As the resident NFL Draft QB Prospect Analyst here at the Unfiltered Sports Network, I try to make strong evaluations of these prospects based on collegiate performance, intangibles and physical tools. After considering all of these factors, I gave Duke Prospect Daniel Jones an early 3rd round grade. That was the near consensus about Jones prior to draft day, so imagine the surprise among all NFL fans when the Giants selected Jones with the sixth overall pick (which I predicted here).
In this article we will break down, Jones as a prospect and Jones as the Giants franchise QB.Embed from Getty Images
A 3rd Round Pick
A difficult Evaluation
As stated in this article, Jones dealt with a very high level of drops in college (33 last season). He also was sacked much more than the average prospect (25 times). This does make things much more difficult in terms of scouting Jones against superior competition (Miami, Clemson). Although I watched those games, I will not use them in this article to better address the points made in Jesse’s article.
Concerns about arm talent
Jones is one of the best pure touch passers of this year’s draft, he demonstrates the ability to find the soft spot in zone coverage and exploit it with touch passes. Jones also demonstrates the ability lead receivers on slant and crossing routes under 10 yards in the middle of the field.
Unfortunately Jones has minus arm strength, but that isn’t the biggest issues with Jones as a passer. A bigger problem is his inability to consistently throw the ball accurately even to the areas of the field that he is best at. Plainly put there are far too many plays like the video up above in his film. In the video you’ll see that the receiver effectively finds the weak spot in the zone, only for Jones to completely miss him on an uncatchable ball without pressure in his face.
His largest problem unfortunately is his tendency to under throw deep balls outside the numbers, in positions that should lead to interceptions at the NFL levels like in the video below.
In this video, Jones buys time with his feet, and throws the ball into double coverage, well short of his receiver. This play ended with a penalty, but it could have easily been intercepted, or if Jones placed the ball in front of his target, it would have been an easy touchdown. Unfortunately this type of play is routine in Daniel Jones game tape.
Jones overall issues with consistent accuracy play over play and his struggles with the deep ball are the biggest reasons I graded Jones as a 3rd round pick with a low ceiling.
As far as potential landing spots for Jones go, none were as good as the New York Giants. If Daniel Jones can prove that he is much better than the 3rd round grade that I (and most others) gave him, it will be on this Giants team. Here’s why
- The Pat Schurmur offense highlights the things that Jones has done well. Screens and Crossing/Slant/Dig routes fill Schurmur’s playbook and Jones’ highlight reel. They also hide Jones’ deep passing struggles.
- The Giants have Skill position talent in Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate and Evan Engram who also play well into Jones’ strengths.
- The Giants’ current QB Eli Manning is close to Jones and should serve as a willing mentor. A mentor with two super rings.
The question is will Shurmur be the coach when Jones inevitably takes over the starting job? The new coach could come with a new scheme. Will the new scheme be a perfect fit as well?
I want every player to succeed, but Jones comes with many challenges. Being drafted with the 6th overall pick, and coming with pressure of being drafted that high makes it very difficult to project early success. Prove me wrong Mr. Jones, nothing would make me happier.