There are no sure things, even after as much study and evaluation the Giants invested in Daniel Jones before making him the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
“You never totally know where a player is when you get him,” coach Pat Shurmur said Tuesday after the Giants completed organized team activity practice No. 4, outside on the grass and in the rain.
Several weeks into the process, Shurmur and the Giants know more about their rookie quarterback than they did before. Clearly, there are similarities with Jones and Eli Manning and not only the obvious physical and stature likeness that is easy to spot.
“Personality-wise, I would say in some ways they are similar,” Shurmur said. “As we get to know Daniel Jones and his personality more, they’re very calm in their approach. But they’re very fiery under the covers. I don’t think you want to misrepresent either one of them, because both are very fiery about making sure things are done properly, they demand it of themselves and they demand it of the people around them.”
Describing Manning as “fiery” is not a common approach, but all his coaches point to his behind-the-scenes competitiveness that drives him forward. Jones arrived with a near-identical reputation from his days at Duke.
“He obviously has a great foundation for playing the position,” Shurmur said. “We gave him a small group of plays the first day of the rookie mini-camp, then we gave him another group and then the third day we gave him another group and it kept piling on. I think he’s doing a good job of sorting through it and learning the details of playing the position. You never totally know where a player is when you get him. He was ready to compete when he got here, it was just a matter of learning how we do it here.”
Jones is working with the second-team offense, with Manning getting the reps with the starters. No one is expecting Jones to operate as if he is an established NFL veteran, but there are benchmarks he must hit in his first spring with the Giants.
”When he’s in there, it needs to look like football,” Shurmur said. “He needs to execute well, get completions and still drive the ball down the field and make the proper run checks and all the things necessary for a quarterback, and then fine-tune the fundamentals and the details that goes with each play. I see him getting better each day. I see a guy who’s getting himself right.”