2021 NFL Draft: Giants sticking with QB Daniel Jones moving forward?
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has had a rollercoaster ride of a season. He has had to learn a new system with no real offseason. His number one playmaker Saquon Barkley has been out since week two with a torn ACL.
Jones himself had to miss two games with a hamstring injury. And to top it off, he has seemingly regressed in his second season as a pro turning the ball over a total of 16 times while only throwing for nine touchdowns.
Jones’ play has not warranted the title of ‘Franchise QB’, however, head coach Joe Judge has been adamant that Jones will be the starter for next season. A week before the Ravens game, Judge was asked about the future of Jones.
He said that Jones was “our quarterback” with no hesitation.
Then Jones had a rough day in the office against the Ravens. Jones ended up throwing for 252 yards and his first touchdown since week nine. But the offensive line struggled mightily. Jones was pressured all day, and was sacked six times, but showed some traits that impressed the coaching staff.
“What are you really looking at with this team as you go forward? Well, I’ll start with a key piece right there with Daniel. You always want to know about is Daniel our guy? Are we going forward with Daniel? The answer is absolutely. What gives us that confidence is even in games like yesterday where it didn’t come out perfectly, you can turn the tape on and you can say, ‘Hey listen, in games one through whatever, that wasn’t the guy we were looking at.’
You watch the tape yesterday and you see that guy in there operating, executing, understanding the pressure and not just standing in there with courage like he’s done all along and taken a hit, but understanding how to take the hit and deliver an accurate pass and move the sticks down the field.”
Head Coach Joe Judge (via Giants.com)
Jones can re-write all the wrongs he has done this season with just one win. If the Giants win, and Washington loses, Jones can be the first quarterback, not named Eli Manning, to lead the Giants to the playoffs in about 20 years.
What Does This Mean for the Draft?
Even though Joe Judge has put his faith in Daniel Jones, that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be the quarterback in 2021. Every head coach always endorses his starter to the media. But, words are just words. Most of it should depend on if the Giants decide to relieve GM Dave Gettleman of his duties. For this scenario let’s say that the Giants decide to give Gettleman one more offseason to finish the rebuild.
Gettleman rarely trades back to collect more picks, so a trade back with a quarterback-needy team seems unlikely. Even though teams would give up a king’s ransom to move up for their guy. Giants fans have been asking for years to collect more assets through trade, but Gettleman never delivers.
The offensive line from far away seems like a major issue going forward. However, the Giants used three picks in last year’s draft on the line. Andrew Thomas has had an up-and-down year, but still could be the left tackle of the future. Shane Lemieux has started the last eight games and stole Will Hernandez’s left guard position. Then there is Matt Peart who has been a rotational guy at best this season, but the Giants like him going forward.
The Giants still have a bunch of holes on their defense too, but if they are sticking with Daniel Jones how can they build around him?
The answer is simple. Get him more playmakers. The Giants’ wide receiver corps was very disappointing this season. The entire group already has 21 drops this season as opposed to 17 last year. Golden Tate has become a headcase for the Giants, Shepard once again has missed games due to injury, and Darius Slayton has certainly had a sophomore slump.
The Giants need a receiver who can not only create separation but more importantly catch the ball. This year’s class of receivers is just as deep as last year’s.