Now The New York Giants Get To Find Out Who Daniel Jones Is


Now The New York Giants Get To Find Out Who Daniel Jones Is


The leadership of the New York Giants have been very careful not to make Shermanesque statements [William Tecumseh, not Allie] about the future of Daniel Jones. Mixed with generally present-tense statements about his status as the team’s starting quarterback were clear signals that the team was still keeping its options open.


But the team’s decisions in the 2024 NFL Draft put Jones’ short-term and medium-term future into clear perspective. And it’s a reasonable bet, given the decision made last offseason to sign Jones to a four-year, $160 million contract. The Giants are building a team around Jones to see what they have in him.



“Yeah, for me, I said it in January after the season,” Giants general manager Joe Schoen said to reporters following the 2024 NFL Draft, a three-day event which saw the Giants attack multiple areas of need, but not quarterback. “Our expectation was Daniel would be our starter and we brought Drew Lock to be his backup and Tommy is a backup, so that’s where we are and that’s how we’ll move forward this season. Daniel is still under contract for three more years. As it sits today, that’s where we are.”


Could Thursday night have produced a fundamentally different outcome, timetable and long-term strategy for the Giants? Undoubtedly, and Schoen not only had those conversations about potentially trading up in the draft, he’d have been committing malpractice if he hadn’t.



But there are two aspects of Daniel Jones that matter here. One is a tantalizing glimpse into what might be, Jones’ 2022 campaign leading New York to a playoff victory. And then there’s what likely tipped the scales, the three years remaining on Jones’ long-term contract. Building a team around jettisoning Jones would have meant either finding a trading partner willing to take on that contract, an unlikely result after Jones’ injury-shortened 2023, or absorbing a cap hit that would have landed New York in perhaps even a worse situation than the one Schoen inherited from Dave Gettleman and his many contractual mistakes.


So in evaluating what the Giants did in the 2024 draft, starting from the perspective of Daniel Jones is here, let’s see what he can do makes a significant amount of fiscal sense, while likely resonating more with a leadership with the Giants who made the decision to commit to him in the first place

The sixth overall pick, Malik Nabers, is the kind of big-play receiver the Giants haven’t employed since before Jones took the reins at starting quarterback from Eli Manning. If one of the biggest criticisms of Jones is that he doesn’t throw the deep ball consistently, answering the question of whether that problem stems from a lack of receivers downfield or his own limitations should be clearer after a 2024 campaign with Nabers starting every game.


The LSU product wasn’t shy about the way he hopes to be used in New York.


“I would say moving around different positions, understand I can play outside, inside,” Nabers said. “Let me create space and just get the ball in my hands.” And even Nabers, just minutes after becoming a Giant, sounded circumspect about Jones, eschewing platitudes for the veteran for a simple: “I’ll wait until I get here to see all of that. I’m just happy to be here,” when asked about his opinion of Jones as a signal-caller.



Fair enough. The team also needs to avoid forcing Jones to constantly play from behind by addressing its secondary, which was reasonably stout by some measures — 14th in passing yards allowed, 19th in passing touchdowns — but failed to make the big play in key situations. New York allowed the fourth-most yards after the catch in 2023, at 2306, and missed 117 tackles, seventh-highest mark in the league.


Safety Tyler Nubin, selected 47th with a pick acquired from Seattle in the Leonard Williams deal and cornerback Dru Phillips, picked 70th out of Kentucky not only shore up the secondary, but with McKinney leaving in free agency, gives Schoen more maneuverability in future years as well.

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