New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones will definitely work well with this type of Big Blue offensive line.
Over the last few years, the New York Giants haven’t had the most efficient offensive line. Actually, the Giants offensive line ranked 23rd in the NFL last year, having given up 47 sacks all year. This was the most that quarterback Eli Manning had to take in a single season throughout his 15-year career.
Pro Football Focus also had the Giants offensive line as the 21st-ranked O-line in the NFL last year.
Michael Renner of PFF writes “At the midway point in the season, it looked as if the Giants had flushed their money down the proverbial drain with left tackle Nate Solder. He’d allowed six sacks and 20 total pressures through the first eight games. However, he rebounded in a big way over the second half of the year, allowing only one sack and 13 total pressures.”
Solder was on his way to becoming a big waste of money. The Giants signed him to a four-year, $62 million contract prior to the 2018 season, and he didn’t perform up to his standards for the majority of the season.
Additionally, just take the five offensive linemen that saw the most action for the Giants last season. That is, left tackle Solder, left guard Will Hernandez, center Spencer Pulley, right guard Jamon Brown and right tackle Chad Wheeler. Between the five of those guys, the average Pro Football Focus grade is a 58.98. At the end of the day, that’s a merely average grade.
People would think Manning was the ultimate problem with the offense. Others would argue that and say he was top 10 in passing yards in 2018, and that the O-line was the problem. However, it takes 11 men to produce an efficient offense, through the air and on the ground. Therefore, everyone can agree on one thing: Manning and this offensive line just aren’t a great fit.
Eli is the type of player that needs a perfect offensive line through-and-through. He had that for years with guys such as former offensive linemen Chris Snee, Shaun O’Hara and David Diehl. Now that he has five essentially average offensive linemen in front of him, he’s not going to be as productive as he once was.
This is why Giants fans should be extra excited about the future when it comes to Big Blue’s No. 6 overall pick Daniel Jones.
People like to talk about his arm talent, or his leadership, or how he “could play Eli Manning in a movie about Peyton Manning.” But what people sort of overlook about Jones is his rushing ability. Jones can get out of the pocket, extend plays and move.
In 36-career games at Duke, Jones rushed for 1,323 yards on 3.3 yards-per-carry and 17 touchdowns. Throughout his entire 15-year career, which consists of appearing in 232 games, Manning has only rushed for 560 yards on 1.8 yards-per-carry and seven touchdowns.
It’s understandable that competing against ACC Conference talent is different from competing against NFL-level talent. However, it’s very evident that Jones is a lot more athletic of a quarterback than Manning is.
All you have to do is look at his highlight reel. You notice right away he’s a more athletic version of Manning. Once he’s given the nod to take over, it’ll eventually start to show.
That being said, Manning needs the perfect offensive line, but Jones doesn’t. Jones will be able to adapt to the offensive line and adjust to it.
It looks like the offensive line going into this year will be around the same except for right guard Kevin Zeitler, who was received in the trade of Olivier Vernon. Zeitler posted an above-average 74.5 Pro Football Focus grade for the Cleveland Browns in 2018. Therefore, Zeitler will help improve that right side of the line, so again that’s another plus for Jones.
Overall, Jones and this offensive line will be a better fit than the offensive line was with Manning. When the line isn’t perfect, you need to have a quarterback that’s simply athletic and can extend plays outside the pocket.
Manning couldn’t do that, but Jones absolutely can and will.