Daniel Jones has been on a hot streak as of late. He’s thrown 9 touchdowns and just 1 interception in the last 3 games for the New York Giants. His arm-talent that was once under much scrutiny during the draft process hasn’t stopped him from pushing the ball down the field.
With that said, Daniel Jones has some flaws that look like they could get in his way of being a franchise quarterback. Here are the 3 main issues Daniel Jones needs to fix:
Daniel Jones is as daring as they come at the quarterback position. He almost never sees the pass rush surrounding him because he wants to give his receivers and his team a chance to win.
Ironically, the team would have a better shot at winning if he would quit on some plays a little earlier. The rookie quarterback has been strip-sacked 8 times in 8 starts. There were 3 sacks that most quarterbacks would’ve coughed up because he genuinely couldn’t have seen the rusher coming so quickly. On the other 5 strip-sacks, he was standing in the pocket without re-evaluating his surroundings during the play.
Daniel Jones doesn’t have a great offensive line around him. They’re rated 26th in pass-protection. He also has one of the lowest-rated groups of wide receivers in terms of separation created per route. That sounds like the perfect combination to face pressure often, especially when pass-catchers need another second or two.
One of Daniel’s approaches to compensating for his receivers has been a willingness to stand in the pocket until someone eventually gets open, or until he gets sacked. Daniel doesn’t mean to concede to these sacks but he usually doesn’t expect them at one point or another either.
There doesn’t seem to be an internal-clock ticking for the pocket while his eyes are down the field. He should be counting to 3 in his head at most while he scans the field. When he gets to 3 he should either be rolling out or throwing the ball away. Chances are, someone is getting to the quarterback after 3 seconds, and it’s happened quite frequently.
Daniel Jones hasn’t received much help from his offensive line but he hasn’t done well holding onto the football either. His 13 fumbles in 9 total games are partially on the offensive line but he’s lost 4 fumbles outside of the pocket as a ball-carrier. That’s far too many on just 32 rushing attempts, currently fumbling on 12.5% of carries.
Part of this issue has to do with his fearless football mindset. Much like the way he’s not scared of getting hit in the pocket, he invites contact in the open field far too often. This has led to fumbles against the Cowboys in both games, although the week 1 matchup was already decided.
Daniel Jones should also make sure he has adequately strengthened wrists and forearms. It doesn’t take a fitness coach to know he’s a slenderly built kid. Not to say he should bulk up but a certain amount of strengthening might be necessary if he physically can’t control the ball in traffic. Spending the offseason working on his lower-arm and wrist strength could only help the issue.
What about Decision-Making?
Daniel Jones has taken some chances and thrown 50/50 balls up, but he isn’t in much trouble as far as interceptions. He’s currently good for 1 interception per game, a lesser rate than Andrew Luck as a rookie. That also counts his 3 interception game against the Patriots defense who have intercepted 19 passes in 9 games. Throwing 5 interceptions in the other 7 games is respectable. Any rookie is going to make some poor decisions through the air, it hasn’t nearly been as much of an issue as fumbling.
It’s a rare situation to have a rookie quarterback throw the ball as successfully as Daniel Jones with legitimate doubts still circulating. Having nearly a 2:1 ratio for Pass-TD: INT is so impressive as a rookie, but 10 fumbles since week 7 are maybe even more mind-blowing.
On the bright side, coaches would rather teach a quarterback to be more conservative overall than work on his passing.