If there’s any single word that we can use to describe Daniel Jones as a quarterback, it’s “boring.” The New York Giants were never looking for a Lamar Jackson-style passer, as they seem to prefer pocket passers that resemble Eli Manning in almost every way.
From working with Manning’s long-time coach, David Cutcliffe, to training alongside the signal caller himself, Jones has put himself in Eli’s shoes at every conceivable intersection. He’s the perfect player to take over after the Giants’ veteran quarterback, and if he can replicate even half of his success, which would bring another Super Bowl to New York, the pick will have been worth it.
Spending the No. 6 overall pick on a quarterback that put up flashless numbers at Duke certainly rattled a few craniums, however, Jones carried the Blue Devils to an 8-5 record and a Bowl game win over Temple in his Senior year. His skills were almost hidden beneath a slew of dropped passes (33) and as little time to throw the ball as Manning has enjoyed in recent seasons.
But, Jones’ strengths and weaknesses can still easily be dissected.
New York Giants: Daniel Jones’ top strength
Decision making. Jones is refined and polished when it comes to making the right choices with the ball in his hands. As mentioned above, he’s a “boring” passer that throws underneath instead of taking risks downfield. Maybe that was a product of the lack of talent around him, but it was clear in his tape that he elected to make the safe throw a majority of the time.
Now, that’s a good thing at the next level, as Tom Brady and Manning operate in a similar fashion. Short/intermediate passes are all that’s needed to move the chains. In fact, a seven-minute scoring drive is more beneficial than a 20-second touchdown. Taking time off the clock and allowing your defense to rest is essential when it comes to winning football games.
General manager for the Giants, Dave Gettleman, has made it a priority to build out the offensive line to increase efficiency at the QB position. This will help Manning in 2019 and Jones beyond. His elevated sense of decision making will allow the offense to move the chains slowly while burning time off the clock, but it also aids him in utilizing his athleticism.
Jones has the ability to pick up yards with his legs, something Manning was never able to do. Expect to see Daniel take off running if he doesn’t see an opening in coverage – he’s more than capable of taking it to the house.
— ABC11Charlie Mickens (@GameDayCharlie) November 11, 2018
His biggest weakness:
Jones’ biggest weakness is his arm strength. He has a majority of the tangible and intangible traits, but he’s also well disciplined in front of the media, keeping them in check. Where he falters is when he has to make quick decision throws that require some “ummf.”
Jones might find himself in trouble trying to zip balls into tight windows at the next level. The heightened athleticism and speed of the NFL will take some time to get used to, but the improvement of the offensive line should be able to hide his biggest deficiency. If he has time, he can put the ball in the right places — if under pressure he won’t be able to set his feet all the time, forcing him to use more ‘arm’.
Unforuntauntely, this is something that can’t be improved significantly. He already has impeccable technique so there’s not much to tweak on the end. However, adding a bit more strength could be the fix, but it could affect his throwing motion if he’s not careful. I imagine there are things he can do to improve it incrementally, but he will have to rely on his fantastic accuracy for the most part.
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