Just how little did the New York Giants provide Daniel Jones with in his first two seasons in the NFL?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones
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The New York Giants waited two years to give quarterback Daniel Jones the necessary weapons on offense to maximize his potential. In 2019, Jones entered the NFL as a ripe quarterback looking to take several developmental steps forward, and while he did show promise, he suffered significantly in the awareness and fumble category. While in the pocket, Jones often times found himself turning the ball over or running for his life due to a lack of protection from his front five.

Jones finished his rookie season with 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 18 fumbles, and was sacked 38 times. Last year, he tallied 2,943 yards, 11 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and fumbled 11 times. From a purely statistical standpoint, Jones took a significant step backward, but if you watch the film and analyze the tape, you will see that his pocket awareness improved gradually over the course of the season, and it was clear he understood defensive alignments more adequately. The problem, his offensive line ranked 31st in pass blocking, and his weapons lacked separation in the receiving game.

Of course, he lost stand-out running back Saquon Barkley in week two with a torn ACL, MCL, and partially torn meniscus. Barkley is still working his way back, but Jones hasn’t even been able to experience him at his peak, which undoubtedly will take a bit of stress off the young passer.



Let’s take a look at the weapons Daniel Jones had at his disposal over the past two seasons. Disclaimer, they’re not pretty.

New York Giants’ offense in Jones’s rookie and sophomore season:

Year 1:

RB: Saquon Barkley (injured)

RB: Jon Hilliman

RB: Wayne Gallman

 

WR: Darius Slayton

WR: Sterling Shepard

WR: Golden Tate

 

OL: Nate Solder

OL: Will Hernandez

OL: Jon Halapio



OL: Kevin Zeitler

OL: Mike Remmers

Year 2:

RB: Saquon Barkley (injured)

RB: Alfred Morris

RB: Wayne Gallman

 

WR: Darius Slayton

WR: Sterling Shepard

WR: Golden Tate

 

OL: Andrew Thomas

OL: Will Hernandez

OL: Nick Gates

OL: Kevin Zeitler

OL: Cam Fleming

After scanning through this list of players, the only thing that saw a principal change was the offensive line, as the Giants turned over LT, C, and RT. Nonetheless, they are still working through speed bumps with young tackle Andrew Thomas and expect Matt Peart to take a step forward at right tackle in 2021.

As for running back and receiver, the New York Giants simply swapped reserve backs, keeping relatively the same WR core. They invested a fifth-round pick in Darius Slayton, retained sterling Shepherd, and brought in veteran Golden Tate to help ease Jones’s transition into the NFL. Obviously, that ended up being an egregious idea and tremendously stunted his growth.

Nonetheless, the Giants noticed their mistake and decided to spend this off-season to acquire more options for Jones in all phases of the game. They added Kenny Golladay, a big man-coverage beater on the outside at 6’4″, Kadarius Toney in the slot, who is capable of creating space in the short areas of the field against slot corners, and John Ross, who can push the field vertically to take defensive backs out of the intermediate range.

All of their signings had a purpose, and not it comes to applying their talents to the field with better schematics and play-calling. Three quality playmakers and the return of Barkley should be enough to help Jones realize his potential, but he also must alleviate some of his previous concerns in the pocket and fumbling the football.