Other than Solder’s sacks, there is no way we could have scripted Daniel Jones’s debut any better. He’s got poise, accuracy, solid mechanics, versatility, and he’s a fighter. It’s a rebuilding year because the Defense is awful. Nonetheless, the Giants have a QB. Enjoy the win. Don’t you dare complain about the turnovers. We saw nice rookie plays/contributions from Ximines, Lawrenceville, Slayton and Connelly. And a QB named Jones.
Usually during preseason I watch a number of young players, because you get to see who flashes. This year, I frankly could care less about almost everyone on the field except Daniel Jones.
It is a QB-driven league. If you are set at QB, you can compete. If you don’t have a QB, the rest of the team simply does not matter. The days of a Trent Dilfer winning the Super Bowl are long gone. In today’s pass-happy NFL, if you do not have a QB, you are screwed.
Enter Daniel Jones. You will recall that in April we stated that the Giants “overdrafted” Jones. That was based on an evaluation of college film, and the risk vs reward at that time. Jones’s transformation from college to what we are seeing in the first two preseason games is noteworthy.
“Daniel Jones has improved dramatically since when I watched his Senior year college film,” says Wonder, this site’s Draft Analyst. “He is playing at a much higher level.”
In absolute terms:
Jones is showing understanding of the field, how to run an offense, great accuracy, and good touch.
In relative terms:
Even from Week 1 of preseason to Week 2 of preseason, there is more zip on the ball.
Wonder continues. “Jones’s footwork is much better than in college. As an example, he is pointing his foot to where he is throwing. He is using the lower half of his body, stepping into his throws and using his legs to throw the ball.
“He is not throwing off his back foot, which not only affects the strength of the throw but also its accuracy. His dropbacks are much smoother, much better than in college.
“It is pretty obvious to me that he has been working with someone to get better, and it shows. There is no comparison between his college tape and the pro tape.”
A comparison of the first TD vs the Jets and the touchdown to TJ Jones vs the Bears is night and day to Wonder. He did not like the first TD pass because it was a ball that could have been caught by both the receiver and the defender. Contrast that with the TJ Jones ball, which had perfect touch, where only the Giants receiver could have caught it. There was another pass to Cody Latimer which was also placed perfectly. Latimer used his 6′ 3″ height to get that. The defender had no chance.
“Right now, I give Jones a 9.5 out of 10. The only thing we haven’t seen is the deep ball, which I believe showed Jones to have less than capable NFL arm strength. At this point it really does not matter significantly because of everything else he has shown. He can work to improve his arm strength as well.
“Jones is showing so much poise. He found secondary receivers properly, the way you are supposed to do it, methodically, not rushed or harried. He was calm and not ruffled by the fumbles, which are a non-event. Completely correctable.
“My guy Darnold is set to explode this season if he can get an OL. He looks great but lacks help. As good as Darnold is right now, Jones is ahead of where Darnold was last year in preseason. Darnold was not nearly as advanced, so Daniel Jones can be very very good.”
One last thing that sums up Wonder’s bullishness on Jones… “I was amazed at the amount of progress from the end of college to now. It shows how much he has worked and studied. This is indicative to me of his maturity, because the willingness to work to improve is key in being a successful professional athlete.”
When should we see Jones come in to help the Giants? Wonder is a believer that you do not throw a guy to the wolves. He prefers that the Giants ease him in sometime this season if their record falls behind, like vs the Jets Game 10 or Packers Game 12. As long as the Giants and Eli are doing fine, he’d prefer Jones keep learning from Eli this season and just ask Eli questions about what he saw on certain plays so that he can continue to learn from the veteran without getting throttled by blitzes.
The Giants may have a franchise QB. It is only 2 preseason games, but Daniel Jones has made significant progress.
Gil Brandt is a talent evaluator that Wonder, generally speaking, agrees with. Wonder thinks that in past years, as he is getting older, he may be farming some of his work out and guiding the process a little more than doing a deep dive on every single player. We do not know this, but it is a sense of what we see. Click on the above Link for his Top 150 Draft Board.
Many prospects are NOT discussed because there is general agreement.
Some noteworthy differences (Brandt ranking, Wonder ranking):
OL Connor McGovern (29, 95). Fairly reliable, fairly standard journeyman OL that you can always get in R3-R5. Round 1? That is way too rich for my blood.
EDGE LJ Collier (34, 72). Some upside, does not stand out. I follow a lot of TCU guys, and this is not one of them that high.
T Kaleb McGary. (36, 80). See McGovern, just another guy you can find in R3-R5.
T Dalton Risner (42, 90). Just another guy. There are 30 of them. Can’t play LT for sure. Not sure if he can play RT either, because he may get beaten like a drum. It used to be that you could hide a guy at RT, but not anymore. Too many quality pass rushers. He has some value as a Center or Guard (per Brandt) but I am not going to draft him in R2 for that… R3-R4 fine, hence my rating, and hence why he will be overdrafted.
