NFL Media draft expert Daniel Jeremiah: QB Daniel Jones 'would make a lot of sense' for Patriots at No. 32

Ryan Hannable
February 26, 2019 - 11:08 am

The buzz connecting Duke quarterback Daniel Jones to the Patriots is increasing by the day.

A number of NFL draft experts, including NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah, have the Patriots selecting Jones at No. 32 overall. On a pre-combine conference call Monday, Jeremiah explained his thinking.

"If they were going to be looking at some guys at 32, and I look at Daniel Jones to me if he were to fall down that far would make a lot of sense for them," he said. "He's somebody that's just -- he's very bright. He's going to be able to kind of swallow the information you're going to have to swallow in that offense in due time. He's got touch and accuracy, does not have a huge arm, but just a real smooth rhythm quarterback, which is something they value in a big way.

"Outside the first round, if they wanted to go one in the rounds after that, to me Ryan Finley from NC State, who's almost a little bit of a poor man's Jared Goff, same build, kind of that skinny frame, but great anticipatory thrower, very accurate and tough. That would be another name that would kind of make some sense that would fit in with what they've done there at the position. So those would be a couple quarterbacks I would keep an eye on."

Tight end is another position many have said the Patriots could be targeting early on, and Jeremiah named a few options as well.

"And then tight end, you've got to start thinking about tight ends," he said. "We'll see what Gronk decides to do, but a guy like -- if the two Iowa kids are gone, if [T.J.] Hockenson and [Noah] Fant are gone, I have Irv Smith right in that range from Alabama who I think would be a great fit there, and he'd be able to kind of plug in. You can play him in line, you can move him, just a real smooth, clean route runner who's pretty nifty after the catch and has some toughness that I know they covet there. He'd be somebody that would make some sense."

Earlier in the call, Jeremiah had even more praise for Hockenson, comparing him to Rob Gronkowski.

"I love Hockenson," he said. "I think he's the safest player in the draft. And part of the benefit for him in terms of what I gave him and where I ranked him, I did him the day after watching Rob Gronkowski live in person in the playoff game against the Chargers, and I saw Gronk completely dominate a football game without really having to catch the ball. He was just so dominant in the run game. And then I flip on this kid, and he's not as tall as Gronk, and I don't compare anybody to Gronk, he's on a whole different level in terms of what he can do, but I saw this kid with that same temperament and nastiness in the run game and controlling the run game, and then on top of that, he does nothing but get open and catch everything they throw to him. He's going to be a very valuable player with a very high floor as well as a high ceiling for me."

The NFL combine officially gets underway Tuesday, but the on-field testing does not begin until Friday.

Related: Behind scenes look at Patriots staffers who will be active this week at NFL combine

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