Daniel Jones – Quarterback
Class: Red-Shirt Junior
Weight: 220 pounds
Daniel Jones NFL Draft Profile
Top 3 Player Traits
It’s obvious from watching Jones that he was coached by David Cutcliffe. His footwork and throwing motion both are the spitting image of Peyton Manning, another Cutcliffe QB. No, I did not just say he is the next Peyton Manning. He just physically looks a whole lot like him in the pocket. His feet are always moving, not setting until he’s actually throwing the ball and they seem to move in lock-step with his eyes as he scans the field. He throws with an over-the-top motion and has his arm as close to fully extended as possible on most deliveries.
Every one of his game films is loaded with examples of the touch it takes to throw to receivers who are barely open, if open at all. That is a trait that NFL scouts and execs constantly harp on, the ability to “fit the ball into tight windows”. Especially on short and intermediate routes, his passes are routinely delivered to his receiver in spots where that receiver is the only player who has a chance to make a play.
Ability To Make Plays With His Feet
He’s certainly no Russell Wilson in terms of speed or quickness, but Jones seems very underrated to me with regard to his athletic ability. He has regularly been able to make something happen when the play isn’t there in the passing game. Some of those runs turned into huge plays in college. Duke occasionally called plays which gave him the option to tuck it and run, but even when a breakdown occurs in the pocket, he frequently is able to pick up chunks of yards with his feet.
3 Player Traits In Need Of Improvement
There were reports from some during Senior Bowl workouts that Jones had issues with the long ball and lacked velocity in general on his passes. On film it does appear that he sometimes floats the ball a bit on deep passes, occasionally allowing defenders to catch up with receivers immediately after the catch is made on those long routes.
His delivery, from the time his mind is made up that he’s throwing, can at times be a bit long and drawn out. He would do well to work on shortening the time it takes on certain passes. The NFL moves at a much faster pace than college ball, not to mention that the pash rushers Jones will face weekly will be quicker than they were on Saturdays.
Knowing When To Slide Or Head For The Sidelines
As mentioned earlier, Jones is an athletic QB who can and will make plays outside the pocket, whether on designed rollouts or simply taking off when the play either breaks down or shows him ample running room. But that athletic ability and confidence could lead to some big hits, which is not exactly what NFL coaches and general managers like to associate with their most important player. Jones needs to think more often about running to the sticks and then either sliding or stepping out of bounds.
NFL Team Fits
New York Giants
This spot would be both interesting and ironic, seeing that Jones and Eli Manning have known each other for a while through Cutcliffe as well as the Manning passing academy, where Jones was a counselor the past couple years. But it’s one of the NFL’s worst-kept secrets that Manning isn’t the QB he used to be. GM Dave Gettleman refused to address Manning’s declining skills with the media all last season, but April’s draft could speak volumes if a QB is his man this time around.
The Ryan Tannehill experience has apparently run its course. The coach who was brought in ostensibly to turn him around was fired after last season. It’s probably going to get ugly in South Beach if the team doesn’t draft a QB. The Dolphins should certainly be looking at the position. Whether they pull the trigger on one in the first round remains to be seen.
The quarterback position seemed to be in capable hands for the time being last season, right up until it wasn’t. Alex Smith‘s scary leg injury is said to have next season, and possibly his career, in doubt. And with Washington’s checkered past at the position, owner Daniel Snyder surely will be looking to pick up a stud to play under center for next season and then some.
NFL Player Comparison
Jones and McCarron have similar body types and throwing styles. They also both have active feet in the pocket. Jones, however, seems like the better overall athlete of the two, especially in terms of making a play with his feet.