Denver Broncos: The quarterback everyone should be hoping for

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 03: Daniel Jones #17 of the Duke Blue Devils warms up before the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 03: Daniel Jones #17 of the Duke Blue Devils warms up before the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos are probably going to take a long look at quarterbacks in the up-coming NFL Draft. Could Daniel Jones of Duke be the answer?

There seems to be an incorrect assumption floating around that if the Denver Broncos aren’t the first team to select a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft, they might as well skip it altogether because they won’t get the best one, or at least anyone worth keeping around.

While the 2019 NFL Draft may not have the same type of stellar quarterback class as the 2018 NFL Draft boasted, there are some potential diamonds in the rough for 2019 and one player, in particular, is on the rise in 2019.

That player is Duke Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones, a redshirt junior and third-year starter under David Cutcliffe who is best-known for his work with Peyton Manning in the mid-late 90s at Tennessee.

Cutcliffe has been molding the 6-foot-5, 220 pound Jones over the past four years into a legitimate NFL prospect, and Jones is putting some of his best tape out there in 2018 as a RS junio.

Jones’ numbers don’t jump off the page — he’s completing 61 percent of his passes this year with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions — but his overall skill set is what will intrigue NFL scouts and in particular, the Denver Broncos.

John Elway has not had much success drafting quarterbacks, to put it nicely. His first attempt was in 2012 with Brock Osweiler, and after that, he drafted Zac Dysert, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, and Chad Kelly.

Even though three of those players were seventh-round picks, Elway has used two premium draft selections on the quarterback position and neither has been starter-worthy.

That trend is going to have to change rather quickly and Jones has the skills to develop at least into a quality starter in the NFL.

It’s clear based on watching just a few of his games that Jones is not just an okay quarterback who has been molded into a good one by Cutcliffe’s system and coaching. He is a very good all-around athlete and has a natural feel for the game both as a runner and passer.

He seems to do a good job of making reads before the snap, showing his understanding of the coverages he’s facing and making the correct throw most of the time.

Jones shows good accuracy to all levels of the field even though he’s not perfect when it comes to accuracy. He’s got some dud throws he’d like to have back, but for the most part, this is a pretty good-looking prospect and someone who has a much better all-around game than it would appear.

If the Broncos don’t want to hedge all their bets on a first-round quarterback in this year’s draft, perhaps finding a way to take Jones in the second round is a better option. If he’s available on day two, this is the ideal type of quarterback to bring in and develop.

He’s a smart player with NFL caliber coaching at his position. He’s got a lot of really good tape where he shows what kind of game he has as bot ha passer and a runner. Stylistically, he looks a little bit like a Matt Ryan or Kirk Cousins type of player with his ability to play from the pocket while also having deceptively good legs.

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It’s possible the Broncos don’t take a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft but the clock is ticking for Elway to find someone capable of starting for this team, and he has two drafts to get it right. The Broncos don’t have to wait until 2020 to try and draft a franchise quarterback. They can bring someone like Jones into the fray right away and get evaluations going before making the decision of whether or not to sell the farm to move up and get a Tua Tagovailoa or Jake Fromm in 2020.