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Duke quarterback Daniel Jones left school one year early with a number of first-round guarantees from NFL organizations. The gamble paid off, as Jones heard his name called by commissioner Roger Goodell as the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He becomes the first quarterback in Duke history to be drafted in the first round. Jones is the highest Blue Devil draft pick since Mike Junkin went No. 5 overall to the Cleveland Browns in 1987, and just the seventh Duke player to be selected in the opening round of the draft. Jones is the 14th Duke draft pick by the Giants and the first since Drew Strojny was a seventh-round choice in 2004.
Jones is also the first Blue Devil quarterback to be chosen in the NFL Draft since Sean Renfree went in the seventh round to the Atlanta Falcons in 2013.
BOOGIE DOES THE BOOGIE
There’s an old saying in recruiting that things aren’t certain in recruiting until the ink hits the paper. Despite four-star combo guard Boogie Ellis signing his letter of intent to join Duke’s program in November, his decision to back out of the LOI flies in the face of even that saying and proves that you can’t count your chickens before they hatch until a player steps foot on campus. Ellis announced his decision this week to reopen his recruitment despite being verbally committed to the program since early November and being signed since late November.
BASKETBALL LOSES THREE EARLY
RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson are off to the NBA, continuing a trend of superstar freshmen to cycle through the Duke basketball program and become the latest one-and-done players to make millions off their talents and exposure as Duke players. All three are expected to be lottery picks, with Barrett and Williamson projected to go in the top five or even top three selections in this summer’s draft.
DELAURIER, BOLDEN ENTER PROCESS
Rising Duke seniors Javin DeLaurier and Marques Bolden announced their intentions to enter the NBA Draft process, submitting their draft paperwork ahead of the April 21 deadline. They will gather feedback from NBA personnel over the coming weeks, but will maintain their collegiate eligibility, leaving open the possibility of returning to the Blue Devils. Should both players opt to keep their names in the draft, it would decimate Duke’s frontcourt next season and leave a large leadership gap.
TRIO SIGNS IN APRIL
As the April signing period wore on, the Blue Devils added to their already impressive 2019 recruiting class with the signatures of Vernon Carey Jr., Matthew Hurt and Cassius Stanley, cementing the top class in the country. All three are expected to make an immediate impact on the court, with Carey and Hurt coming in as five-star players who will be automatic contenders for a starting position on what will be a brand new look for the roster next season.
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
Joe Giles-Harris (Jaguars), TJ Rahming (Redskins), Daniel Helm (Chargers), Davis Koppenhaver (Packers) and Johnathan Lloyd (Rams) join Jones in the NFL as former Blue Devils’ players with a chance to make millions of dollars in the highest level of professional football after getting signed to free-agent deals despite going undrafted.
CUTCLIFFE CONTRACT EXTENDED
The contract of Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe has been extended two years through June 30, 2023. Cutcliffe has guided Duke to unprecedented bowl game success with a current streak of three consecutive victories in 2015 (Pinstripe Bowl; 44-41 overtime over Indiana), 2017 (Quick Lane Bowl; 36-14 over Northern Illinois) and 2018 (Walk-On’s Independence Bowl; 56-28 over Temple).
Adam Rowe covers Duke basketball, football and recruiting for 247Sports.com. Check out more of his work at duke.247sports.com.