Jeremiah On QB Jones: Upside Is Matt Ryan, Floor Is Ryan Tannehill

Maggie Gray & Bart Scott
April 23, 2019 - 4:14 pm
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By WFAN.com

The NFL Draft kicks off 48 hours from now in Nashville, Tennessee.

One of the biggest storylines leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft is whether or not the Giants will finally pick the heir to Eli Manning at the quarterback position.

New York has two first round picks, No. 6 and No. 17, and should have at least one opportunity to draft a quarterback if they choose to. Kyler Murray is likely to be off the board following Arizona's pick, but Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones could all still be there once the Giants are on the clock.

Many have linked Big Blue to Jones thanks in part to the QB's connection with respected quarterback guru David Cutcliffe, who served as his head coach at Duke and has a long history with the Manning family.

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NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah joined "Carlin, Maggie & Bart" Tuesday to discuss Jones, the other top quarterbacks and several other hot topics surrounding this year's draft.

"I've always looked at quarterbacks as 'trucks or trailers,'" Jeremiah said Tuesday afternoon. "If you're a 'truck', you're independent. You pull people behind you. You make other people better. Russell Wilson makes those receivers in Seattle. He makes that happen. While there are 'trailers' who can still win and can still get to the finish line. But they're going to be pulled a little bit. They're more dependent on what's around them. They need great players around them, and they'll perform and do really well. That's the majority of starting quarterbacks...

"I just think with Daniel Jones, if you draft him, that means you have to build up around him with a lot of talent, and then he'll play a smart, efficient brand of football, and you can win a lot of games. But it's not going to be a situation where he goes out there with average wide receivers, tight ends and running backs and wins you a bunch of football games."

Jones put together a solid career during his three seasons at Duke.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound quarterback found success at the collegiate level, throwing for 8,201 yards, 52 touchdowns and 29 interceptions with a completion percentage of 59.9% during his three years there. He also added some production on the ground, running for 1,323 yards and 17 touchdowns.

In his final season with the Blue Devils, Jones completed 60.5% of his passes for 2,674 yards, 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Daniel Jones throws a pass against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first quarter at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people around the league consider the Duke QB a "game manager," and while Jeremiah somewhat agreed with that assessment, he compared Jones' ceiling to that of a 4-time Pro Bowl QB and former league MVP.

"Matt Ryan, when he entered into the league, was kind of viewed in that light," the NFL Network analyst said. "He's grown and really shown that he can raise the level of other guys. But if you take away Julio Jones, take away some of the talent they've had around him, I don't know that we would be talking about him as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. If you're drafting Daniel Jones, you're hoping he's going to turn into Matt Ryan. That's the upside. The low side is you end up with a Ryan Tannehill. So that's the range of where he is."

Barring a trade down, the Jets will have the chance to add a stud defensive player to their roster before the Giants are ever on the clock.

New York has made it known that they are open for business at No. 3. But if they do not trade down, GM Mike Maccagnan will have his choice of elite talents towards the top of the draft.

Bart Scott has said he thinks Gang Green should take Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Jeremiah said Alabama's Quinnen Williams would be the better pick at No. 3, but believes Maccagnan will do all that he can to trade down in the first round in order to collect additional draft capital.

"I know Bart would have Ed Oliver, but I'd have Quinnen Williams," Jeremiah told CMB. "He's my second player (on the board). I would go in that direction... If you get Leonard Williams going, and then you've got Quinnen Williams. You look at the two linebackers now with (Avery) Williamson and C.J. Mosley. Now you've got Jamal Adams there in the back end. That's pretty darn strong up the middle. I think there are some edge rush guys they could find throughout (the draft). There's a lot of different ways they could go, but I think when it's all said and done, their preference is to (trade down).

To listen to CMB's full interview with Daniel Jeremiah, click on the audio player above.