New York Giants: Can Daniel Jones take a Josh Allen-like jump in 2021?

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Daniel Jones
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 02: Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half at MetLife Stadium on November 02, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The New York Giants are in a state of limbo as long as Daniel Jones is not considered a franchise quarterback. Without confidence that Jones can be their long-term solution at the most important position on any given football team, the Giants will be in a state of rebuild.

While Jones’ statistics might indicate regression in 2020, he actually became a more aware quarterback in the pocket and began to take developmental steps forward in his maturity. After recording 24 total touchdowns in 2019, that number dropped to 11, indicating a massive drop-off that will likely scare some people away. However, he threw two fewer interceptions and fumbled seven fewer times. His turnover problems are still present, but they are nowhere near as impactful as his rookie season.

The primary question is, can Jones replicate the progression that Josh Allen took with the Buffalo Bills this past season. Allen went from throwing 20 touchdowns in 2019 to 37 this past year. The catalyst behind his success was Stefon Diggs, who the Bills traded for to help their young quarterback in the passing game. The Giants’ management simply hasn’t done the same for Jones, trading Odell Beckham Jr. one year before drafting him and signing Golden Tate as a supplement.

Of course, running back Saquon Barkley was supposed to be the catalyst that opened up the office, but consistent injuries have hurt their efficiency and production. This off-season is detrimental to helping John succeed in the NFL, as management has guaranteed they will allocate resources toward bolstering the offense.

The New York Giants need to act now, not later:

Giving Jones a premium receiver and drafting a weapon with the 11th overall pick should help his development exponentially, and as he goes into his third year in the NFL, his time is quickly running out before the Giants have to make some an important decision on his future.

In addition to adding a playmaker or two, the second year in Jason Garrett’s scheme should provide a bit more continuity and consistency. Establishing the foundation of his system will give Jones familiarity with the timing of the routes and the terminology used in-game. While most would’ve preferred the Giants move on from Garrett and find a more vertical play-caller, it is hard to judge how effective he can be without a good OL and a few decent weapons. The Giants’ pass-blocking unit ranked dead last in the NFL in efficiency (PFF), which forced the Giants to rely on short-yardage passes in the running game.

As we can see, the Giants have not just one or two positions to improve, their entire unit needs to take a step forward. Playing at just an average level would make them a playoff-caliber team with their defense, but it starts with Daniel Jones and giving him the tools to become the future of the franchise, otherwise, Dave Gettleman will be on the hook, and the Giants will once again be taking 10 steps backward.