Updated Jan. 29, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
During the leadup to any NFL draft, there are a lot of prospects who rise and others who fall as teams get further into the draft process. Perhaps the most fluid position is quarterback, where we've seen quarterbacks sky rocket much higher than initially anticipated and fall far lower than media hype suggests. The 2019 NFL Draft could have some steep rises and falls with a quarterback class that features some unique prospects. Over the leadup to an NFL draft, typically a consensus top quarterback emerges. Entering this draft season, that quarterback was Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins. But in speaking with three general managers, they believe that Duke quarterback Daniel Jones will rise to be the first quarterback selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Independently, all three general managers thought Jones would rise to be the first quarterback picked. They felt that his tutelage under David Cutcliffe and Cutcliffe's history grooming and coaching Peyton and Eli Manning would lead to Jones rising up draft boards. On top of his grooming, Jones has a good skill set with collegiate production.
In 2018, Jones completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,674 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also missed two games with a collarbone injury. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder has good size, pocket presence, and a powerful arm that lets him make every throw required. His strong arm was clear at the Senior Bowl, where he really spun the ball in front of the NFL scouting community, and sources noted that his arm was impressive in Mobile. On top of a quality skill set, Jones is regarded as an intelligent signal-caller who always knows where his receivers are going to be, reflecting his learning under Cutcliffe.
One of the general managers felt who Haskins was going to be picked apart in the leadup to the 2019 NFL Draft said the following: "Rightly or wrongly, [Haskins is] going to get compared to Cardale Jones a lot, and I think that is going to end up working against him," Jones has been on the Chargers' practice squad for the past two seasons.
In the weeks to come, Jones will have the opportunity to impress evaluators while passing against air at the NFL Scouting Combine, his pro day, and in private workouts. The interviews with teams also figure to help Jones given that teams sources said he interviewed well at the Senior Bowl. There is a lot going for Jones to be a riser, so it is not surprising that those three general managers think he will end up being the first quarterback selected this April.