Giants head coach Joe Judge praises Daniel Jones and commits to him as the team’s Week 1 starting quarterback.
Daniel Jones is the man for the job, at least right now.
There are still a number of question marks surrounding the 2019 first-round pick and his ability to be a legitimate successor to the man he once backed up — Eli Manning.
“Daniel Jones is our quarterback,” said Judge when asked by Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News about the possibility of trading for a high-caliber quarterback (such as Aaron Rodgers or, if he’s somehow ever available, Deshaun Watson).
“I’m proud of the way [Daniel] works every day,” Judge previously mentioned Thursday. “This guy comes to work every day and whatever phase of the season it is — if he’s hitting the weight room, if he’s in here getting treatment, if he’s on the field throwing with his teammates, if he’s organizing things outside the building — this guy always has a plan and a mindset of how he’s going to attack things.”
“[Daniel] just has to be the best he is every day, that’s what we ask of all of our players,” Judge added. “It’s not going to be perfect all of the time, but we need you to be the best version you can be of yourself, and as coaches, we need to put you in the best position to play to your strengths…[Daniel] never shies away from a challenge, he comes in every day ready to work, and I know he’s very fueled…this guy steps up every day to the plate and he comes to work every day with a plan.”
The Giants have, indeed, made many crucial moves to put Jones in the best possible position for what may be a make-or-break 2021 campaign.
Arguably the No. 1 task this offseason was to acquire weapons and improve the receiver room so the young quarterback can efficiently develop. The Giants did just that with the signings of Kenny Golladay, John Ross, and the drafting of Kadarius Toney in the first round.
Another requirement detrimental to Jones’ ultimate improvement will be the success of the offensive line — the Giants have worked and will continue to work to piece together what they believe is an effective and consistent unit. Multiple draft picks in 2020 were used on the offensive line and the three linemen chosen during that draft — tackles Andrew Thomas, Matthew Peart, and guard Shane Lemieux — could all be starters this season.
The fact the Giants didn’t use any of their six 2021 draft picks on the offensive line proves the organization believes in the development of the current group.
The ball is in Jones’ court: A solid group of weapons, a hopefully healthy Saquon Barkley, an optimistically improved offensive line, and a productive defense should allow Daniel to prove he’s the long-term answer for a lingering question on that side of the ball.