The New York Giants had yet another disappointing season, missing the playoffs and firing their head coach. The one big positive was Daniel Jones looks to be a capable heir to Eli Manning.
When New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman selected Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the draft, fans were left stunned. Not because the team finally decided to draft Eli Manning’s succeeder. It was more because nobody had really heard of Jones.
When a team has a draft pick that high, fans expect him to be a franchise-changing player. Now that Jones has almost a full NFL season under his belt, there is a body of work from which to judge his performance.
The Good: Dual Threat Ability
While Jones draws many comparisons to Manning when it comes to how they carry themselves, one thing is for sure different. Jones can get out of the pocket and make a play with his legs. He even rushed for two touchdowns. More importantly, Jones showed his ability to extend a play and wait for a receiver to get open. If the Giants chose not to address their offensive line this offseason he will need to do more of that going forward.
Jones is also very capable of throwing the ball. The rookie posted a better passer rating than Aaron Rodgers and a better completion percentage than Tom Brady. That’s some pretty good company for a guy that just concluded his first year in the NFL.
He finished the season with 24 touchdowns. That included five touchdown passes in a game against division rival, Washington. Jones seemed to will the New York Giants to an overtime victory. Big Blue fans should rejoice with how Jones has changed an offense that was stagnant times before he arrived.
The Bad: Turnovers
As a team, the New York Giants 2019 season was awful. There are still many holes that need to be filled on this roster before they can be serious contenders once again. Individually, Jones has much to improve upon in his second season. Something that he absolutely has to fix is the number of turnovers he committed.
In the thirteen games he started, Jones threw twelve interceptions and fumbled the ball an astounding eighteen times, losing eleven of them. Blame the faulty line for some of those, but it’s on Jones to not lose the football.
One way to cut down on the turnovers is to get the ball out quicker. This will come with experience. But there are situations where it’s better to just throw the ball out of bounds rather than hold onto it and the play turn into negative yardage or worse, a turnover. It would also help if the team surrounded him with receivers who could create separation.
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In a player’s rookie season, a few turnovers are to be expected. Transitioning to the NFL is difficult, especially for a quarterback thrust into the spotlight. Jones must use them as teaching moments and learn from his mistakes. Eli Manning is one of the quickest quarterbacks to get rid of the ball and Jones can learn from watching his film.
During the season, Jones spoke about his turnover issues with giants.com:
"“There’s certainly a number of things that I need to work on, but yeah, that’s definitely one of them. And it [turnovers] probably is the most critical thing that I need to correct, so I’ll work on that.”"
He knows ball security will be the number one issue that must improve heading into his sophomore season.
Overall Grade: C+ The grade would be higher, but he needed to put together a couple more strong wins.
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