Daniel Jones

Extra Points: 2019 NFL Draft, Stidham, Lock, Redskins, Phillips, Seahawks, Fluker, Sweezy

The NFL combine is right around the corner, and the draft isn’t too far away. With that in mind, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report spoke to some league talent evaluators, and had a few interesting nuggets on the quarterbacks in this year’s class. A “lead AFC personnel man” told Miller that Missouri quarterback Drew Lock “really helped himself” during this week’s Senior Bowl practices, and could be the top quarterback selected this April.

The same personnel guy told Miller that Duke quarterback Daniel Jones helped himself as well, and that his mechanics looked good in practice. Miller writes that Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham also boosted his stock this week, and that three scouts told him Stidham could even climb into the end of the first round. Stidham has been projected as a Day 2 guy in most mock drafts, so that would be a pretty significant leap for him.

Here’s more from around the league this Friday night:

  • The Redskins made a coaching move this evening, and it could end up impacting the Rams. Washington hired Brian Angelichio to be their tight ends coach, the team announced in a tweet, and he’ll be replacing Wes Phillips on Jay Gruden’s staff. Phillips is the son of NFL-lifer and current Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets that Phillips is a “potential fit” in Los Angeles. Rapsheet notes that the Rams will be in need of a quarterbacks coach when Zac Taylor officially departs to become the Bengals’ new head coach, and notes that Phillips will be “one to watch.” Wade has become one of the funniest and most personable coordinators in the league the past couple of years, and a Phillips family reunion would be a lot of fun.
  • The Seahawks’ offensive line was a big part of their success this year, as they helped pave the way for their first productive ground game in years. Now Seattle will have to make some decisions on whether they want to keep last year’s line intact. Starting guards D.J. Fluker and J.R Sweezy are both scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this spring, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that the team “would like to keep both and will work to get that done.” Both players received below average grades from Pro Football Focus, but Seattle was apparently happy enough with their play.
  • In case you missed it, an update on the latest assistant coaching moves.

Duke QB Daniel Jones Declares For Draft

Shortly after Justin Herbert declared he was not going to be part of the 2019 NFL prospect pool, another big-name junior said he would.

Duke quarterback Daniel Jones declared for the 2019 draft on Monday, forgoing his senior season. He is expected to be a first- or, at the latest, second-round pick.

Having begun his Duke career as a walk-on, the 6-foot-5 passer now projects as a key component in the upcoming draft. With Herbert out of the mix and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins yet to declare (though, he’s expected to), Jones will be a much-studied player by teams desperate for a long-term solution at sports’ marquee position.

Jones played under former Peyton Manning mentor David Cutcliffe with the Blue Devils, throwing a career-high 22 touchdown passes this season. He threw for between 2,650 and 2,850 yards in each of his three seasons as Duke’s starter. He was the Blue Devils’ first-stringer throughout his career.

2019 NFL Draft Notes: Haskins, Jones, Patterson, Herbert

With college football season starting to wind down, scouting and draft talk is starting to ramp up. Opinions are being formed on the top draft-eligible prospects, and many teams are beginning to shape their evaluations of players. Rumors are also starting to swirl about which players will and won’t declare for the draft. One potentially surprising name is Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who is expected to leave school early for the draft after this season, sources told Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.

According to Miller, “barring injury or a massive drop-off in play down the stretch”, Haskins plans on entering the draft. Miller writes that he had previously heard Haskins was likely to return to Ohio State, but the player appears to have had a change of heart recently. Ohio State has been having a bit of a rough season, and there’s some reported dysfunction surrounding the team, so it wouldn’t be surprising if that’s what ended up pushing Haskins towards the draft.

Here are more notes from the 2019 NFL Draft:

  • Speaking of quarterbacks, Duke signal caller Daniel Jones is also likely to declare, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. Pauline says on his podcast that sources told him the “decision has already been made and he’s gone.” Pauline supports the decision, and doesn’t think he has much more to gain with another season. Jones wasn’t known by many coming into the season, but has quickly risen as a sleeper in this class. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeted about him last month, calling him “one of the top QBs we’ll all be talking about in April” despite him being “under-the-radar.”
  • In addition to Haskins, another Big Ten quarterback could be leaving early. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson is also likely to leave for the draft after this season, according to Miller. Miller writes that multiple sources expect Patterson to declare, and one told him Patterson thinks he can “benefit by not competing with the 2020 group that includes Jake Fromm and Tua Tagovailoa.” It’s an interesting strategy, and one that has paid off in the past. Quarterbacks that aren’t actually elite prospects often get taken much higher in the draft than they normally would if there isn’t a very strong class available.
  • We heard last month that Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is likely to stay in school for another year, and Miller confirms that report. Herbert is widely seen as the quarterback with the highest ceiling and most potential, but Miller writes staying in school is seen as “the best thing for Herbert, as he’s often cited as not having the mental toughness right now to handle the NFL.” Many have declared Herbert a likely top overall selection in this year’s draft, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be available.