With expectations that New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will take a step forward in his progression this upcoming season, the offense should experience growth alongside him. Jones is coming off a troublesome 2020 season at 23 years old, throwing for 2,943 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also threw 10 interceptions and fumbled 11 times, compared to 18 during his rookie season in 2019.
Jones has all the tangible traits to be a fantastic quarterback at the NFL level, and the Giants finally spent significant capital on bolstering the unit, adding the likes of Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and of course, the return of Saquon Barkley.
But Jones has more positive variables set to expedite his improvement, including experience in Jason Garrett’s scheme and his comfort level behind the current offensive line.
The OL is one of the more prominent catalysts in Jones’s development, considering they ranked near the bottom of the NFL in pass-blocking last season. The hope is that better coaching and consistency, including in-person training and preseason, will inspire growth among the young players.
Former Giants quarterback Eli Manning spoke about Jones and his momentum, inspiring optimism into the debate:
“I think also just the fact that from your first year to second year, Jones had a new offensive coordinator, a new coach, and everything going in,” Manning told NFL Network. “Now, at least going from [year] two to three, he has the same offense and the ability to grow within the offense. It’s not just the quarterback getting comfortable; it’s the offensive line, the receivers, everybody getting on that same page. I’m excited for him, I’m excited for the team, and I look forward to good things.”
As we saw during Daniel’s rookie season, he’s capable of throwing 20+ touchdown passes per season and deploying fantastic mobility to pick up yards on the ground. Last season, he tallied 423 yards and one touchdown with his legs but desperately needs to improve with his ball protection and decision-making in the passing game.
The acquisition of Golladay will provide an efficient deep target for Jones, who was one of the most accurate passers 20+ yards downfield in 2020, despite fewer than 10% of his throws traveling that distance.
In addition, signing Kyle Rudolph will provide a safety net in the middle of the field, where Evan Engram was connected to six interceptions last year off tipped passes. The Giants seem to finally be realizing their weaknesses and filling them with players who have those exact strengths. Jones should benefit tremendously, as long as his protection scheme can hold strong in 2021.