daniel jones giants
Syndication: The Record

Superb offseason moves have been made for Daniel Jones to produce. But why doesn’t ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth see future success?

Ryan Honey

No, he didn’t undergo a tremendous 2020 season.

No, he hasn’t proven he’s the long-term answer at the Giants‘ quarterback position.

No, his touchdown-to-interception ratio last year wasn’t ideal (11 scores, 10 picks).

But you can very much argue improvement is en route for Daniel Jones. The Giants have made a number of moves to enhance the talent within the receiver room and defensive unit this offseason. Saquon Barkley is additionally returning from last year’s ACL tear and should take immense pressure off the young signal-caller.

Some believe this could be Jones’ year…however, not everyone.

ESPN’s Mike Greenberg on Monday’s edition of “Get Up” raised the discussion of Jones’ potential improvement, and analyst Domonique Foxworth isn’t exactly convinced, citing the lack of moves made to protect him.

“I believe that Daniel Jones is set up to show everybody that he’s a good player…they’ve put together potentially a really good offense around him,” Greenberg said. “And if he is a good player, I think he’s set to have a big year this year. Do you want to change my mind [Domonique]?”

“I don’t want to change your mind,” Foxworth responded. “I think that the offseason moves that you put up are not really giving me much encouragement. His biggest problem was turning the ball over, and nothing about that speaks to protecting him; to allow him to get through his reads and make better decisions or protecting him so he doesn’t fumble as much as he does. Those were his big issues, and I do have to applaud the Giants’ offseason as far as the draft is concerned — I was surprised at how great their draft was…If he’s going to be an NFL quarterback, this will be the year that he shows it, but I’m not sure he’s going to show it.”

So it’s the current state of the offensive line that seems to be swaying Foxworth a certain way. Nonetheless, don’t expect the unit to be as much of a concern as it’s been in past years, which should help Jones resolve the lingering turnover issue.

Don’t let the lack of moves haunt you

Factually speaking, the Giants didn’t focus heavily on the offensive line this offseason. The organization didn’t utilize any of its six draft picks on an offensive lineman and the only somewhat noteworthy free-agent acquisition was guard Zach Fulton, who may not even start.

The Giants additionally made their top offensive lineman from last year — veteran guard Kevin Zeitler — a cap casualty.

But that doesn’t mean this group can’t blossom into one that provides the protection Jones requires.

And why is that?

Continuity is present

You see, the reason the Giants didn’t heavily address this unit in the offseason (when they very much could’ve stayed at No. 11 overall and drafted an offensive tackle) is likely because they believe in the continuity within the group.

When the regular season arrives, you’ll possibly see an offensive line that includes tackles Andrew Thomas and Matthew Peart, guards Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez, and center Nick Gates.

Each of these individuals worked with one another last year and started at least one game — even Peart did when Thomas was benched for disciplinary reasons in Week 6.

Continuity is crucial for chemistry — a significant quality of a dominant offensive line — and the Giants are expected to possess that important continuity element in 2021.

Development and improvement on the horizon

The Giants should hold confidence in the left tackle, left guard, and center positions. Andrew Thomas is expected to further improve in his second season, Shane Lemieux impressed during his 2020 rookie campaign, and Nick Gates was one of the better linemen this team employed.

Will Hernandez has experienced his fair share of struggles as a guard, but he at least carries the necessary starting experience, and maybe a switch to the right side of the line is the change he needs.

As far as the right tackle spot is concerned, the Giants are seemingly high on Matthew Peart. If they weren’t, they would’ve gone in a different direction this offseason.

Efficient player development is achievable — the lack of attention toward the offensive line this offseason doesn’t mean the unit won’t eventually figure it out on the field. It should also be telling of how the organization perceives the current group.

The O-line could seriously impress

The potential is present, the continuity is existent, and noteworthy development is possible.

If everything comes to fruition, the offensive line should certainly help Jones fix his turnover issue and “show everybody that he’s a good player.”