jason garrett daniel jones giants
Syndication: The Record

Daniel Jones must take that next step as a pro-level quarterback in 2021. If he doesn’t, who knows what the future holds?

Ryan Honey

Already two seasons have come and gone since the Giants drafted Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall in 2019, a move that shocked many.

And in that time frame, he’s portrayed flashes that show he can potentially be Big Blue’s long-term quarterback.

Keyword: potentially.

Jones hasn’t taken that leap to positively confirm he’ll be the leader of the franchise down the road, but it’s not entirely his fault.

There are mistakes and turnovers that are on him, yes. However, he’s yet to play with a strong offensive line or a consistently reliable receiving corps. Not to mention, the coaching staff change from 2019 to 2020 was likely a strenuous alteration to experience.

Thanks to these issues, the 24-year-old’s comfort levels in 2019 and 2020 likely weren’t significant; it’s the current staff’s job to change that in 2021.

“I just think the biggest thing for everybody with our football team is you’ve just got to go back out there, approach it the right way and try to get better every day,” offensive coordinator Jason Garrett told the media Thursday. “That’s our approach with Daniel and that’s our approach with everybody. Because he goes about it the right way, because he’s always so prepared and he has physical tools, we’re just going to keep trying to give him those experiences. We’re trying to put him in an environment where he’s comfortable. We’ve got some young players around him who are growing and they’re all growing together, and that’s a positive thing and an exciting thing.”

Games aren’t won during free agency, nor during the draft.

Rosters are improved on paper amid those periods, but that doesn’t always equal on-field success. The Giants still need to find that success once their regular season commences Sept. 12.

But up until this point, the organization has at least been productive with accumulating the right assistance in order to make Jones comfortable.

Golden Tate’s departure led to Kenny Golladay‘s arrival. The latter occurrence came to fruition via a four-year, $72 million contract signed in March.

The Giants also brought in Kyle Rudolph and subsequently drafted wideout Kadarius Toney, another weapon that should overwhelm opposing defenses.

But the thing with Jones is that he needed a vast slate of weapons that encompassed various on-field qualities. It wasn’t just about acquiring a true No. 1 wideout in Golladay, but also constructing a legitimate group of targets with guys that could fill their own respective roles.

The Giants may now be in possession of that.

At 6-foot-4, Golladay can be that tall split end with catch-in-traffic ability thanks to his size.

Toney and Sterling Shepard can work out of the slot.

Darius Slayton is a deep-ball threat but also someone Garrett could send over the middle on crossing routes given his speed.

Evan Engram and Rudolph could partake in two-tight end sets.

If he makes the final roster, free-agent pickup John Ross will be capable of providing incredible speed.

And of course, Saquon Barkley is returning, we just don’t know when and how often he’ll initially be utilized.

The offensive line? Well, the expectation is that it will improve this season, and there’s optimism considering the present continuity in and around the unit. The bodies within the possible starting group (left tackle Andrew Thomas, left guard Shane Lemieux, center Nick Gates, right guard Will Hernandez, and right tackle Matthew Peart) all played with one another last year and should further build crucial chemistry. This is arguably why the front office didn’t acquire a clearcut starting lineman this past offseason.

Daniel Jones is probably in the most comfortable position he’s been in since entering the league back in 2019. His production, therefore, must be superior to what it was the last two seasons.

If it isn’t, the organization may need to make a major change at the team’s most important position.