New York Giants: Daniel Jones gets Eli Manning comparison from Victor Cruz

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Going into year three, Daniel Jones will be one of the key pieces for the New York Giants for better or worse. Jones is the team’s starting quarterback despite the polarizing opinions on him from the fans, but everything indicates the organization itself is positive on his chances going forward. That also includes some past players, including wide receiver Victor Cruz.

While showing up on Good Morning Football, Cruz spoke on Jones and claimed that Jones’ teammates including the receivers all love him. He said that Jones knows what it means to be a quarterback for the New York Giants. And he also went as far as to compare Jones to his predecessor, Eli Manning.

“I think having similar character traits to Eli in terms of his temperament, in terms of the way he treats players and his teammates, I think that’s going a long way for him off of the field,” Cruz stated.

Cruz also mentioned that, while Jones hasn’t put it all together on the field yet, he’ll have new weapons this season. According to him, the Giants can make “a really strong push and be relevant” during the 2021 season and that spending money in free agency will help with that.

This season certainly will be the most high pressure one yet for Jones and many have said that year three is when the verdict will be decided on if Jones is the rebuild quarterback the Giants need or not. But at the very least, Jones will seemingly have the backing of all of his teammates as well as further help in the offense from new additions in 2021.

New York Giants: Offensive and defensive breakout candidates for 2021

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have made extensive efforts to upgrade their offense while also bolstering the defense this off-season. In free agency alone, they added several players who can help contribute toward a winning season in 2021, including the likes of Kenny Golladay and Adoree Jackson. With the NFL draft in less than a month, the Giants have more ammo and resources to allocate, which should help some of their individual players improve in the near future.

Take a look at breakout candidates for the New York Giants:

Offensive breakout candidate: Daniel Jones

If there’s any player that desperately needs a breakout season, it is quarterback Daniel Jones. After posting 24 touchdowns in his rookie season, Jones saw that number slash by more than half to just 11 under Jason Garrett. Unfortunately, he didn’t have Saquon Barkley and a plethora of playmakers, but the Giants are looking to give him everything he needs to succeed moving forward.

Adding Golladay, a bonafide wide receiver one, and John Ross, we should expect Jones to play a bit more efficiently. In addition, he will have a healthy Saquon Barkley, and the Giants could use the 11th overall pick on another play-maker.

Ultimately, there is no excuse for Jones not to have a better 2021 performance, and the Giants desperately need to see improvement if they want to commit to him as their franchise quarterback moving forward. Looking at a bit more of his statistical output, Jones is deadly accurate when throwing the ball downfield. I expect the Giants to take a more vertical approach to their offense, which is what sold Golladay on joining Big Blue, and the presence of Ross also suggests a more vertical strategy.

When throwing the ball 20+ yards downfield, Jones threw six touchdowns and zero interceptions, so adding more deep threats is exactly what the Giants set out to do, and they accomplish that goal in free agency.

Defensive breakout candidate: Dexter Lawrence

One player I believe will have a stand-out 2021 season is Dexter Lawrence, and with the absence of Dalvin Tomlinson after signing with the Minnesota Vikings, the Giants need Big Dexy to take a step forward.

Last season, Lawrence finished with 37 tackles, four sacks, and 33 stops. He was one of the most double-teamed interior defenders in the NFL, and with two seasons under his belt, a year-three breakout season should be expected.

I believe his knowledge of Patrick Graham’s scheme and the retention of Leonard Williams should assist in his production, and I think the Giants want to see him take more of a pass rusher role from the 3-tech position, where he can pressure the interior and get after the quarterback adequately.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones with 7th highest ‘receiver fault’ incompletions

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

New York Giants fans definitely want to see more completions from Daniel Jones next season – but many of the ones last year weren’t his fault. At least, that’s if you put stock in the Pro Football Focus metrics which say that Daniel Jones had the 7th highest receiver fault incompletions of any quarterback in 2020.

Obviously, the Giants didn’t have as much receiving talent last year as many would have hoped. Receivers not getting enough separation was a constant complaint and Darius Slayton, the top performer from Jones’ rookie year, took a step back statistically. The Giants saw some production from players like Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard, but rarely as much as Jones needed in the moment.

This season, things are expected to be different. Jones should have better conditions all around, except for maybe on the offensive line. The Giants have added a main weapon at wide receiver, another receiving tight end, and Saquon Barkley should once again be in the mix in the passing game – as well as making defenses fear the run more than they had to last season.

