Why were we so wrong about Daniel Jones on draft day?

Daniel Jones Giants
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are coming off a horrible four-win campaign that cost head coach Pat Shurmur his job after just two seasons in that role.

There’s good news on this front. New York seemingly has a quarterback to lead the team into the future in that of 2019 top-10 pick Daniel Jones.

The gist: New York received a ton of criticism for selecting Daniel Jones No. 6 overall last April. The Duke product was seen as a major project that didn’t necessarily translate well to the professional game.

Boy, were we all wrong when it came to Mr. Jones. The 6-foot-5 signal caller had his ups and downs as a rookie. But he more than proved himself as a potential future franchise quarterback.

The stats: One could easily come to the conclusion that Jones put up a better statistical rookie season than No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray in Arizona.

  • Jones completed 62% of his passes for 3,027 yards with twice as many touchdowns (24) as interceptions (12).
  • Sure the fumbles were worrisome. The young quarterback put the ball down on the field 18 times, losing 11 of those. That’s simply not sustainable moving forward.
  • The good news? Jones displayed flashes of brilliance. He put up four-plus touchdown passes three times. That span saw Jones tally 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
  • Stats are one thing. But being able to put up eye-opening performances in a quarter of your starts as a rookie is no small thing.

The scouting reports: We’ve seen it throughout the recent history of the draft. Armchair experts struggling to value players at the game’s most-important position.

  • “Jones has good football IQ and is relatively mobile, but he appears to be more of a game manager than “franchise” talent. He’s more of a Day 2 draft pick than Day 1,” NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein.
  • “Evaluators must consider the negatives like his lack of arm strength, high number of passes batted down at the line due to his slow delivery and poor play strength,” Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller.
  • This isn’t to call out a couple media personalities. It was a common theme around the NFL Draft world heading into the annual event in April. Heck, the football world in general trashed the Giants for “overdrafting” Jones.

Finally, giving David Gettleman credit: We have no idea whether this general manager will be a success in New York. He did get that player at the most-important position on the football field.

  • Gettleman struggled with team-building in Carolina. He seems to have struggled to an extent in that role with the Giants.
  • However, the longtime front office head should be given credit for pushing back against narrative surrounding Jones heading into the 2019 NFL Draft.
  • If nothing else, this sets the Giants up well moving forward with new head coach Joe Judge manning the sideline.
  • New York now has an elite-level young backfield in Jones and former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, running back Saquon Barkley.

Bottom line

Today’s NFL is all about the quarterbacks. Sure we saw a team earn a trip to Super Bowl LIV after its quarterback threw eight passes in the NFC Championship Game. That’s an exception to the rule.

New York went against the grain and got its quarterback at No. 6 overall back in April. It received a ton of criticism in the process. And the team now has that one fundamental building block to start this rebuild.

We were wrong. Gettleman was right. Is that too hard to admit?