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Duke QB Daniel Jones enters Mel Kiper’s top 25

Will the Giants draft a quarterback in the first round in 2019?

NCAA Football: Duke at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the myriad problems with the New York Giants’ roster, the team’s number one concern going forward is the quarterback position. By now the Giants’ decision to pass on a quarterback at number two overall in the 2018 NFL Draft is water under the bridge. However, the need to find an heir to Eli Manning remains.

The 2019 quarterback class hasn’t garnered nearly as much excitement as last year’s, but as always happens, a few QBs are beginning to draw scouts’ eyes.

ESPN’s draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr. has moved one of them, Duke’s Daniel Jones, into his preliminary top-25 Big Board.

18. Daniel Jones, QB, Duke*

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 220 | Previously: NR

I wrote about Jones’ rise earlier this week. He has a real chance to be the No. 1 quarterback off the board. He was stellar in the win over North Carolina, putting up 547 yards from scrimmage and showing his athleticism in the Blue Devils’ read-option game. As I wrote, the most impressive trait I’ve seen from Jones this season is his ability to buy time in the pocket and use his feet to get square and make a throw. He has thrown 26 interceptions in his three seasons as the starter, and he forces passes at times, but he has mostly cut down on the poor throws this season, as he has only six picks. We also have to mention his coach, David Cutcliffe, who groomed Peyton Manning and is seen as a quarterback whisperer. I like what Jones has shown in 2018, and now he gets a huge test against the next guy on my Big Board and No. 2 Clemson this weekend.

Giants fans reflexively balk at the idea of a quarterback from Duke, but Jones is an intriguing prospect. He has prototypical size, athleticism, and arm strength, as well as pro-style coaching under Cutcliffe.

When Dan Pizzuta and I talked to Mark Schofield on our quarterback centered podcast over the bye week (which you can listen to HERE if, for some insane reason, you have yet to do so), he didn’t mention Jones’ size and arm strength. Instead, he mentioned that it was his pre-snap activity and acumen which impressed him the most.

Then there is also Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert, who the Giants’ brass personally scouted this past weekend. Kiper said recently that he believes Herbert would be a “top five” pick and should be the Giants’ draft target if he declares for the 2019 draft.

If both of these players enter the 2019 draft, there is plenty of time to dissect and analyze their games before draft night. It is likely that the Giants will be picking early enough to have a shot at one of them.

Would you want to see the Giants draft either of these quarterbacks?