All of these things add up to more pressure on Jones. After all, with the Giants improving other areas of the offense, there should be less excuses if his play remains the same this season. With that being said, Jones may still find himself throwing under pressure often in 2021.

With these other areas improving this season, one of the main spots that’s still a question mark is the O-line. And if last year was any indication, that might have a big impact on what we get out of Jones.

Giants’ co-owner John Mara makes bold Daniel Jones claim

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have spent frivolously in free agency this off-season trying to bolster their offense around quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones is entering his third year in the NFL but took a massive step backward without weapons to utilize in the passing game in 2020.

Luckily, he will be going into a second year and the same offensive scheme, but with more talent around him, including wide receivers Kenny Golladay and John Ross. He will also be gaining running back Saquon Barkley back from an ACL tear, and there’s always the possibility they draft a receiver with the 11th overall pick.

On paper, the Giants have a better team on both sides of the ball, and hopefully, they can utilize the draft to plug a few holes and add playmakers. There is no question that ownership is behind Jones, considering the new contract they signed matches up perfectly with his rookie contract. Leonard Williams, Golladay, and Adoree’ Jackson have expiring contracts in 2023, which is exactly when Jones’ fifth-year option concludes.

Ian O’Connor of the New York Post interview John Mara, asking him:

Q: “Do you believe Daniel Jones looks like a quarterback who will ultimately win a Super Bowl?”

A: “Yes he does,” Mara responded. “I can say that without any hesitation.”

Q: “Good enough to win multiple Super Bowls like his predecessor, Eli Manning?”

A: “I don’t see why not,” the Giants CEO said, “if we put the right pieces around him.”

Management has been extremely vocal about Daniel‘s future with Big Blue and their commitments to him. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on upgrades should justify their confidence, but Jones needs to take a significant step forward in 2021 to justify their backing. He only threw 11 touchdowns last year, tossing 10 interceptions and fumbling 11 times. While his pocket awareness improved and his ball security took a step in the right direction, he still has a long way to go before we can feel confident in his abilities.

Hopefully, the offensive scheme changes around him, utilizing a more vertical style to capitalize on his downfield accuracy. Jones has all the physical tools to be a fantastic quarterback at the NFL level, including solid accuracy, mobility, and intelligence. If he can put all of these attributes together and grow confident in his system, I have no doubt that DJ can run the Giants’ offense at a high-level.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones earns Andrew Luck comparison from new signing

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

It’s debatable which past player New York Giants QB Daniel Jones is comparable to at this point in his career. It’s still pretty early and there’s still room for Jones’ career to go up or down – either as the future leader of the Giants or as an afternote that will eventually be replaced. However, one of the players to sign with the Giants during this free agency period is confident that big things are coming for Jones.

Specifically, Kyle Rudolph has given Jones a comparison to Andrew Luck while speaking with the Pat McAfee Show. Obviously, that’s high praise. Luck and Jones were both high draft picks, but Luck would manage to go down as one of the best young quarterbacks ever before his early retirement. Jones still has some time to turn it around and reach those heights – but it will be an uphill battle.

What did Rudolph have to say?

“He’s a stud and then you watch him over the last two years and – you said it – he’s got all the intangibles to be an Andrew Luck-type quarterback. Hopefully we put a bunch of pieces around him and we can take some of the pressure off of him, let him just go out there and play with confidence and let all those attributes and abilities take over,” Rudolph said about Jones.

It’s a bold prediction for Jones to reach Luck’s level of play, but at the very least, the Giants are adding weapons this offseason for Jones and may improve the offensive line in the draft. One obvious parallel between Jones and Luck is the bad blocking through their careers, even if that wasn’t what Rudolph was getting at.

And if the Giants want to win down the line, they’ll likely have to address that similarity at one point or another. We’ve already seen from Jones’ injury problems last year, after all, what happens when a team can’t protect their playmaker.

Some will immediately roll their eyes at Rudolph’s comparison, but it just goes to show how the Giants and some others around the league still think highly of Jones – and how big the expectations are on him going into year number three.

Daniel Jones: Kenny Golladay interested in New York Giants culture

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones.

The reactions are still coming in after the New York Giants added wide receiver Kenny Golladay to their arsenal of weapons. Those reactions include that of Golladay himself as well as current members of the Giants organization.

One of the most important people in all of this is Daniel Jones. He’s the one that was without weapons in 2020 and the addition of Golladay improves his chances during his make or break 2021 season. And in a statement, he was positive about the addition and getting to work with the new wide receiver on the field.

