Daniel Jones was the 6th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft via the New York Giants. Although Jones displayed accuracy and mobility at Duke, most Giants fans felt the selection was a reach. However, Jones seemingly proved those doubters wrong, especially in his debut vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones displayed great poise and decision making, which was a knock on him during his college career. He posted 23-36, 336 YDS, 2 passing TD, 4 CAR, 28 YDS as well 2 rushing TDs. Jones showed promise for the future.
Overall, he performed well for the rest of 2019, marking for 3,027 yards, 24 TDS, 12 interceptions and an 87.7 QB rating through the air. Now, the ball security on the ground looks to improve, as he had 12 fumbles.
What can we expect from the Big Blue passer in 2020?
On the Field
In my schedule recap article, available here. I came to the very clear conclusion that the Giants success in 2020 is dependent on the progression of Daniel Jones. How does New York make a positive outcome occur?
First, continue to build on the rapport between Daniel Jones and fellow rookie Darius Slayton. He produced 740 yards and 8 TDs on 48 receptions. Just 4.5% of his 79.4% snap share came in the slot. Slayton spends the majority of them on the outside. Targeted deep 23 times in 2019, Slayton ranked 19th in that category and ran lots of 9 routes and deep posts. By all expectations, Slayton will continue to be Jones’ WR1 as Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard should use their route-running to give the offense a secondary kick. Other questions arise when discussing the tight end ranks and well as the role of the UDFA signings on offense. Slayton shall impress regardless.
Help From the Trenches
The most important aspect of Jones’ projected success in 2020 is pass protection. Sequentially, the Giants offensive line consisted of Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio, Kevin Zeitler, and Mike Remmers. Besides Kevin Zeitler, the unit needed an overhaul and exactly that happened. Starting with the departure Mike Remmers finishing with the drafting of standouts Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart, and Shane Lemieux. Solder allowed 57 pressures in 2019 and Remmers allowed 40 pressures. Expect things to change, not only on the outside with the athletic additions of Thomas and Peart but also on the inside as Lemieux allowed just one sack and three hits on the QB in 497 pass-block snaps. The rebrand of the unit is going to benefit Jones, looking to consistently negate pressure, both on the line and in space.
Between a foot injury and a late start, Jones had a limited floor to show off his skills in 2019. Although, when active, he made an impact. Jones, throughout 12 starts, paced all rookie quarterbacks with 24 pass TDs and finished fifth in fantasy points. With 61% completion, efficiency can be improved, that’s common for rookies. Things are looking up for Jones in 2020. In 2019, the Giants full cast on offense played zero games together they still ranked 13th overall in touchdowns. Daniel Jones also ranked 7th in rushing yards his rookie season and has an incredible set of weapons coming into next season. Look for the spread of wealth combined with the rushing floor to turn into a top-12 fantasy quarterback campaign, if not higher.
In the Locker Room
“Last year was probably awkward for him, me being there, me being in meeting rooms and just kinda the whole dynamic. Me being gone and hey, he is the quarterback, he is the guy, for him to have that control and the authority over receivers and offensive line.”-Eli Manning via the Giants Wire
I’m usually not huge on speculation on player relationships but with the retired Manning making this public we’ll use it. The rookie/veteran dynamic seemed to have a positive effect on Jones in terms of mentorship and X’s and O’s. On the other hand, him being the sole signal-caller in 2020 could alleviate that awkward feeling and allow Jones to take full leadership. On top of that, the Giants are made up of a lot of young talent, on both sides of the ball.