Giants: Could Brian Daboll turn Drew Lock into the next Geno Smith?

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock (2) throws a pass against New York Giants safety Jason Pinnock (27) during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ offense received major reinforcements this offseason in the receiving corps and along the offensive line. But ultimately, the success of the unit — and of the entire team — will rest on the shoulders of its quarterback.

Daniel Jones is entering a critical 2024 season coming off a torn ACL that prematurely ended a rocky 2023 campaign. Backing him up this offseason will be Drew Lock, who signed to the team this offseason on a one-year deal. While Jones is expected to be the Giants’ starter once again this season, one analyst thinks Lock could have a chance to see the field and potentially experience a career resurgence this season.

MMQB analyst envisions a Geno Smith-esque leap from Drew Lock

nfl: philadelphia eagles at seattle seahawks, new york giants
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Sports Illustrated’s MMQB staff recently debated the NFL’s most improved teams of the offseason. As Conor Orr made the case for the Giants as this offseason’s most improved team, he highlighted the addition of Lock as a reason why the team could take a step forward:

“I’ll throw the Giants into the ring for two reasons: Brian Burns changes the calculus of this defense, and I like the combination of Brian Daboll and Drew Lock and am very curious to see if it ends up bearing some Geno Smith-ian fruit for the Giants,” Orr wrote.

Smith, the 2022 AP Comeback Player of the Year, had a late breakout in his career. After being drafted by the New York Jets in 2013, it took Smith nearly a decade to finally earn his spot as a quality starter in this league.

Orr envisions a similar career trajectory for Lock. A second-round pick in 2019, Lock has 23 starts to his name — 21 with the Denver Broncos from 2019 to 2021 and two with the Seattle Seahawks in 2023. After sitting behind Smith in Seattle last season, Lock could have developed his talents for an eventual leap. Maybe pairing him with Daboll and the Giants’ playmakers could spur his growth in 2024.

Could Lock really see the field for the Giants in 2024?

East Rutherford, NJ -- June 11, 2024 -- Quarterbacks,Drew Lock and Tommy DeVito walk off at the end of practice field at the NY Giants Mandatory Minicamp at their practice facility in East Rutherford, NJ.
Credit: Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK

While imagining a “Geno Smith-ian” breakout for Lock is exciting, he’s going to need a lucky break to see the field this season — which would mean an unlucky break for the team’s starter in Jones.

However, Jones has an injury guarantee in his contract that will loom large over the Giants in 2024. If he gets injured this season and cannot pass a physical next offseason, the Giants will owe their quarterback an extra $41.6 million in guarantees in 2025.

Because of this clause, Jones needs to deliver this season. And if he does not play well, the G-Men could be incentivized to bench Jones in favor of Lock to keep themselves from owing the former more money. In that case, Lock would receive his opportunity to have his Geno Smith-esque breakout and propel himself into the conversation as an NFL starter.

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