan Fitzpatrick ... and they still need a franchise quarterback. It seems more likely that they'll wait until 2020 for Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jake Fromm but if Jones is on the board in Round 2 perhaps Miami considers him. That said, they'll likely target other needs if they're indeed looking ahead to the 2020 class; no need to draft a quarterback on Day 2 only to draft another one in the first round a year from now.
Redskins: Another team in dire need of a quarterback, the Redskins have been mock-draft favorites to take Jones at No. 15. But with so much uncertainty in the front office and needs at other positions, the team could decide to go with Case Keenum in 2019 and re-evaluate again after the season, when we should have a clearer picture of whether Alex Smith (who turns 35 this May) will be able to resume his career.
Raiders: If there's a quarterback who could be a Day 1 or Day 2 selection, they'll be linked to Oakland. In part because they have three first-rounders, starting at No. 4, but also because it's not clear if coach Jon Gruden is truly sold on Derek Carr. That said, there have been no reports linking the Raiders to any quarterback, though Kyler Murray would make the most sense. If Jones slips out of Round 1, the Raiders could consider him at No. 35.