With the 6th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Daniel Jones, a quarterback out of Duke University. This was by far the most controversial selection of the 2019 NFL Draft. Some analysts viewed Jones as a “day two guy” while others viewed him worthy of the 6th pick.
Obviously, the Giants viewed him worthy of the 6th pick. Thus, the Giants’ next franchise quarterback was drafted. But Daniel Jones has received a lot of criticism since the Giants made that selection. Here is why Daniel Jones will be better than most expect him to be:
We Have Not Seen Him Play With Talent
Daniel Jones was the only Duke player drafted in 2019. He was also the only Duke player drafted to the NFL since 2015. Duke does not produce much NFL talent, so Jones never got to play with any. He had to make the best of a bad situation.
The Duke offensive line was one of the worst-graded offensive lines in 2018 according to Pro Football Focus. It was difficult to see what Jones could do with time in the pocket because he was rarely given enough time to survey the entire field.
On top of the poor offensive line play, Jones had to endure a lack of talent from his playmakers, too. In 2018, Duke receivers dropped a whopping total of 38 passes. Daniel Jones’s stats were affected heavily by the lack of talent around him. When Jones gets the chance to play with NFL talent, he will prove many doubters wrong.
He Has Time To Learn
Daniel Jones was fortunate enough to spend three years at Duke learning from legendary coach David Cutcliffe. Cutcliffe coached both of the Manning brothers. He coached Peyton in high school and Eli in college.
Now he can add a third NFL quarterback to his resume. Daniel Jones played for Cutcliffe for three years and was able to prepare for the NFL with the assistance of Cutcliffe, a man more than familiar with the way that NFL quarterbacks prepare for the next level.
This gives Daniel a head start but also demonstrates his ability to learn. Jones came a long way in those three collegiate seasons with the Blue Devils. But he still has a long way to go.
With the Giants already committed to Eli Manning as their starting quarterback in 2019, Jones has plenty of time to learn. He could end up with an entire season of learning. If Manning can lead the Giants to wins, Jones will sit the whole year and take over next season (like the “Kansas City Model” suggests he should).
This additional time to learn will give Jones plenty of time to prepare for his starting role. Jones may get his first opportunity to start sooner than we expect, but with all the extra preparation he will have had by then, he should be more than ready to go.
The Traits Are All There
Daniel Jones has already proven to be a leader. He easily checks the box on character. Jones is an intelligent young man who demonstrates respect and admiration for the Giants organization and his teammates.
He has repeated how thankful he is for the opportunity that the Maras and Tisches have given him and has also explained how much of a fan he is of Eli Manning and how he looks forward to learning from him.
Aside from his personality, Daniel Jones has the traits to be a great football player, too. His stats might not completely reflect this, but he has the high-end ability.
Daniel Jones is known for being a pocket-passing quarterback, but he is also a tremendous runner. Jones racked up 17 rushing touchdowns and 1,323 rushing yards in his three collegiate seasons.
In addition to his running ability, Jones has exhibited the ability to be a great passer at the next level. Despite the lack of talent around him, Jones threw for 22 touchdowns and 2,674 passing yards in 2018 with only 9 interceptions. His efficient play in the passing game will lead him to much success in the NFL.