Daniel Jones has shown flashes of greatness in his first two years with the New York Giants, but he hasn’t been nearly consistent enough to know for sure if he’s the guy for the franchise long term. He still has plenty of believers though, including those with the franchise, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. apparently.
We’re entering the peak of Kiper season, with the NFL season behind us. The NFL Draft is just a few months away, and this year’s Draft is expected to be as quarterback-heavy as we can remember. We could have five or six first-round picks at the position, and there seems to be a very good chance that four QBs go in the top 10.
The Giants are just outside that range. They will pick 11th, after going 6-10 on the season. Earlier in the year, when the team looks like it might flirt with a top five pick, there were questions about whether the team could look to draft Jones’ replacement after some very iffy play from the former Duke star.
That doesn’t look realistic now, based on everything the Giants have said about Daniel Jones since late in the season. Kiper agrees: he is still a real believer in the former No. 6 pick.
“Zach Wilson would be the closest to him and then Justin Fields.
But I would say that Daniel Jones in this draft would be the second quarterback behind Trevor Lawrence.
Coming out of Duke, he would have been the second highest-rated quarterback.”
– ESPN’s Mel Kiper
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) February 12, 2021
Trevor Lawrence is widely expected to go No. 1 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. After him, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, and Alabama’s Mac Jones are all in the mix to be the next quarterback off the board.
Kiper would still go with Jones over all of them. From New York Giants blog Big Blue View:
“I don’t know what else he could have done,” Kiper said. “If you’re looking for a guy to be perfect without the offensive line, without Saquon Barkley, without receivers, without tight ends catching the ball on a consistent basis – dropping balls that would have sealed a game against Philadelphia – a critical drop in other games. I don’t know what else he could have done. And I don’t know what else you can say to say this justifies where he was taken.
“You can’t have everything perfect if you don’t have perfect things going on around you. And there was nothing perfect about what was going on around him. …I get the criticism, but it’s unfair because they are rookies and second-year quarterbacks without great talent around them.”
Jones dealt with some injuries this year, but started 14 games, completing 62.5-percent of his throws for 2,943 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He finished with the same 6.6 yards per attempt that he had as a rookie, but his touchdowns fell from 24. He also ran for 423 yards and a touchdown, but fumbles remain a major issue. He coughed it up 18 times as a rookie, losing 11, and had 11 fumbles in 2020, with six losses.
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