DE Zach Allen (43, 150). Overachiever in college. Round 5. Likes to play football, has grunted and grinded his way through. Will take up space. Special teams, fill in, second string.
RB Miles Sanders (45, 110). I do not understand this at all. Doesn’t even compare to Singletary or Montgomery (guys being discussed in the same zip code of R2).
T Tytus Howard (50, 135).
QB Will Grier (52, 125). For all Giants fans who want this guy, please watch his Combine and college tape. Too small. Doesn’t have the arm. Doesn’t appear to read the defense that well for a guy with as much experience as he has. So I do not see the upside in him. And it is even worse for Ryan Finley (58, 158). Brandt was right, he just missed by a “1” on the ranking. The best Finley can hope for is 2nd string in the NFL. That is his upside, so why is he ranked in Round 2? Finley has no talent. Other than that he is great.
DE Anthony Nelson (64, 150). Too slow, can’t play DE in the NFL. Ridiculous.
CB Trayvon Mullen (73, 73). Shocked that Brandt agrees with me, but kudos. Everyone has this guy as a Top 5 CB in the draft. I do not. And neither does Brandt.
S Darnell Savage (87, 41). At least Brandt recognizes some value here, because most do not even have Savage anywhere, let alone 87 (or in my Top 50). Great Sleeper value.
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (93, 19). I really like CGJ. See our Top 50.
TE (Nauta, Knox, Warring (96 97 and 98, 160) These are all R5 guys.
What are you drafting a QB for? To be a backup? Or to find a chance at becoming a bonafide starter? The comparison is stark with QB Jarrett Stidham 101 vs QB Tyree Jackson 108. Stidham has no chance to be a starter in the NFL. At least Jackson, who is lacking in experience, has the potential with good coaching to leverage tremendous athleticism. The ceiling for these 2 prospects could not be any greater. Yet there they are, 7 slots apart, which makes no sense.
I like guys like RB Justice Hill (109, 24) and RB Devin Singletary (112, 65). These are sleeper value guys.
LB David Long (151+, 29). Brandt does not even have him on his Top 150 Board. God I hope he falls to some stupid round like R4 or R5. Someone is going to steal him, and I hope it is the Giants or Jets. There is such confusion, everyone has CB David Long (who I like) ranked well, and the LBer who I love is nowhere to be found.
The Gil Brandt of 30 years ago would have never let LB David Long or CB Mark Fields slip this far to not be in the Top 150. This is why I do not think he is doing all of this work. He does have 48 others in our Top 50 inside the Top 112 spots.
A funny thing happened yesterday. I read an article about the NY Giants on Ringer by a writer named Sherman Rodgers that was so so good that I had to rush to link to it. The Ringer article is objective in both its praise of Barkley and its criticism of the Giants.
Have you ever asked why it feels like the Giants have been left behind in Offensive creativity? We used to rip Gilbride for his Neanderthal brute force approach because it was predictable. Supporters of this NY Giants blog can say that Rodgers was 6 years late or that I was six years early. Either way, Rodgers’ points are excellent. We see teams like the Rams and Saints operating at one speed while the Giants move at another. Yes, between OBJ, Barkley, Shepard, and (a healthy) Engram, the Giants can certainly execute more efficiently with a scheme that features more balance and less tendency.
Barkley is an exceptional talent. Not many people are talking about his zero fumbles. It is starting to show up in asterisks, addendums, and parentheses (Rodgers). Let’s state it as loudly as we can to put this in perspective:
ROOKIE RUNNING BACK STATISTICS
Eric Dickerson 2212 yards
Saquon Barkley 2156 yards (projected)
Eric Dickerson 13 fumbles
Saquon Barkley 0 fumbles (projected)
If there is anything we can add to Rodgers’ article, it is that using Barkley outside the Tackles a little more will also extend his career because he will take less of a beating from 330 lb. Defensive Linemen.
OBJ is out again for the second consecutive week vs Tennessee. The Giants are small favorites. What is clear is that without OBJ’s presence, the Offense easily flows through Barkley. One Tweeter noted that it seems that the Giants want to get OBJ into the flow of the game because he’s a sulking ball hog a la Jeremy Shockey. Another Tweeter noted how Barkley is almost assured another TD this week because OBJ is inactive. Here is my take- only on the Giants can these two stars “compete” for touches. On other teams, the Offense flows with multiple talents. On the Giants, it feels like gridlock. Yes, some of this is a product of the Offensive Line. For us, it goes back to predictability and scheme. Moving Eli back under Center helps the running game (Barkley) and the play action (OBJ). Play action? Brees? Less predictability? What a concept. If Sherman Rodgers would commit to writing for the Giants as much as Brees commits to using play action, I’d happily quit blogging and just read him.