The New York Giants are in Year 3 with quarterback Daniel Jones, and despite his uneven play, penchant for turnovers and the team’s lack of overall success, seemingly no one at any level of the organization is doubting his future as the face of the franchise.
ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan dropped an extensive report on Jones’ future in New York ahead of the Giants’ Week 2 matchup against the Washington Football Team on Thursday, and many Giants personnel are confident in the signal-caller’s upside:
“Ringing endorsements on behalf of the No. 6 overall draft pick in 2019 out of Duke come from Giants players, coaches and front-office personnel, often unsolicited — on the record and sometimes off — insisting he will be a high-level quarterback. […] The way the Giants view it, how can a 6-foot-5, 221-pound quarterback with all that arm strength and physical ability … who is smart, incredibly committed to his craft and well liked not be an overwhelming success?”
That report also emphasized that New York wanted Jones to focus on getting the ball out quicker, so that was a coaching point throughout the offseason, and thus far, the team is pleased with the QB’s progress there.
It makes sense that Jones should want to get rid of the ball sooner, because even though he can use his athleticism to escape the pocket and elude defenders, his pass protection has been poor since he arrived.
Prior to this year, Jones hasn’t really had the weapons around him to put him in optimal position to succeed. Unfortunately, star tailback Saquon Barkley is still knocking off the rust from a torn ACL suffered early in 2020, and injuries throughout training camp limited prized free-agent acquisition Kenny Golladay and first-round rookie Kadarius Toney in the receiving corps.
Barkley did say in the ESPN report that Jones’ work ethic is “Kobe-like” — another sign that Jones takes his job very seriously, and his fortunes won’t be left to doubt on a lack of effort.
Daniel Jones must show composure, or risk a Giants regime change
- Daniel Jones stats (New York Giants): Completed 586 of 944 passes (62.5%) for 6,237 yards (6.6 YPA), 36 TD, 22 INT, 84.3 passer rating; 116 carries, 729 yards, 4 TD; 30 fumbles in 28 games
Even if Giants fans are encouraged by the fact that everyone in the organization seems to be on the same page about being all-in on Jones, the fact remains that this season is absolutely crucial to the franchise’s future.
Should Jones fail to meet the hype and ascend to even the top half of NFL QBs, you can bet New York will be clamoring for a new field general in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Bear in mind that the trade Giants GM Dave Gettleman pulled off in this year’s draft when the Chicago Bears moved up for Justin Fields netted Big Blue an extra first-round pick in 2022. No matter where New York is drafting next year, a move up is possible with that additional Day 1 selection.
The thing is, Gettleman may not be the man pulling the trigger on that pick. While head coach Joe Judge may be more secure in his job in the midst of only his second season, it’s been a shaky-at-best track record for Gettleman in the draft, and the Giants could very well opt to fire him to reshape the roster in a different way.
In a modern NFL where running backs are the most replaceable position — generally speaking, at least — Gettleman selected Barkley second overall. There’s no denying the dynamic ball-carrier’s talent. It’s just that Barkley has been banged-up so much, he’s failed to live up to such gaudy draft status.
If it turns out that Barkley is never quite the same, or simply can’t find any room to run behind the porous offensive line Gettleman built, that, combined with Jones’ failures, is more than enough to justify giving the GM the pink slip.
Depending on how New York carries out its search for a potential replacement, the new executive may not be required to stay loyal to Judge. Depending how bad 2021 goes, heck, Judge could be ousted as well.
But in a wide-open NFC East division, Jones is the somewhat unknown X-factor who could, along with a veteran, solid Giants defense, push them over the top and into the playoffs.
You can see the obvious domino effect this season has on not only Jones’ future, but how much of a watershed moment it is for the G-Men as a whole. That’s a lot to put on a 24-year-old, tasked with succeeding a two-time Super Bowl champion in Eli Manning, no less.