The Denver Broncos are digging deep on their decision about a potential quarterback of the future and traveled to Durham to visit Daniel Jones.
The Denver Broncos won’t go into the 2019 NFL Draft blind when it comes to the quarterback position.
They are turning over every stone this year just like they did in 2018 at the quarterback position (when they ultimately didn’t take one at all). This time around, everyone expects the Broncos to take a young quarterback, the question is just a matter of which one.
The Broncos are under no pressure to take a first-round quarterback. They very well may pass on that opportunity despite this being the third time in his tenure John Elway has had a top 10 selection in the NFL Draft (Von Miller, 2011; Bradley Chubb, 2018).
The Broncos reportedly sent a contingent out to Durham, NC to work out Duke’s Daniel Jones, a projected 1st-2nd round guy in 2019.
When all is said and done, I think I would be surprised if Jones was taken outside the top 32 picks in this year’s draft. I think he’s going to be taken sometime between picks 15-25.
Jones’ greatest strengths are his mechanics and his athleticism, and his greatest weaknesses are holding onto the ball too long or simply a lack of elite traits.
Jones doesn’t have the strongest arm in the Draft. He’s not the fastest. He doesn’t have the greatest statistics. He’s not really polarizing. He’s kind of a ‘what you see is what you get’ type of player and that can be a good thing.
As Jones’ ability to see the game and process the game improves, he could be a really solid starting quarterback at the NFL level. Because of his size makeup and athletic ability, he’s been given some Ryan Tannehill comparisons but it’s also important to note that Tannehill was a college receiver who switched to quarterback.
Jones certainly isn’t that.
Jones often looks, mechanically, like he came out of a quarterback box. He was coached the past few years at Duke by David Cutcliffe, the guy who is famous for coaching up both Peyton and Eli Manning in their college years.
Jones is not either of the Mannings as a player (though he’s perhaps not far off from Eli) but he does display some of their picturesque mechanics at times along with the ability to put the ball on a rope or drop it in a bucket.
As a matter of fact, Jones’ wide base when he sets his feet really reminds me of Peyton.
One of the things I liked the most about Jones in watching him was his ability to go through progressions and hit a variety of throws. I also think there’s something to be said about the way he elevated the Duke program despite having such a horrible — and I mean horrible — supporting cast.
He did more in that regard than Josh Allen did at Wyoming, but Allen has a rocket for an arm so apparently, that doesn’t really matter.
One thing I pay close attention to with quarterbacks is their emotional IQ or the way they portray themselves as a leader. Not everyone has to be ‘rah-rah’ and not everyone has to be a teacher on the field, but the quarterback has to be a leader and Jones’ captainship is indicative of quiet leadership.
Jones, despite his lack of elite arm strength like that of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, or even Drew Lock, has the ability to be a very good NFL quarterback.
In fact, I think he can be a starter for a really long time in the right system, and I think the best system fit for his skill set is a West Coast system that utilizes play-action, RPOs, and using his skills both inside and outside of the pocket.
Essentially, the Broncos’ offense is a perfect fit for his skills. But how much do you like this guy as a first-round player?
That’s what the Broncos are finding out.
Drew Lock is also a great fit for Denver’s offense. In fact, a number of quarterbacks from this year’s class are great fits for the Broncos’ offense.
Perhaps that’s why they are getting yet another look at Jones. I don’t know that John Elway was at this particular workout, but Elway wasn’t at the Duke pro day and there was no mention of Rich Scangarello being there either.
That’s likely why the Broncos held a private workout with Jones, and along with that workout, Jones is expected to visit the Broncos’ facility.
Will we see other QBs get workouts from the Broncos? We know Clayton Thorson got one this week as well.
This workout with Jones doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the Broncos’ favored option at this point, but it could.