New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones typically falls around the middle of the pack when it comes to quarterbacking lists. He’s obviously not the worst QB in the league, but on the other hand, it’s clear from his first couple seasons that he has a bit to go before being a true franchise player. However, in one important metric, Jones comes in ahead of even the league’s top quarterbacks.
This metric is deep passing, where next gen statistics placed Jones ahead of everyone else on a recent NFL.com list from Nick Shook.
Giants fans looking for proof that Jones can become the franchise QB he was drafted to be are getting a generous helping with this choice. Sure, it’s a surprise to everyone to see him No. 1, but the numbers don’t lie. Jones went deep just 39 times but was very effective when doing so, and his year-to-year improvement is incredibly encouraging. After posting a CPOE of -4.9 percent in 2019, Jones took a massive leap in 2020 to +14.8 percent, an improvement of +19.7 percentage points, the largest in the entire league from 2019 to 2020.
What does this say about Jones?
As the list states, Jones had the biggest increase in completion percentage over expectation in the league during 2020.
When Jones passed deep, he completed the passes almost fifty percent of the time and had a passer rating of 134.3 with five touchdowns and no interceptions.
One of the biggest obvious takeaways here? The Giants need to incorporate deep passing in their offense more. It’s something the organization has likely realized themselves, as the Giants made significant moves this offseason to improve the wide receiver spot. New addition Kenny Golladay, after all, is widely regarded as a dangerous downfield threat.
The results of the list might surprise you, but that’s understandable given Jones only had 39 deep attempts in 2020. The rest of the top 5, on the other hand, all had more than 50 attempts.
The lack of downfield plays has indeed been a point of criticism for Jason Garrett’s offense so far. Will it adapt in 2021 to suit this aspect of Jones’ game more? We’ll just have to wait and see.