Through the first four weeks of the new year, the vast majority of early mock drafts have the New York Giants going with a quarterback in Round 1, which is similar to the expectation set a year ago at this time.
The Giants, of course, bucked that trend when it came to their actual pick — running back Saquon Barkley — but most believe that will not be the case two years in a row.
So which first-round quarterback will the Giants snag at No. 6 overall? Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray have been the most popular picks to date, but in his first mock draft of the new year, NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein went a different direction.
No. 6: New York Giants – Daniel Jones – QB
School: Duke | Year: Junior (RS)
This wouldn’t be my selection if I were making the pick, but Big Blue needs a young QB to develop behind Eli Manning, and Jones’ ties to Duke head coach David Cutcliffe — Eli’s college coach and mentor — might be all the Giants need to push Jones over the top on their board as they try to make a smooth transition under center.
Zierlein has Murray as the first quarterback off the board, going to the Oakland Raiders at No. 4 overall. Jones then goes to the Giants at No. 6, while Haskins is taken off the board by the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 7.
For good measure, Zierlein then has Missouri’s Drew Lock going to the Denver Broncos at No. 10 overall, meaning he envisions quite the logjam of quarterbacks in the top 10.
Jones, the 2019 Senior Bowl MVP, would be a unique pick for the Giants because of the aforementioned experience with Duke head coach David Cutcliffe, and because he’s previously worked with both Peyton and Eli Manning.
The Giants have taken the Senior Bowl MVP in each of the previous two years (Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta), so there may also be an emerging trend there. But how Jones performs at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis could change all of the expectations and projections.