To the surprise of many, Duke QB Daniel Jones got the call from the Giants to be their No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Giants still had quarterbacks like Dwayne Haskins and even Drew Lock on the board, but just as SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano noted earlier this week, Jones was “their guy” and they made the call for him to be their Quarterback of the Future.
Standing at 6-foot-5, 221 pounds, Jones has the prototypical size NFL teams want to see from their signal callers, but he didn’t really show anything special on the stat sheet or the film room. But when he got his shot to show NFL teams what he could do, he ran up the draft boards and the Giants, in particular, were infatuated by him.
“Most people seemed to think that Daniel Jones of Duke was a second-tier QB prospect,” Vacchiano said. “But the more he got in front of NFL people, the more he won them over and that clearly was the case with the Giants.
“They’re OK with his arm, which is considered good but not great. Certainly he’s got the composure and the ability they wanted to see for someone to be their next franchise quarterback and he came with a huge recommendation from Duke coach David Cutclife who is also famous for coaching both of the Manning brothers.”
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That last tidbit is one of the main reasons why Gettleman and the Giants trusted this to be the right pick. Eli Manning was developed at Ole Miss by Cutcliffe, and Peyton Manning before that at Tennessee as the team’s quarterbacks coach. A stamp of approval from him goes a long way.
Like the Mannings, Jones has been known to have a great mind for the game, with the ability to dissect defenses and move through his progressions quickly once the ball is snapped. His accuracy is also pretty stout, especially considering he didn’t have the best receiver talent to throw to which caused some tight windows to be thrown through.
But this pick wasn’t very well received by many on social media, and NFL Draft analyst Rich Cirminiello was among those who saw it as “shocking.”
“Shocking pick for me. This was the one choice I did not want to see the Giants make. I think he has bust potential. This is a race to mediocrity for Dave Gettleman to be quite frank,” he said. “I mean, I think Daniel Jones when you watch him on film, this is a second- or third-round talent. A quarterback I think the Giants could have got at 17, let alone at 6.”
As Vacchiano mentioned before, Jones’ arm isn’t anything special despite his size. And Cirminiello gives an interesting stat toward the end of his take…
“Here’s a number to keep in mind Giants fans: On throws of at least 20 yards during his career, Daniel Jones completion percentage? 28 percent,” he said. “This is a marginal prospect.”
There is no doubt the Giants need to groom Jones to be the Manning’s successor, but that’s exactly what they have in mind. Jones will most likely sit behind Manning this season, so that he can learn even more from the man he has already been connected with.
It’s too early to tell if Jones was the right choice for the Giants, but Gettleman is obviously confident that he can truly be their guy after a year of study under Manning. The “Kansas City Model” is now officially in full effect in East Rutherford.