While the Giants saw rookie Daniel Jones develop in flashes throughout the 2019 season, former New York wide receiver Amani Toomer is not entirely convinced that the No. 6 overall pick is the team’s true franchise quarterback.
Appearing on RADIO.COM Sports’ “Home & Home” show Thursday, Toomer expressed some optimism about Jones, but ultimately wants to see more before annointing him the Giants’ next Eli Manning.
“I’m excited,” Toomer said. “I just don’t know what we have in him.”
As a 13-year veteran wide receiver in the NFL, spending his entire career with the Giants and winning Super Bowl XLII, Toomer knows what it takes to put together a lasting career in New York.
Toomer started 141 of 190 games, catching 668 passes for 9,497 yards (14.2 average) and 54 touchdowns while adding 12 rushes for 110 yards (9.2 average) and one touchdown.
Throughout his career, he largely played alongside starting quarterbacks such as Kerry Collins (1999-03) and Kurt Warner (2004) before Manning took over at the end of the 2004 season.
“I think he had some resurgence toward the end of the season, the injury situation he got with his ankle, you just don’t know,” Toomer said. “Giants quarterbacks aren’t used to being hurt. We had Kerry Collins and Eli Manning. None of those guys were hurt for that long and none of them missed that many snaps. Over the last 20 years there hasn’t been a lot of [Giants] quarterbacks missing snaps because injuries.”
After taking over for Manning as the starter, Jones ended the season by completing 284 of 459 passes (61.9 percent) for 3,027 yards and 24 touchdowns to 12 interceptions with 45 carries for 279 yards (6.2 average) and two touchdowns in 13 games (12 starts).
Jones, however, had his flaws. He was prone to turnovers, fumbling 18 times — most in the league — as the Giants worked through the rookie’s growing pains and went 4-12.
But how Jones bounces back in 2020 and continues to develop will be telling, the way Toomer sees it.
“He had a couple good games early, but most quarterbacks when they get their first start they’re going to succeed because nobody has the book on them,” Toomer said. “They don’t know what they’re gonna do, don’t know what they like, what they don’t like; basically they’re playing honest.
“But more film, more defenses are allowed to cheat and take away tendencies, and that’s when usually quarterbacks will have four good games and all of a sudden go in the tank.”