Daniel Jones Could Be The Top ACC Player In NFL Draft

Daniel Jones
ACC Nation Staff @accnation

It may be a bit of a surprise to ACC football fans not to see a single conference player mocked in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft. You’d think at least one player from the defensive juggernaut and national champion Clemson Tigers would scratch the surface. Instead, the highest projected prospect emerging from the ACC, at least in one mock draft, comes from Duke. Yes, there’s plenty of need for defensive players and unfortunately there seems to be more than enough to go around as well. But, when it comes to quarterbacks, that’s a whole different story.

There are plenty of contemporary NFL quarterbacks that continue playing well into their 30’s and some, like the legendary George Blanda, who played until he was 48. He started in 1949 and finished his career in 1975. Blanda was a regular iron-man and also tossed in kicking field goals. Check out some of the other NFL legends who made the list.

Aside from Blanda, there seems to be an ‘expires by date’ on most NFL quarterbacks and much like milk, it was good the day before but is sour now. So, we have a number of top flight players that are rapidly reaching the point in their career where they may not pass the smell test. Thus, the need for a fresh new crop of quarterbacks to help lead teams into the future.

Daniel Jones

Cue one Daniel Jones who has worked with infamous quarterback whisperer David Cutcliffe at Duke. Cutcliffe has some history with Peyton and Eli Manning. It has worked to Cutcliffe’s advantage working with up and coming talent, such as Jones. Frankly, it hasn’t hurt Jones at all with his exposure to the Manning’s and by establishing a relationship with Peyton.

Daniel Jones
Courtesy: Duke Athletics

Save 25% on PFF EDGE or ELITE with promo code DRAFT19 through 5/3/19


Three NFL analysts have Jones projected to the NY Giants. One as early as a pick 6 so the team can lock in their heir apparent to Eli Manning. Some of the hurry up and grab him while you can is generated by the fact that Washington desperately needs a quarterback and may strategically alter the Giants picking order.

Not everyone is sold on Jones, however. CBS Sports analyst Ryan Wilson noted, “We like Daniel Jones. We don’t love him though, which is why we think he’s a second-round talent. But quarterbacks are overdrafted every year and 2019 won’t be any different. This is what happens when demand outstrips supply and it’s why Jones won’t be on the board after the middle of Round 1.” Nonetheless, Wilson believes Jones will be a Top 15 pick.

Daniel Jones

Where else could Jones end up? NFL analyst Charlie Casserly says Jones is a round 1 pick at No. 28 in his mock draft and will step in behind yet another aging quarterback in Phillip Rivers. The Chargers will be in need of solid leadership as they build a fanbase in Los Angeles. The transition from Rivers, a former Wolfpack quarterback to Jones may be just what the front office ordered.

Nate Davis of USA Today delivers Jones up as the final pick in round one at No. 32. Again, the destination is one with an aging quarterback who is nearing his expiration date. No matter how much longer you think Tom Brady can play (and it may be another 5 years), the reality is the career alarm clock will be going off any day now. The New England Patriots wouldn’t be a bad destination for Jones as he could ‘season’ properly behind Brady and under the tutelage of Bill Belichick.

No matter the destination Jones has an opportunity to put a shine on a ‘meh’ college career. To be fair, a good deal of the challenges (poor OL, lack of quality recievers) facing Jones at Duke won’t be so much of an issue in the NFL. This is his opportunity to put the whispers of Cutcliffe and heart to heart’s offered by Peyton Manning to good use and build a career similar to those he may replace.


Save 25% on PFF EDGE or ELITE with promo code DRAFT19 through 5/3/19



Follow ACCNation.net on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.