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Scouting Report: Arizona State Transfer QB Emory Jones

The Sun Devils welcomed a new quarterback to their roster, an upgrade to the current depth chart in the eyes of coaches and fans at ASU.

The cat's finally out of the bag at Arizona State: The Sun Devils have a new quarterback. 

Former Florida quarterback Emory Jones became the newest member of ASU's football program after committing to the Sun Devils on Thursday. 

After a spring practice full of doubts surrounding passers Trenton Bourguet and Paul Tyson, Arizona State now feels like it has its guy for 2022. Jones will be eligible to play immediately and has two years of playing time left. 

After visiting ASU two weekends ago, all eyes were on Jones for a potential commitment. After taking last weekend off for personal duties, Jones committed to Arizona State after not making any other visits following his entrance in the transfer portal.

A source told All Sun Devils Jones is expected to be the starter in 2022. 

All eyes are now on Jones and what he brings to Arizona State. Jones' skillset has oddly enough been compared to that of Jayden Daniels, who departed the program in the transfer portal and currently is competing to be the starter at LSU, a team Jones is more than familiar with thanks to his time with the Gators. 

Jones told ASUDevils.com's Hod Rabino he has a relationship with Daniels. 

“Me and Jayden are kind of close, and we spoke a few times,” said Jones. “I was actually with him in L.A. right before the season started at the Steve Clarkson camp. I talked to Chad Johnson Jr. too, and they were talking about their season, what they had going on, and they said they had a pretty good team. I also talked to Jayden after he left, and the main thing I took from him that was most important for me and my decision was that he had nothing bad to say about the program or any of the coaches that were there. That stood out to me. He said he and Coach (Herm) Edwards were still really close, and he still contacts him to this day. That was very important for me because that's all I'm looking for out of a program, is having a coach that is very supportive of me.”

So, what should be expected from Jones when he trots past the Pat Tillman statue in Sun Devil Stadium? 

Head of NFL draft scouting for Blue Chip Scouting (specializing in quarterbacks, tight ends and safeties) Andrew Harbaugh broke down three games from Jones' time at Florida: Tennessee 2021, Alabama 2021, and Oklahoma 2020.

Emory Jones in Games Watched

Tennessee: 21-of-27 passes completed for 209 yards and two touchdowns to no interceptions. Also added 15 rushing attempts for 144 yards.

Alabama: 18-of-28 passes completed for 195 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Also added 14 rushing attempts for 77 yards and one touchdown.

Oklahoma: 8-of-16 passes completed for 86 yards. Also added 10 rushing attempts for 60 yards and one touchdown. 

Here is Harbaugh's takeaways from Jones' time at Florida:

Emory Jones

Strengths 

  • Confidence/Gamer 
  • Short to mid-level accuracy 
  • Vision as a runner 
  • Extends plays and avoids sacks with legs
Emory Jones

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t protect himself as a runner 
  • Deep-ball accuracy 
  • Can throw into tight coverage often to try and make a play, which leads to turnovers
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  • Arm strength leaves much to be desired

Jones totaled 10 or more rushing attempts in all but three games last season. In the same amount of games, Daniels did so in all but four in 2021. 

Harbaugh indicated the Gators often dialed quarterback draw plays, a "Dan Mullen special," that was utilized with quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott previously. 

On paper, there's quite a few similarities between Jones and Daniels. However, Harbaugh points to one intangible that should separate the two:

He said, "Emory is a leader. There is a reason Dan Mullen hesitated to give the reigns to Anthony Richardson (at Florida). The Alabama game is a prime example, (where Jones led) a 99-yard drive to bring the game even essentially. (He) never gives up on his team. 

"They won’t be ripping his locker apart like a zebra carcass in the savanna."

In the same interview he did with Rabino, Jones touched on the leadership he brings to the table saying, "The vibe that I got was that they were really looking for a leader offensively. That was really motivating for me on the visit because I could see what they needed, and I'm that guy.”

The big problem most of Arizona State's fans had with Daniels (and what Jones struggled with last season) were turnovers. 

Daniels attempted 301 passes and had 10 interceptions. Jones attempted 310 passes and had 13 picks despite throwing nine more touchdown passes than Daniels. 

Harbaugh was hesitant to say Jones could fully turn into a game manager when needed, but did concede his overall presence is an upgrade over Daniels, citing more upside and the stiffer competition he played and handled in the SEC.

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