The New York Giants shocked the world in the 2019 NFL Draft when they selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick. The pick was one of the most controversial selections of the last decade and left many fans angry and upset with the direction of the franchise.
Those fans are not angry and upset anymore. The 2019 preseason has just wrapped up. Every week of the preseason, one guy kept grabbing headlines. You guessed it, Daniel Jones. The rookie went out there, blocked out the haters, and exceeded all expectations.
Daniel Jones made numerous throws that had fans calling for him to be the Giants’ starter. In fact, here are five throws Daniel Jones made in the 2019 preseason that proves he will be a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL:
Shades Of Manning:
In the final game of the preseason, Daniel Jones barely played. He went 4/4 for 47 yards after one series and then sat the rest of the game. Still, with extremely small sample size, Jones was impressive against the Patriots.
Daniel Jones connected with Golden Tate on a couple of pretty passes in New England. But the prettiest connection came on a throw down the left sideline that reminded some fans of a pass that Eli Manning made to Mario Manningham down the left sideline against the same team (no, this preseason throw was not as amazing as the legendary Manning to Manningham hookup in XLVI, but this was an excellent pass by Daniel Jones).
Daniel Jones fit this pass into a tight window. The ball was placed in a spot where only Tate could make a play. The pass was laid perfectly over the defender and towards the sideline allowing Tate to get his hands on the ball and stay in bounds to secure the reception. This is a pass that some starting quarterbacks in the NFL can’t make. The accuracy of this throw is next-level:
Daniel Jones ➡ Golden Tate connection 👀
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) August 30, 2019
Like A Seasoned Veteran:
Daniel Jones displayed tremendous accuracy throughout the preseason. But the accuracy is not what made this throw so special. Instead, it was Daniel Jones’s way of manipulating the defense to create an open target.
Daniel looked left, gave a nice shoulder fake that way, then turned right and gunned it up the seam to his receiver. Daniel’s fake to the left side of the field was enough to make the safety bite and free up a passing lane to Brittan Golden. Jones then capitalized on this opportunity he created and threw an accurate pass downfield for the big gain:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) August 23, 2019
Proving The Haters Wrong:
Daniel Jones’s first drive of his career could not have been any closer to perfect than it was. He went 5 for 5 passing, totaling 67 yards and capping off the drive with a touchdown. Daniel played only one drive against the Jets in preseason week one but silenced many critics that night.
Every throw Daniel made on this drive was a great one, but let’s focus on his somehow controversial touchdown pass. Obviously, fans were excited to see Daniel Jones play so well in his first NFL action. But the haters still had to micro analyze the performance and try their best to bring Daniel down.
In the clip below, you will find a perfect pass to the back right corner of the end zone by Daniel Jones. On this throw, made by a rookie, left Daniel’s hand before the receiver even made his cut to the sideline. The timing on this throw was perfect. This was not an “ugly” throw that “should’ve been intercepted.” This was a perfectly-timed pass fit into a tight window where only the receiver could make a play on the ball.
And yes, I understand that Daniel Jones was playing against the Jets’ second-string defense. I also understand that this does not delegitimize the perfect timing and placement on this throw. Cris Carter argued that, if this defender was Jamal Adams, then Adams would have had his head turned around and would have intercepted the pass.
Well, news flash, this was NOT Jamal Adams! Shocking, I know. Daniel Jones could clearly see that the defender was beat and had his head turned away from the ball. This means that the receiver is OPEN. Even if the defender is close. Sometimes, backup defenders play in place of injured starters. Should we disregard every throw that every starting quarterback makes against every backup in a regular-season game?
If Jamal Adams was guarding Bennie Fowler on that play, the ball would not have been thrown. The receiver would have been covered and Jones would have seen Adams ready to make a play on the ball, so he would not have thrown it. But, Carter, Jones could see that the defender was not ready to make a play on the ball, so the ball was thrown into the tight window.
I rest my case. Enjoy this clip of Daniel Jones’s beautiful first career NFL touchdown pass:
First series for Daniel Jones …
— ESPN (@espn) August 8, 2019
Catch This Fade:
Once again, Daniel Jones executed a throw that made him look like an NFL veteran. Legitimately, this is one of the best fade routes I have ever seen thrown, despite the fact that it was preseason and he was throwing against backups. The ball was just so perfectly placed (again). A perfect throw on an end-zone fade really is a thing of beauty:
Daniel Jones throw 14
•Tight man with a safety high
•Looks off safety and hits Jones on the end zone fade
— Talkin’ Giants (@TalkinGiants) August 17, 2019
The Big Hit:
This pass did not even turn into a pass. Daniel Jones dropped back to pass here against the Bengals and got absolutely lit up. Jones took a shot and was sandwiched between two hard-hitting defenders mid-throw, causing him to fumble.
This play will be remembered for the big hit but notice how Daniel Jones is throwing the ball downfield knowing that he’s going to get smacked by the DE running straight at him. THAT’S TOUGHNESS pic.twitter.com/HLoNerc6tJ
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) August 26, 2019
So, no, not a pretty play here. But what was impressive was Daniel Jones’s reaction to the play. Daniel simply stood up, shrugged it off, and got back in the huddle. Next play, Danny threw a dime down the left sideline to Darius Slayton to advance the Giants to the one yard-line:
— NFL (@NFL) August 23, 2019
This two-play sequence was truly Manning-esque. Giants fans will never forget watching Eli Manning get pounded to the dirt by 49ers defensive linemen in the 2011 NFC Championship game. After every hit, Manning got up unbothered and responded with a clutch throw on the next play.
Daniel Jones got obliterated on this play but responded with a perfect throw on the next play. Again, Jones is looking like a veteran NFL quarterback. This play and every other play mentioned serves as an example of Daniel Jones’s elite potential.
Jones was a controversial draft selection. He was not every fan’s first choice, but he is who we got. Therefore, he is who we root for. Daniel Jones had an abundance of doubters talking reckless about him heading into the preseason, but now he doesn’t hear a peep from them. Daniel Jones received limited preseason playing time, but impressed so much during this preseason and proved that he will be a legitimate starting quarterback when he gets the chance to be.