Comps – Low/Medium/High
Mike White (Low) – Eli Manning (Medium) – Matt Ryan (High)
Inside of structure, Daniel Jones has the makings of a top quarterback in the league. Outside of it, he’d struggle to get a backup job. His arm strength concerns get the most attention from the media, but it’s often covered up by his mechanics. Jones has some of the cleanest footwork in the class, and it allows him to make the most of his average arm. He drives hard off of his base and nearly always stays true to his mechanics. Rather than try to create velocity with rotational force at the cost of accuracy, Jones uses his lead foot to propel himself through the throwing motion. His motion is a bit winding, but it is offset with a good whip that gets the ball out on time. Although his mechanics look beautiful when unpressured, Jones will need to prove he can hold his own when forced to improvise. He is unable to create throwing power when forced off his platform, and loses his accuracy at all levels of the field. He doesn’t quit on throws with pressure in his face, but has trouble making throws that come from forced unorthodox angles. Even his arm path is something that may need to be adjusted more, as he struggled to avoid the hands popping up at the line of scrimmage during his release. Jones isn’t a statue in the pocket, but he hasn’t yet grasped how to manuever in tight spaces after accounting for breakthrough,and it shows in how often he is taken down in the backfield. His frame is solid at 6’4″, but he’s on the skinny side and won’t shrug off hard contact. The mobility and size is there to be developed, but he needs significant growth in that aspect. Where Jones starts to shine is in his decision making process and ability to dissect a defense. He’s cautious with the football, but not to the point of missing opportunities. Getting through reads is a cakewalk for him, and he routinely finds open targets by scanning across the field. He doesn’t manipulate defenders with his eyes, but his process is about as tidy as it gets. He routinely hits anticipatory throws anywhere on the field, finds outlet passes when big plays don’t develop, and keeps searching for options until someone takes him down. He’s not flawless from an accuracy standpoint, having not yet developed touch on his throws, but his fastball is one of the best in college football. Passing lanes have to be sealed shut to keep him out, even if he’s attacking in between the hashes. Jones has been banged up a bit throughout his college career, a result of too many rushing attempts, but his toughness and ability to play through injury is unquestionable. Despite breaking his collarbone in early September, he only missed three weeks of action and returned at the end of the month.
Reads and Decisions
Able to work to secondary read without any discomfort. Ability to recalculate post-snap stands out in a class full of one-read and done seniors. Recognizes defender leveraging and works away from it, going as far as abandoning option if it means a potential turnover. Excellent processing speed for a college quarterback. Surgical precision with his choices leaves no room for defenders to capitalize. Game is reliant on working inside of structure, and his play will drop off outside of it. Most mistakes are caused by pressure. Anticipation is more than acceptable. Has no issues attacking the middle of the field, although he will need to go there more as a pro. Content to work the short game if nothing opens up downfield; won’t chase home runs. Does not attempt to look off defenders downfield.
Accuracy & Ball Placement
Short game is precise; consistently finds his targets where only they can make a play on the football. Throws a catchable ball to every level of the field. Deep ball accuracy is not perfect, but rarely goes out of the catch radius of his target. Accuracy deteriorates strongly when forced to work from an unsteady platform. Presents YAC opportunities for his receivers through good lead, but needs to give it more consistently. Attempts to utilize arc and touch aren’t effective; does not have a feel for changing trajectories. Able to deliver accurate passes on the move as long as he can establish his mechanics. Throws to where his man is going to be, not where they are. Placement became erratic late in the Clemson game once his setups were disrupted. Easy to snag spiral stays course.
Pocket Awareness & Scrambling
Big appealing frame looks the part of an NFL quarterback. Surprising mobility for his size; capable of taking off for yardage with his legs. Has trouble identifying backside pressure and dodging it. Eyes stay downfield until he has passed the line of scrimmage and settled for the run. Pocket presence needs some work; does not adjust for spacing adequately. Not fast enough to outrun pass rushers on rollouts, and should be used sparingly on designed ones. Unafraid of taking a hit to get the ball out; does not back down when pressure arrives. Frame can move the pile, but should not be overworked. Climbs the pocket only when setting up throw, not to avoid danger. Size will allow him to shrug off arm tacklers in the backfield, but it isn’t enough to survive big hits.
Mechanics & Throwing Motion
Pristine lower body mechanics when he is able to work from inside the pocket. Angles properly towards his target and uses his base to generate the power. Longer release will need to be overcome by arm speed; often dips down to the hip with his path. Does a great job of establishing his platform before attempting most throws; does not cheat his mechanics. Feet aren’t impressively fast in their relocations, but don’t make mistakes. High release point does not vary. Abnormally high amount of passes tipped, although his release point was higher up. Unable to alter his setup at all without killing his throws and opening them up to turnover opportunities. Stays bouncy and ready to adjust. Tries back foot throws with pressure inbound. Clean lower body setup from all drops.
Has enough velocity to fit tight window throws, as long as he throws with anticipation. Bottom up approach maximizes his tools. Doesn’t have a cannon, but can get it 50 yards downfield in most situations. Able to get decent heat on passes while on the move, but will need to establish his feet to make longer throws. Mechanical refinement helps bolster his arm beyond what it naturally is. Has to wind up for the deep ball. Passes don’t struggle to cut through the wind, despite the fact his arm is just average. Arm talent is likely already maxed out at this point, which is disappointing considering his issues off platform.