Daniel Jones was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. People always have high expectations for top-10 picks, especially when they are heading into their third season in the league, as Jones is.
So far, Jones has been a mixed bag. He’s done some good things, but his high turnover rate and lack of success carrying the offense have hindered his progress. In other words, that next step needs to happen.
The good news? One analyst with Bleacher Report sees that next step coming. On Monday, Kristopher Knox claimed that the Giants are putting all their chips on Jones — at least for the 2021 season. It’s a “ride or die” situation for the 24-year-old quarterback out of Duke.
There will be no quarterback controversy for the New York Giants this season. Though he’s coming off a disappointing second campaign with an 11-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a passer rating of 80.4, Daniel Jones is the starter. The Giants are doing everything they can to support him.
They brought in pass-catchers Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph in free agency and then used a first-round pick on speedy gadget receiver Kadarius Toney (4.39 40-yard dash). With running back Saquon Barkley expected to be back from last year’s ACL tear, Jones should have the supporting cast needed to succeed.
New York didn’t bring in quarterback competition in the offseason—Mike Glennon shouldn’t threaten Jones’ job—so this season will be all about proving that Jones is the long-term answer. If he cannot succeed with a revamped offensive roster, though, the Giants may have to start weighing other options.
The only major concern for the offense is losing RG Kevin Zeitler. He was a key cog along the offensive line the last couple of seasons, but was ultimately a cap casualty and is now a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
The expected growth from second-round offensive linemen such as Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux will be crucial to the offense’s success. Will Hernandez is a good piece, but more is needed since Nate Solder has been a bust.
The Giants are set at the skill positions, however.
Big-ticket free agent Kenny Golladay was signed to a big contract, and Florida utility weapon Kadarius Toney was selected in the first round of the 2021 draft. Those two, along with Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and maybe John Ross, give Jones plenty to work with at wide receiver.
Evan Engram is a first-round talent who has been anything but consistent, but he’s still got some playmaking ability. The team also went out and signed veteran TE Kyle Rudolph to act as a complementary piece — and insurance — while giving Jones another weapon.
The other good news for Jones and the passing game is the return of Saquon Barkley. His presence will give the offense another high-quality receiving option, and his talent as a runner should take pressure off Jones as well. With the free agent signings of Devontae Booker and Corey Clement, the RB depth has improved as well.
So what’s the point of saying all that? It’s now or never for Jones. Sure, his offensive line could still use some work, but he’s got enough talent around him to be successful. With the current state of the NFC East, the Giants should be making some waves this season.
If not, they’ll be making moves next offseason.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.