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“Gut” says Duke QB Daniel Jones will be Giants’ choice — Draft Countdown’s Scott Wright

Veteran draft analyst talks quarterbacks, other Giants-related draft topics in advance of NFL Combine

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NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice-North
Daniel Jones
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The great majority of draft analysts believe the New York Giants have to select a quarterback with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Scott Wright of Draft Countdown agrees, telling me on the latest edition of the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast that it “would border on negligence if the Giants didn’t take a quarterback with that pick.”

Wright, though, isn’t in the majority when it comes to which quarterback he believes the Giants will ultimately select. Wright has mocked Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State to the Giants in both of his mock drafts, as have most draft analysts, but told me that in the end he doesn’t think Haskins is the quarterback the Giants will end up selecting.

“I think ultimately it’s going to come down to Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State and Daniel Jones of Duke with their top pick,” Wright said.

“My gut is telling me Daniel Jones could end up being the guy for the Giants. It’s still early, there’s no inside information or anything but if the gut has anything to say I think Daniel Jones might end up in a Giants uniform.”

Wright told me last March that he believed there was “no way” the Giants would take a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick. He proved prophetic as the Giants selected running back Saquon Barkley, who won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Wright said he feels “a similar degree of certainty” this year that the Giants will use the No. 6 overall pick on a quarterback.

“I thought they should have taken Sam Darnold a year ago. If I was running the team I wouldn’t have bypassed that opportunity,” Wright said.

“I think after the way this last season went I think they’re going to be a lot more open to bringing in a quarterback early, as tricky as it might be with Eli Manning. You have to.”

Why Jones?

Wright said that in both of his mock drafts he has the Giants taking Haskins at No. 6 and the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Jones at No. 7, though he was “very close” to giving Jones to the Giants.

He believes it is a “1A and 1B” situation and that Jones’ connections to Eli Manning (through the Manning Passing Academy and workouts at Duke) and Manning’s quarterbacks coach, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe, could be an ”X factor.”

“There’s a lot of similarities between him and Eli Manning,” Wright said. “The Giants aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel at the quarterback position. They’re going to go with what they’re comfortable with, and I can’t see any more of a comfort level than with Daniel Jones.

“Daniel Jones fits the mold of what the Giants look for at that position.”

As far as a scouting report on Jones, Wright said he has a “high floor,” is “polished” and “technically sound.”

“I think high floor but also lower ceiling than some of the other options in this class. He’s not the most physically talented of the group by any stretch of the imagination. But what’s kind of attractive about him is he’s kind of a finished product already to a certain degree. He looks exactly the part,” Wright said.

“He not overly toolsy, he’s got good size, he’s got adequate arm strength. Personality-wise he’s not going to set the room on fire.”

What about Haskins? Wright said that if Haskins was in the 2018 draft class he would have been QB4 behind Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen.

“Not a statue in the pocket, but he’s close to it. A pocket passer thru and thru,” Wright said. “He’s got good size, he’s got a very strong arm, he can make all the throws. His best football is still ahead of him.”

Other topics

We also talked about a few other draft topics:

  • Potential Day 2 offensive line targets for the Giants. Wright loves Washington’s Kaleb McGary.
  • The plethora of pass rushers in this draft class.
  • Players to keep an eye on during the Combine.

Wright’s creds

Wright may not be one of the best-known draft analysts, but he has long been one of my favorites. He is also historically one of the most accurate when it comes to predicting what will actually happen in the draft.

The Huddle Report judges the accuracy of both mock drafts and top 100 big boards. Wright was the 2004 mock draft champion, and his average mock draft score of 37.8 (based on 50.0) over the past five years is 17th among 47 analysts graded during that time span. Among top 100 scores, Wright is tied for 14th among 50 analysts scored over the past five years. He is in a group that includes Mike Mayock and his top 100 accuracy has been better than that of Mel Kiper and Gil Brandt.

Give the full show a listen below.

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