“He’s been a big time playmaker in this league. When we spoke, he was interested in the culture we have in the building and the mindset of the team. I think he had heard it from coaches but wanted to hear how we saw it as players and how much we believed in it,” Jones said. “I think finding the right fit in that sense was important to him. I can’t wait to get out on the field and get to work with him.”

Culture has become a buzzword in many places that is used by every team regardless of their actual success. Every coach, both good and bad, brings up their team culture. However, the Giants have seen a culture change more tangibly since the addition of Joe Judge saw their coaching staff overhauled and the team immediately becoming more competitive in Judge’s first season.

One could say that’s already played a role in the Giants landing free agents this year. Golladay this year is their signature free agent, but it also appears the Giants are frontrunners to bring in cornerback Adoree Jackson, and they already added to the depth of their pass rush with defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo.

In other words, the Giants are one of the more improved teams so far out of this offseason’s contenders for that title. And from the looks of it, we can attribute a lot of that to how things went last year with the change in the coaching staff.

The Giants might not have picked up as many wins as desired, but the change in culture was noticeable, and it’s starting to pay off as the roster itself finally improves.

“Just hearing the vision that coach Joe Judge had and Jason Garrett had as far as the offense, that had me right there,” Golladay said on Saturday about his visit with the team.

It seems like that culture and the current coaching staff of the Giants had more than a little influence on him choosing to come to New York over other teams.

New York Giants sign Mike Glennon as new backup QB

The New York Giants have made another depth signing in free agency. According to reports, the Giants have agreed to terms with quarterback Mike Glennon. This signing fills a need for the Giants as they upgrade their backup quarterback position.

Mike Glennon is a seven-year NFL veteran that has been a journeyman backup for the majority of his career. The Giants will be Glennon’s sixth team he becomes a member of.

In 2020, Mike Glennon played as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Glennon started five games as the Jaguars’ backup quarterback. Glennon was a decent fill-in at the quarterback position, throwing for 1,072 passing yards, 7 touchdown passes, and 5 interceptions in those 5 games.

The 6-foot-7, 31-year-old quarterback has a strong arm and the ability to throw the ball downfield. Glennon will replace Colt McCoy as the backup to Daniel Jones. McCoy started two games for the Giants in 2020 but now sits on the open market as a free agent. It seems unlikely that the Giants will re-sign Colt McCoy after signing Mike Glennon.

The signing of Mike Glennon gives the Giants an added sense of security entering the 2021 season. Daniel Jones has missed two games with injuries in each of his first two career seasons. This makes the backup quarterback position ever more important for the Giants. New York can feel more comfortable now knowing they can get competent quarterback play out of their new backup, Mike Glennon, in case of an emergency in the 2021 season.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones called “everything we want” by Dave Gettleman

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

In case you didn’t believe the New York Giants were committed to Daniel Jones going forward, GM Dave Gettleman would confirm that once again while speaking on Tuesday. The Giants have expressed that Jones is their future multiple times, but since this is the offseason when roster moves are being made, it needed to be said one more time. And if you believe Gettleman here, there’s really no chance we end up with a different QB anytime soon.

Gettleman claims there’s no need to look at QBs

“We’ve done the evaluation on him and we really believe he’s the guy. No reason to go look,” Gettleman said, denying that the Giants might look at free agent quarterbacks. “What we’re doing isn’t fantasy football, we’re not playing, we’re not doing that. We’ve got a conviction on him, he’s everything we want, he’s got all the physical skills and again I say this all the time, the kid just finished his second year of NFL football.”

Gettleman stressed that it takes time and that most aren’t the best at their job after two years. He reaffirmed once again that the team believes in Daniel Jones.

But it remains to be seen how far out this order of things will last if Jones doesn’t make the big step forward that many are hoping for in 2021. He’ll have some advantages compared to 2020 if the Giants can do what everyone is hoping, and add better weapons to the offense this year. But as we saw with the team’s losing streak in the first half of last season, patience will wear thin quickly if that doesn’t bring quick results.

Still, it really looks like the Giants are unlikely to change course anytime soon, and they’ve practically said it themselves on a number of occasions, both head coach Joe Judge and GM Dave Gettleman. We’re going to have Daniel Jones as the QB for the future, whether or not the fans believe the Giants can win down the line with him.

