The Giants and Daniel Jones


Daniel Jones is the Giants’ quarterback of the future. Many are unhappy about it.(Courtesy of Flickr)

By Dylan Balsamo

The last few seasons have not been kind to the New York Football Giants, and nobody has let the team know that more than its loud, if nothing but loyal, fanbase. The question of how long New York can last with now 38-year old Eli Manning as the starting quarterback has been percolating for a couple of years, but in terms of its coverage, it has felt like much longer.

The NFC East has had no shortage of quarterback talent in recent seasons. The Eagles have had two deep Playoff runs and a Super Bowl victory, thanks to two talents in Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, and Dak Prescott proved to be effective for the Cowboys, he sent Tony Romo straight to the CBS broadcast booth. In today’s NFL, there are more talented quarterbacks than ever before, but the Giants organization has said time and time again, Eli is the guy.

But, for how long?

New York has been near the cellar of the NFL for the past two seasons, including a dismal 13-3 record to finish off 2017. Not even with the offensive starpower of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., now a member of the Cleveland Browns, was Eli able to lead the Giants to success over these past two seasons. In 2018, Manning not only had Beckham but Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, a running back who had one of the greatest rookie seasons on record and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year come the season’s end.

Fans and analysts alike have pointed fingers at Eli, but Giants higher-ups, including General Manager Dave Gettleman, have said over and over that Manning was their quarterback, and he was not the problem. In that dismal 2017 season, a November Week 13 game against the Oakland Raiders saw first-year Giants head coach Ben McAdoo bench Eli Manning for a familiar face in New York, Geno Smith. The game ended Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive games started, and backlash from benching Manning sounded from former Giants players and coaches all over.

McAdoo was fired two days later. The Giants’ precious Eli was protected from being hurt again. This past weekend in Nashville was the 2019 NFL Draft, a chance for the teams with the worst record from the season before to hand pick the top collegiate football players in order to fill their personal holes and put the franchise right back into contention with those at the top. The Giants entered the draft with the sixth overall selection, which was not a bad pick, and there were a few options in terms of young quarterbacks. Obviously, the top prospect on the table was Heisman trophy winner and two-sport athlete, Kyler Murray, but it came as no surprise to anybody when the Arizona Cardinals took Murray first overall taking him off the market.

As any football expert would tell you, the next best option for a quarterback in the draft was Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, a Heisman contender, a Big 10 offensive powerhouse, and even a New Jersey native. If a team is going to draft a quarterback and they could not have Kyler Murray, Haskins would make the most sense, but logic and reality are two very different worlds.

The Wednesday night before the Thursday draft, Gettleman made it clear that the Giants were aiming for a quarterback, but it was not Dwayne Haskins; it was Duke QB Daniel Jones. Haskins was still on the table, but the Giants took Jones instead, and the consensus from Jones’ scouting report was nothing too special. Some have even said he is backup material.

After making the pick, many were dumbfounded, wondering why the pick was not Haskins or why the Giants did not try to trade for Josh Rosen from the Cardinals like the Miami Dolphins did. Gettleman immediately came out on the defensive, claiming there were teams that would have taken Jones. He said, “I know for a fact there were two teams that would have taken him in front of 17.” Reports have speculated that these two teams were the Redskins and the Broncos, but there is questioning on whether or not that is true.

The real question is, why did Gettleman get so defensive when picking a player who was clearly not as good as other options? Why is he keeping his cards so close? Who is he trying to protect? Jones? Manning? It is all a little perplexing.

The Giants are a very old school organization and chooses to function like that, which is fine. But the least they can do is try and make their fans understand the direction the team is looking to go in.