Written by: Glenn Warciski
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is all the rave. Deservedly so with his impressive performances in his first two preseason games. With Jones exceeding expectations thus far, albeit against back ups, the Giants are in the midst of a quarterback quandary. Couple Jones’ play with recent comments made by Giants owner John Kevin Mara, whether they like it or not, Jones is making a push to be the starting quarterback.
“I hope Eli has a great year and Daniel never sees the field” – Giants owner John Mara
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) August 13, 2019
Time and again the Giants continue to make PR gaffes. On the one hand, I understand Mara’s misguided reasoning. Somehow, he believes his Giants can have a winning season with Eli Manning under center. By him airing out this remark, Eli having a great year equates to playoffs or possible Super Bowl berth. On the other hand, what is the plan if things do not go as expected? When will Jones be inserted into the starting lineup? Mara deflected the question and put the onus on head coach Pat Shurmur. Telling reporters it is Pat’s decision. Well, head coach Pat Shurmur was conveniently not present, so we could not get an immediate reply. Needless to say, the story died there. For more on this, please check out the Bleeding Blue Podcast. A good debate between Justin Penik and David Powis.
After thinking about this some more, I believe some of the angst directed at the Giants could have been tempered if they would have handled the Daniel Jones situation differently. In a recent column by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer,
I know what perception was of Daniel Jones publicly pre-draft, but that there wasn’t that sort of consensus—that the Giants reached—in scouting circles. It was actually all over the map. There were other teams, plural, that had Jones as the No. 1 quarterback in the class (the Giants had Jones ranked over Kyler Murray too). There were also teams that had him graded as a potential Day 3 pick. So there are certainly some who aren’t shocked with how he looked against the Jets on Thursday, and others that are probably still skeptical.
Here’s what one AFC college scouting director said about Jones the week of the draft: “He’s game-ready. He understands pro concepts, pro fundamentals. He’s just an evolved player. You usually have to retool a guy coming out, and you don’t with him. And sis statistics misleading. He had putrid receivers, a putrid line. I just think he’s ready for what’s next.”
Because Giants GM Dave Gettleman is bombastic and uncouth, his initial remarks about being in Full Bloom Love with Jones rubbed many people the wrong way. Factor in his “Kick Ass” comment and broadcasting publicly his team will be serious contenders in 2018 backfired. His bravado has wore thin and, without question, some people like when pretentious people screw up. Combine his past statements and the comments made about Jones has him coming across as a buffoon.
What he has failed to highlight besides his resume is the following:
Historically, younger quarterbacks have been more successful in the NFL. The table below displays Pro-Football-Reference’s weighted career approximate value (CarAV) for all quarterbacks in the past 30 years who were drafted and on a team for at least one season.
It is not even close. Younger quarterbacks have better careers on average than older quarterbacks taken in the draft. The 22 passers who were 21 years old when they began their careers have an average CarAV of 47.3. For every year older a quarterback there is a step down in average CarAV.
Jones is a younger quarterback so this is an uptick. It is a piece of information but a positive one.
Here is another from Football Outsiders Aaron Schatz:
Daniel Jones, Duke (76)
|Mean Projection in Years 3-5:||263 DYAR|
|Bust (< 500 DYAR)||56%|
|Adequate Starter (500-1499 DYAR)||25%|
|Upper Tier (1500-2500 DYAR)||14%|
|Elite (>2500 DYAR)||5%|
Jones had the lowest numbers in all three of the statistical performance categories included in QBASE: adjusted yards per pass attempt (6.9), completion rate (60.5 percent), and team passing S&P+ (102.2, which ranked just 62nd in FBS last season).
However, the attempt to separate a player from his context plays a big role in scouting Jones. Duke University is not exactly known as a football factory. Jones is the only quarterback among these top prospects who had no teammates who are also expected to be drafted. And Jones played the hardest schedule among these seven quarterback prospects, with the average opponent ranking 52nd in pass defense S&P+. Combine these facts with three years as a starter, and QBASE sees Jones as a moderate prospect and good value in the third round.
In addition, Schatz was on a podcast named What Would Sashi Do? This is what he had to share about Daniel Jones.
Jones numbers in Qbase is down but not much down as one would think.
He has 3 years of college experience.
His statistics are not good but no players on his Duke team will be drafted this year.
Jones faced the most difficult schedule compared to the other quarterbacks in the 2019 draft.
If Gettleman was deft when dealing with the press, perhaps the drafting of Jones at 106, would not have been such a maelstrom.
Lastly, I asked NFL Draft Consultant Matt Richner about the performances of the rookie quarterbacks after the first two preseason games.
Preseason is preseason. It’s not the initial results it’s how they respond when defenses figure them out. I’m going to hold off giving my opinion till later this season. I want to see of they are making the same mistakes or if they have improved.
— Matt Richner (@MattRichner) August 18, 2019
I will attempt to write a weekly column every Monday titled MMG: Monday Morning Giants. I want to provide content which is not seen on other Giants sites. Sticking to our credo of incisive and objective commentary.
Thankfully, Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca is back. He will continue his weekly Sunday column Prophet’s Pulpit. Furthermore, time permitting he plans on adding a mid week post. Stay tuned.
Paul Burke plans on adding his expertise on the Giants. Be on the look out for Paul’s excellent posts this upcoming season.