The New York Giants are expected to roll with quarterback Daniel Jones for the 2021 season, despite a disappointing 2020 campaign where he threw just 11 passing touchdowns.
Ultimately, Jones was surrounded by inadequacy, ranging from his playmakers to offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. The very moment star running back Saquon Barkley hit the ground with a torn ACL, the Giantsâ€™ offense sputter to a stagnated halt. Thanks to a revived rushing attack led by Wayne Gallman, the Giants did manage some success in at least one category, but the passing attack was inept and borderline nonexistent.
The major question is, is Jones the quarterback of the future, and has he developed enough to justify keeping him for the long term? Based on his numbers, most would say that he regressed in 2020, but I would disagree based on a few observations. His awareness in the pocket improved, and his downfield accuracy was one of the best in the NFL.
When throwing 20+ yards downfield, Jones managed six touchdowns and zero interceptions, posting a 90+ grade, per PFF when throwing between the numbers and to the outside right of the field. Going to his left side is his most liable location, but he dominates up the seams and in the shallow ranges. He is an accurate quarterback that simply hasnâ€™t been given the tools to maximize his potential over two years, but the Giants are committed to upgrading his playmakers and giving him an opportunity to finally realize his quality in 2021.
On the Breaking Big Blue podcast by ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, Mel Kiper made an interesting hot take on Daniel Jones:
â€œI think Daniel Jones is a better quarterback in this draft than everybody except Trevor Lawrence,â€ Kiper said. â€œZach Wilson would be the closest to him and then Justin Fields. But I would say that Daniel Jones in this draft would be the second quarterback behind Trevor Lawrence. Coming out of Duke, he would have been the second highest-rated quarterback.â€
â€œI donâ€™t know what else he could have done,â€ Kiper said. â€œIf youâ€™re looking for a guy to be perfect without the offensive line, without Saquon Barkley, without receivers, without tight ends catching the ball on a consistent basis – dropping balls that would have sealed a game against Philadelphia – a critical drop in other games. I donâ€™t know what else he could have done. And I donâ€™t know what else you can say to say this justifies where he was taken.
Iâ€™m not sure I would put him ahead of Zach Wilson and Justin Fields, but his prototypical size at 6â€™5â€ and 221 pounds makes him a physically perfect prospect.
The New York Giants shouldn’t give up on Daniel Jones just yet:
Jones is an intelligent player with good football IQ, meaning he can adapt to different schematics and operate with good coaching. The problem is, the turnover at OC has stunted his growth a bit, and while he has alleviated some of his concerns in the pocket, the jury is still out on Jones and his potential.
Kiperâ€™s take is certainly HOT, but I see his perspective and why he believes DJ has the qualities to be a good quarterback in the NFL. Only time will tell his future, and it starts with upper management getting him the pieces he needs to establish himself as a franchise passer.