Former Duke standout Daniel Jones' stock is rapidly rising ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, and praise for the quarterback reached new levels Saturday.
Hall of Fame executive Gil Brandt says the young passer evokes memories of legendary quarterback Peyton Manning. He also points out that Jones' head coach at Duke, David Cutcliffe, was Manning's quarterbacks coach while in college at Tennessee.
"I. Love. Dan Jones," Brandt said on Sirius XM NFL Radio, according to NJ.com's Ryan Dunleavy. "I have to say this carefully: When you watch him and you go back (20) years and watch Peyton Manning, you are watching the same guy. He’s athletic. He doesn’t have a rocket for an arm, but neither did Peyton. Very smart."
Jones was considered a borderline first-rounder toward the start of the draft process but his hype has risen to the point where some believe he's the best quarterback prospect of the class.
The New York Giants have been the team most often linked to Jones. Cutcliffe also coached Eli Manning at Ole Miss, and the two-time Super Bowl champion still trains with his former coach during the offseason.
Brandt, who was the vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960-88, believes Jones possesses the mental fortitude to take on the task of succeeding Manning in New York.
"He had an opportunity to have a full scholarship to Princeton," Brandt said of Jones. "He said, 'No, I'm better (at football) than that. I want to walk-on at Duke.’ He completed 60 percent of his passes but they didn’t have any great receivers there to catch the ball.
"He had an unbelievable workout a month or so ago. A lot of people have turned to like him."