One of the most consistently asked questions in the NFL is whether or not it’s time to hit the panic button on Daniel Jones. The immediate answer is no. Driving another 1st round pick to waste is not something Dave Gettleman or the New York Giants‘ organization wants; especially a quarterback.
The New York Giants drafting quarterback Daniel Jones seemed like a joke to many. Coming out of the preseason, Jones looked solid. His two key mistakes were two fumbles against the Chicago Bears.
Daniel Jones got his first start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 of the 2019 season. Jones rushed for a touchdown twice, threw a passing touchdown, and fumbled the ball over twice. Turnovers became a growing problem for the rookie.
Jones missed two games against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins in December of 2019. He started 12 games in 2019 and appeared in 13 (one appearance vs the Cowboys, Week 1). He finished with the first most fumbles (18) in 2019 and the second-most turnovers (30), only behind Jameis Winston. Jones tossed for 3027 yards, 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and finished the year with a 61.9 completion percentage.
The New York Giants finished 4-12 in 2019 and fired their head coach Pat Shurmur and many of his assistant coaches. Jones was about to endure another offensive system and coach in his second year in the NFL.
The New York Giants hired former Patriots’ special teams coach Joe Judge as the new head coach on January 8th. Judge brought in experienced assistants to help Daniel Jones, such as former Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett and former Patriots/Dolphins quarterback coach Jerry Schuplinski.
New York Giants’ head coach Joe Judge brings a level of accountability that brings a turning point in Jones’s career. He is definitely on pace to change his turnover ratio because offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has improved his running of the offense without Barkley in the lineup. Currently, Jones (through 9 weeks) has thrown eight touchdowns and nine interceptions to go along with fumbling seven times.
Some might say look at the Giants’ record and blame most of those losses on Jones’s poor decisions with the ball. Currently, the New York Giants have a growing offensive line with multiple pieces. Andrew Thomas and Cameron Fleming struggled tremendously through the first nine weeks, but are currently making positive strides. The Giants’ wide receiver core has been among the worst this year in dropped passes. Evan Engram has turned into a disappointment, when blocking, and receiving.
No matter the circumstances though, this team has been competitive in six of those seven losses, and against good competition as well. If you tweak Jones’s in-game passing decisions, the Giants would be ruling the division.
Jason Garrett and Jerry Schuplinski are working on fixing Jones’s mistakes. In last week’s matchup against Washington, Jones completed 23 out of 34 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown. Jones did not turn over the ball, although he fumbled twice.
Daniel Jones stayed in the pocket more and managed to play better without trying to do everything by himself. The improvement of the offensive line is another factor in Jones protecting the ball better.
If Sterling Shepard can stay healthy along with Austin Mack and Darius Slayton, Jones can finally count on them and not put the weight of the world on his shoulders. If Jones can use all of his weapons wisely while maintaining pocket awareness, he can be one of the few successful quarterbacks to come out of his draft class.
However, if Jones does not maintain success and keeps making errors, the New York Giants will have to consider replacing him in next year’s draft.