As 2019 comes to a close, The Chronicle's sports department takes a look back at the biggest stories of the year in Duke athletics. Each day, we will review a major game, event or storyline that helped shape the course of the year for the Blue Devils.
Coming in at No. 6: Duke football product Daniel Jones is selected by the New York Giants sixth overall in April's NFL Draft and puts together an impressive rookie campaign.
Duke has not churned out many generational quarterback talents, so Daniel Jones’ presence near the top of NFL Draft boards drew attention around the league.
With that being said, when NFL Draft day finally arrived Apr. 25, there were many expectations for the how the first round would play out, but nobody expected the events to come.
The 2019 draft was headlined by big-name quarterbacks Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, but when the New York Giants' turn came around, it was Jones' name that was called. Much to the surprise of NFL pundits everywhere, the Giants selected the Duke product sixth overall, the highest Blue Devil draft pick since 1987.
The rookie’s starting debut came way ahead of schedule, in Week 3, resulting in one of the most electric games of the season. Jones' 0-2 Giants faced off against the 1-1 Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. All seemed lost after one half of play, when New York trailed by 18 points and star players Saquon Barkley and Alec Ogletree left the game with injuries. But Jones fired back in the second half and led the Giants to an eventual 32-31 thanks to a last-second touchdown run by the quarterback.
Jones’s final stat line was a beauty: 23-of-36 passing for 336 yards and two touchdowns, adding 28 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Although it was just one game, the new leader in New York quieted his doubters and showed signs of good things to come.
READ MORE on Daniel Jones' NFL ascension:
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A look at the rest of our top 10 countdown: