Daniel Jones went from a fringe first-rounder to the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft courtesy of a New York Giants regime who fell in love with what he can evolve into at the quarterback position at the NFL level. However, the Giants’ decision to select Jones at No. 6 overall received a much different reaction from the fanbase and media than what was likely experienced inside the organization.
One thing we know for sure is that Jones’ stock was on the rise in the days prior to the draft. As we’ve learned since the conclusion of the draft, Jones’ draft stock was much higher in NFL circles — specifically in the Giants circle — than on the mock draft boards created by the media.
Just hours before the draft got underway, NFL Network lead draft analyst and former NFL scout (for multiple teams) Daniel Jeremiah predicted the Giants would draft Jones. Long-tenure NFL national reporter Peter King joined him in this prediction in his final mock draft.
According to Jeremiah, Jones is the best fit for the style of football Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has implemented. Gettleman wants a physical football team with a run-first mentality that takes advantage of big plays in the passing game via the play-action passing game.
“I just know when you watch Jones play and the things he does, I think he can play an efficient game, a team that’s going to build around his defense going forward,” Jeremiah said on a pre-draft conference call. “I think you’ll see that with the Giants. We’ve seen it reflected in the Odell Beckham trade. I think the more conservative, efficient approach offensively, that to me fits with Daniel Jones’ style, and everybody kind of made the Cutcliffe thing. I don’t know if that has much impact when it’s all said and done with that connection.
“I just think stylistically how they want to play, having a long track record of having played there at Duke versus maybe Haskins with the one year, I just think that kind of falls in line more with the Giants.
“I have it — the order that I have them rated, I have it Murray, Haskins, Lock, Jones, but when you’re putting these things together, you kind of go off fit, and I can see the fit there with Daniel Jones. So that’s kind of a long way to get to why I had them taking Daniel Jones at 6.”
The Giants eventually made the decision to select Jones and today we’re going to take a deep dive into everything that has transpired since they made that decision. We will recap the national reaction, the immediate analysis, Jones’ showing during the rookie minicamp, his progress during OTAs (specifically in the mandatory minicamp), and where he stands now heading into Giants training camp.
On that note, let’s dive right in:
GIL BRANDT COMPARES JONES TO A YOUNG PEYTON MANNING
Daniel Jones v. Army
In passes that had 20+ yards in the air from the line of scrimmage:
3/5 120 yards 1 TD
29% of attempts
30+ air yards:
2/2 95 yards
12% of attempts
5:00 AM – Jun 16, 2019
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OK — we’ll admit it — this one came just days before the Giants selected him. Nonetheless, when the Godfather of modern NFL scouting speaks, we tend to listen.
randt, long-time NFL talent evaluator and former executive, believes that he is watching a nearly-identical quarterback to a college-version of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning when he throws on Jones’ game film.
“I. Love. Dan Jones,” Brandt said, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. “I have to say this carefully: When you watch him and you go back (20) years and watch Peyton Manning, you are watching the same guy. He’s athletic. He doesn’t have a rocket for an arm, but neither did Peyton. Very smart.”
According to Brandt, Jones’ high character has been proven by the decisions he has made in his college career. While some detractors will point to Jones’ low completion rate at the collegiate level, Brandt credits that to a poor supporting cast at Duke.
Ultimately, Brandt is more connected to NFL general managers, team executives, and coaches than just about any other analyst who reports on the draft. Brandt believes Jones really started moving up draft boards when he caught the attention of several teams during a workout earlier during the pre-draft process.
“He had an opportunity to have a full scholarship to Princeton,” Brandt said of Jones. “He said, ‘No, I’m better (at football) than that. I want to walk-on at Duke.’ He completed 60 percent of his passes but they didn’t have any great receivers there to catch the ball.
“He had an unbelievable workout a month ago. A lot of people have turned to like him.”