Contextualized Quarterbacking is a charting method that helps break down what to expect from the Draft-eligible quarterbacks. By tracking things like ball placement, depth of target, progressions, and throws into tight windows, the CQ can answer questions about which systems helps certain quarterbacks in certain ways. Next up, Duke's Daniel Jones.
Teams will have the strengths and weaknesses of these players in mind over the course of Senior Bowl week, and we will too, as we put them under the microscope to see if they have what it takes to improve on their deficiencies.
Biggest Strength: Quick Game
Jones played in an offense that, frankly, babied him. His time to throw was the quickest number in the class by a mile. He regularly throws based off of one pre-snap read. He isn't tasked with hitting tight window throws in the red zone.
Accordingly, Jones has a really developed quick game. He has tremendous zip to the short areas of the field and can hit rapidly-closing windows with good anticipation and placement. Because of how frequently the Blue Devils showed play action, Jones has also learned how to throw well from a sidearm arm slot and askew foot placement -- there's a bit of a Staffordian nature to his quick game.
I'm not sure how well Jones throws short to his checkdowns, because he rarely read deep to short at Duke -- but teams will be encouraged by his ability to distribute with placement by making half-field reads. Systems like the New England Patriots have been successful with this mold of quarterback before.
Biggest Weakness: Long Game
If he wins short, he fails deep. I like to joke and call Jones the Josh Allen of the ACC because of his shaky accuracy, huge frame, and great mobility -- but the comparison stops in terms of the deep ball. Jones simply does not have ideal arm strength to reach far downfield, despite the mustard he can put on his short throws. He's underdeveloped when approaching downfield windows and gauging distance, timing, and windows.
Folks, to have only 3% of your total yardage coming on throws downfield, despite the fact that you have ~15% of your targets coming to that area...that's really bad.
Nice to see how many catchable balls Jones has delivered over the middle of the field, but those placement numbers really fall off a cliff beyond the 10 yard mark, which has to worry you. Within 10 yards of the field, Jones is throwing to his first read; he's making his decision and reads before the snap, when things are easier and timely.
But after 20 yards you've gotta see how things develop post snap, and that's an area in which Jones has regularly faltered.
Goal for Mobile: Progression Proof
Dude has attempted 6% of his throws beyond his first read, guys. This is a super limited player about whom we should have many, many questions before we christen him a Round 1 player.
Jones must show that he can manage a pocket and the ensuing pass rush during 11-on-11 -- and before that, just read through coverage in 7-on-7s. He's going to be holding the ball uncomfortably long and can't show panic, confusion, or a steep drop-off in accuracy if he intends on going Round 1.