NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Giants have done extensive scouting of Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, who might very well become the heir apparent to Eli Manning. But Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner isn’t completely sold on whether Jones can become a championship quarterback in the NFL.
“The thing with Daniel to me is that he played in a great system, so you know he understands football,” Warner said at an NFL Network press briefing Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s start to the draft. “He played a lot of games, so you know what he brings to the table there. But over that four years, there are some limitations physically. That, to me, is the only question I have with Daniel: Is that something that can get better?”
Bottom line for Warner: Can Jones get the job done when things break down around him? The former Rams, Giants and Cardinals quarterback isn’t so sure.
“I’m not a huge [believer in having to be] physical, because I didn’t have this crazy arm or anything,” Warner said. “But you do have to have enough that you can carry a team with your right arm. When nothing else is going on, can you make all those throws? When you’re a second late on a throw, does that mean you can’t make the throw, or can you still make it and win with that kind of throw? That’s my only question when I watch Daniel.”
Warner points to other quarterbacks who have shown the ability to come through when it matters most, even if they aren’t always on their game.
“I’m a firm believer that you have to have a difference maker at that position, a guy that can carry you at some point with his right arm if you want to win,” Warner said. “Joe Flacco, maybe through the entirety of his career he hasn’t been great. But when [the Ravens] won the Super Bowl, how did he play in that stretch? He played as well as everybody that’s ever played. Eli Manning, OK, he’s missed the playoffs so many times. He’s only really made two runs, but in those two runs, he carried a team by making big plays with his right arm. They won championships. Other guys are great all the time — Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and you know they can carry their team.
“My question with Daniel, is there limitation there physically that’s going to make his ceiling maybe a little less than other guys and can he make up for that with the experience, the understanding, the timing of throws, the decision-making that he makes?” Warner said. “I think that’s what people are going to weigh when it’s where do we pick this guy. Is he the next franchise guy? Or is there still a question in what he’s going to be physically?”