Gil Brandt: Daniel Jones and Peyton Manning “the same guy”

Darin Gantt

Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that some team has Duke quarterback Daniel Jones ranked first at his position on their draft board.

Because a Hall of Fame evaluator has compared him to one of the top quarterbacks of all time.

Via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com, veteran scout and SiriusXM NFL Radio analyst Gil Brandt gave Jones some of the highest praise possible.

“I. Love. Dan Jones,” Brandt said. “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.”

Some comparisons are natural, because of their similar builds and coaching (Duke coach David Cutcliffe was an early Manning mentor and still works with Eli Manning in the offseasons). But Brandt said that Jones began to stand out on his own in an environment that wasn’t always conducive to passing success.

“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.”

And while a comparison to a future Hall of Famer might not be fair to any player, it’s clear Jones will be a first-rounder, as someone will definitely take a chance on a guy with so many valuable traits.