New York Giants named a top landing spot for Jaylen Waddle by Pro Football Focus

New York Giants, Jaylen Waddle

The New York Giants are in the market for new playmakers. After the Giants’ offense averaged only 17.5 points per game in 2020, general manager Dave Gettleman and co-owner John Mara promised to add playmakers to New York’s offense this offseason. This has led man to assume that the Giants will be drafting a wide receiver with the eleventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

This year’s draft class is loaded with wide receiver talent. At the top are three blue-chip prospects that could all potentially be drafted in the top ten. Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Ja’Marr Chase are all elite wide receiver prospects. If one of these players falls to the Giants at eleven, New York should not even hesitate to draft them.

But which wide receiver prospect should be the Giants’ number one target? According to Pro Football Focus, Jaylen Waddle and the Giants are a perfect prospect-team pairing. PFF’s Anthony Treash named the Giants Jaylen Waddle’s best landing spot.

Why Jaylen Waddle and the Giants are a perfect match

The Giants are in need of a dynamic receiving threat to help Daniel Jones have his year-three breakout season. Jaylen Waddle could be that receiver for Big Blue. One of Waddle’s main selling points to the Giants is his elite, game-changing speed. The Giants do not have a guy on their roster that possesses the speed that Waddle does.

PFF Anthony compared Waddle’s speed to that of Henry Ruggs III, a prospect who teams fell in love with after he recorded a 4.27s 40-yard-dash time at last year’s NFL Scouting Combine.

The things that make Waddle such a good prospect match the things that Daniel Jones does well as a quarterback. Waddle’s speed makes him a premiere vertical threat. The Giants’ offense lacked vertical threats in 2020, but they did have a quarterback that threw the ball deep with great efficiency. Daniel Jones earned the third-best passing grade on passes thrown over 20 yards downfield, per PFF.

Jaylen Waddle did not play a full season in 2020 as he suffered a season-ending injury after only 4 games. But in those games he played, Jaylen was incredible and was on pace to have a phenomenal season. Waddle was that deep threat that Jones needs, totaling 329 deep receiving yards over those four contests. He finished the season with 591 yards and 4 touchdowns and established himself as arguably the top receiver in this year’s draft class.

Is we inch closer to the NFL Draft in April, the boards will continue to shift and prospects will see their stocks rise and fall. Waddle is a player unlikely to make it out of the top ten, but if he is on the board for the Giants with the eleventh overall pick, he would be a home-run selection.

New York Giants: Is 2021 a make or break year for Daniel Jones?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The success of the New York Giants in 2021 is predicated almost entirely on Daniel Jones and his progression. Since he was drafted sixth overall in 2019, he has shown flashes of elite potential. He has also simultaneously struggled in different areas of the game. In order for the team to be productive offensively next season, Jones needs to step up big time and prove that he is franchise quarterback material. If not, they may be forced to explore other options at the quarterback position.

Saying that the offense struggled in 2020 is a drastic understatement. They averaged just over 17 points per game and were ranked 31st in total offense. Granted, their best playmaker Saquon Barkley went down for the season with an ACL injury in week two against the Bears.

Nonetheless, their passing attack was completely stalled. Their lack of a true number one wide receiver, questionable play-calling by OC Jason Garrett and Evan Engram with a league-leading 14 drops in the regular season all contributed to yet another sub .500 record for the Giants. That made it the seventh negative season since they won it all in 2012.

The New York Giants are still ironing out Jones biggest issue:

Critics of Jones will typically point out his biggest issue, which has been turning the ball over. Since he was drafted, he’s thrown 22 interceptions and fumbled the ball 29 times, only six of which were recovered by the Giants.

This, to me, is not an issue that will doom Jones. Turnovers are something that can be fixed. Good coaching, solid offensive line protection, and receivers that are able to create separation all help the quarterback turn the ball over less. When the Giants won four games in a row this year from weeks 9 through 13, Jones did not commit a single turnover. When Jones has control of the football and avoids turnovers, the correlation to offensive success is obvious.

I still believe in Daniel Jones. He wasn’t an elite prospect coming out of Duke and is far from being a top ten quarterback in the NFL. However, he has all the tools to become successful and lead the Giants in the right direction. Elite mobility along with underrated arm talent and accuracy, Jones has still managed to complete at least 60% of his throws in his two full seasons starting. With Joe Judge looking like a solid hire thus far and hopefully some moves in this offseason to bolster the offensive weapons, we could be preparing to see Jones take a big leap in 2021.