The New York Giants’ offense heavily relies on Daniel Jones taking a significant step forward and 2021, and even though they signed and drafted multiple players to help provide more weapons in the passing game, Jones has a few kinks in his armor he needs to fix.
Ranging from pocket awareness to decision-making, Jones has shown flashes of excellence in short bursts, but injuries have derailed his momentum, and a lack of playmakers/protection in the pocket has also contributed heavily toward his demise.
There is no question that Jones has the athletic abilities to be a fantastic quarterback at the NFL level, including quality arm talent, solid mental processing, and mobility. The problem is, Jones developed something similar to Eli Manning in the past, happy feet. With constant pressure, Jones never felt comfortable in the pocket, and his awareness/timing was thrown off consistently. He has been working this off-season tirelessly to improve his mobility in the pocket and protecting the football with both hands close to his chest.
However, Jones showed us that he brings a unique element to the Giants’ offense that most other quarterbacks aren’t capable of doing. In 2020, Jones reached the fastest speed by any quarterback as a ball carrier since 2018, per Next Gen Stats. This specific run was the longest run by a quarterback who didnâ€™t score on a play since at least 1975.
Of course, this is the infamous run against the Philadelphia Eagles, where he traveled 80 yards before tumbling over himself. The young quarterback hit 21.23 mph on this unforgettable mad dash, hitting a faster top speed than Lamar Jackson, and was just 0.06 mph slower than Tyreek Hill, arguably the fastest player in the NFL.
What does Daniel Jones bring to the New York Giants that’s unique?
So, what is this underrated factor for Daniel Jones? It is none other than the read-option. The Giants must utilize Jone’s athletic superiority in 2021, especially with the additions of Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and the return of Saquon Barkley. Defenses will be preoccupied in the secondary stopping the receivers, so Jones can execute planned runs to perfection without much resistance.
In fact, one of the only positive factors from the Giants’ offense utilize last year was the read-option, as Jones picked up 423 yards and one touchdown, averaging 6.5 yards per attempt. While he did fumble 11 times, most of these occurred in the pocket as a pure passer and not running the football.
With the added element of the option play, the Giants can get creative with their scheme and surprise defenses with different schematics. This is one of the more unique things Jones brings to the football field, the Giants would be foolish not to utilize it moving forward.