NFL franchises in need of a quarterback now have one more name to consider. Duke quarterback Daniel Jones is leaving the Blue Devils for a shot at the NFL. Duke announced the news with a statement from Jones on Monday afternoon.
“Growing up in Charlotte, I watched Coach Cutcliffe transform the Duke Football program into a true force within the ACC with annual bowl eligibility and championship expectations,” Jones said in his statement. “It became my dream to play for him and the Duke program, and these last four years have surpassed my every expectation. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to graduate from one of the most respected academic institutions in the world while growing and maturing through a football experience that taught me far more than the game itself.”
“Without a doubt, we are excited for Daniel and his decision to enter the upcoming NFL Draft and could not be happier for him and his family,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said in a released statement. “Daniel has been a cornerstone of our program and leaves with our full support. It has been a privilege to coach him, but the best part about Daniel is he’s an even better young man than he is a football player. The bottom line is he’s a special person and we’ll miss him greatly.”
Jones is leaving Duke a winner after leading the Blue Devils past Temple in the Independence Bowl last week. He also leaves Duke as the career record holder for touchdown-to-interception ratio, pass completion-to-interception ratio and is among the all-time school leaders for pass completion percentage, pass completions, and games with multiple touchdown passes among other passing categories.
Jones had been mentioned by some NFL Draft scouts as one of the top quarterbacks potentially to be on the big board for the upcoming draft. With Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert opting to return for another year with the Ducks despite being perceived as the top passer available, Jones may be stepping into a favorable spot as a quarterback in the draft process. It could be a relatively light year for quarterback options to begin with so this could be a quarterback’s market for the draft.