Retired New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning spoke on his successor, Daniel Jones, during a Monday appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
Last year, Daniel Jones was a new fish in a significantly large pond. He came into the New York Giants organization as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 draft, a selection that outraged a number of fans. Some actually booed the young quarterback at a New York Yankees game before he even threw a pass in the pros.
But one year, 24 touchdown passes, and 3,027 passing yards later, Jones is looking to become the face of the franchise amid Eli Manning‘s retirement. And with Eli now out of the picture, it’ll be simpler for Jones to lead this organization, at least according to the two-time Super Bowl MVP himself.
“I think it will be easier this year for him to kind of step up as that leader,” Eli told Bob Papa and Charlie Weis of SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday. “Last year was probably awkward for him, me being there, me being in meeting rooms and just kind of the whole dynamic. Me being gone and hey, he’s the quarterback, he’s the guy, for him to have that control and the authority over receivers and the offensive line.
“I think he’s proven to be tough and works hard, he’s done all the right things, he’s gone in with that approach of keeping his head down and not saying more than he has to, working hard and earning the respect from the teammates. Now he can elevate that where now he’s in charge. The questions are coming to him from the coordinator, he’s gonna have to give his voice and his opinion on things.”
Luckily for Jones, the Giants just added what will hopefully be a staple within their offensive line for years to come. Big Blue ultimately selected Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Thomas may start on the right side of the line before transitioning to Jones’ blindside.
New York additionally added a developmental offensive tackle in Uconn’s Matt Peart (third round) along with Oregon guard Shane Lemieux (fifth round). The latter will earn reps at both the guard and center positions.
The offensive line and skills players have the potential to truly come together in 2020, which would greatly assist in the overall development of the young Jones.