Eli Manning is the starter for the New York Giants this year – let’s get that out of the way first. Unless something changes midseason because of terrible performances, Eli Manning will spend the season in the starting position while rookie Daniel Jones picks up experience in the backup role before seriously contending for the starting job. It’s a method that should leave the Giants without the problems that come from starting a rookie quarterback, especially one who was a dark horse draft pick such as Jones.
It does, however, put more pressure on Eli Manning to perform this season and to not leave fans calling for the younger option waiting in the wings and putting the team in an odd position. We all saw how bad that went last season when Kyle Lauletta finally received playing time in a regular season game, and such a situation happening this season could set the Giants back in the present while hurting the development of Jones in the future.
So what does the rest of the league think with the player that the Giants are hopefully going to spend the entire season with as their quarterback?
The Athletic has released their 2019 quarterback tier rankings, and out of four total tiers, the majority of voters placed Manning in tier three. Some of those anonymous voters justified their reasons for Manning being placed there, too.
“I do agree he played OK at the end of the season, but I think he is a short-term 3. Athletically, he is so limited at this point, but the cerebral part of it is there and there is enough arm there, and he will get it out quick,” said an anonymous personnel director.
The sentiments about athleticism were echoed by an offensive coordinator. “Eli has ‘2’ moments, but if you are playing against a good pass rush and a good defense, he is greatly affected.”
The Giants did add upgrades to the offensive line this season which may help mitigate the threat of the pass rush, specifically picking up one of the better guards in the league with Kevin Zeitler and improving on the right tackle position by signing former Vikings tackle Mike Remmers, but as we haven’t actually seen this new offensive line in action it’s impossible to tell how the results will change, if at all.
Daniel Jones has been praised for being similar to Manning but more mobile, which will definitely come into the conversation if Manning does perform poorly this season, just as fans asked for Kyle Lauletta under similar pretenses last year. But the Giants may have already made their decision… It seems like they’re committed to Manning, flaws and all, and one can hope that those flaws will be minimized by the team’s upgrades in other areas this season.