Will Daniel Jones get a chance to compete for starting job?

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The three days of dysfunction gifted to the NFL by the Jets have provided unexpected cover for the other New York/New Jersey NFL franchise that has recently cornered the market on mucking things up.

Yes, the Giants have enjoyed a break from the non-stop scrutiny of their confounding football decisions. But the break surely will be short-lived, with fans and media eventually returning their focus to the “what the f–k are they doing?” refrain regarding most aspects of the franchise.

The biggest question regarding the Giants is one that really hasn’t been asked. Will quarterback Daniel Jones get a chance to compete for the starting job?

Most scoff at the notion that Jones would supplant Eli Manning so soon, pointing to the repeated incantations of the KC model (sit for a year) and the GB model (sit for three). But the 2017 Chiefs were a playoff team, and Alex Smith was still regarded as a very good quarterback. And the 2005-07 Packers had Brett Favre, one of the all-time greats, with Aaron Rodgers on the roster primarily as insurance against the ever-present possibility of Favre heading back to Hattiesburg for good (or at least for long enough to give the job to Rodgers and slam the door on Favre).

The situation is fundamentally different in New York. Despite anything/everything said by the team, Eli is in decline. Yes, his full-season numbers for 2018 weren’t horrible, but a 92.4 passer rating still kept him out of the top 20 among all starting quarterbacks, behind even Ryan Tannehill, at 92.7. Like it or not, the official stats for determining the effectiveness of NFL passers has him not among the top two thirds of all quarterbacks in the league.

So if Eli isn’t good enough (relative to other passers) and if (sure, a big if) Jones lives up to the potential that made him the sixth overall pick in the draft, shouldn’t Jones be able to win an open competition for the job? The easy answer is yes, and the team’s hope that this happens could be hiding in plain sight, as evidenced by the team’s decision to make Jones the sixth overall pick.

The question becomes whether Jones can perform well enough in the offseason, training camp, and the preseason to make it clear that he’s the better option. It’s a higher-stakes version of the Seattle situation in 2012, when third-round rookie Russell Wilson supplanted free-agent arrival Matt Flynn by performing significantly better than the presumed starter to make it clear and obvious that Wilson would be the best option.

What if Jones blows the Giants away? Surely, they hope he does, if for no reason other than to get everyone to quit calling the Giants goofballs for taking Jones at No. 6 when they could have had him at No. 17. But if he does, don’t they have to give him the job?

Already, the hints have emerged. From offensive coordinator Mike Shula saying that, in theory, Jones could be ready to go as of Week One to tight end Evan Engram praising the speed with which Jones is mastering the offense, if that trickle becomes a stream by the middle of August, the Giants may have a situation that they’d characterize as a “good problem to have.” And that good problem possibly could be resolved by saying goodbye to Eli.

That’s the other side of this. It’s one thing to start Jones with Eli looming on the bench. It’s quite another to rip the Band-Aid off in one motion and move on from Eli, either by cutting him or by persuading him to waive his no-trade clause for a chance to start for a team that, due to injury or otherwise, would be inclined to plug Eli in and ride with him for the full season, like the Vikings did with Sam Bradford in 2016.

For now, here’s the point: The Giants have shown us that nothing can be ruled out when it comes to whatever their plan is. Even if they have one, they have no desire or urgency to share it, and there’s a chance they already tipped their hand a bit by taking Jones over the likes of Josh Allen and Ed Oliver.

The Jets definitely hope that’s the case.

46 responses to “Will Daniel Jones get a chance to compete for starting job?

  1. If Giants are in full rebuild mode…then Jones should start as soon as he is ready.

    Need to turn the page on Eli ASAP.

  2. This whole talk of the Giants being able to get Jones at 17(or any team could have gotten player X later) is ridiculous. No one knows how other teams boards were stacked and if 1 team had him that high there’s a possibility another team has him higher than pick 17. If you like and want a player you draft them when you can because if your right no one cares if he’s picked at 6 or 17 but if you gamble and you trade down and miss on your player no one will give them a pass because oh that’s not the player they really wanted.

  3. The job belongs to Daniel Jones. There will be no competition. He’ll take over the reigns as soon as he’s ready, or sooner if Eli gets injured and cannot play. Jones is an elite franchise QB in the mold of a Roethlisberger or Phillip Rivers. The Giants were fortunate to land him. How many of us said “wow, the Patriots stole Tom Brady in the 6th round” the year he was drafted? How many people even heard of Russell Wilson or Ben Roethlisberger the day they were drafted? Kurt Warner, anyone? Yet we’re all experts on evaluating college QB’s. I’d say at least half, if not more, of the NFL’s top decision makers struggle when trying to evaluate college QB’s for the pro game. If ever there was a “let’s wait and see” situation, it’s these that involve the drafting of QB’s. In the mean time, it’s fun for all of us to play the GM game. If anyone is interested in finding out for themselves, there’s plenty of tape available on Daniel Jones. Most of the opinions we hear are from people who never saw him play.

  4. Eli might survive the year – Giants will be just close enough to 500 for fools to start wanting to dream of one more Eli playoff “drive”, until that dream dies in December, by which time you might want to start thinking about protecting Jones rather than Eli as they close out with a few potentially tough games, and also get a better draft for 2020.

  5. This would seem to be the epitome of idle speculation at this point? As the (so-called) offseason progresses, it will likely become very clear who the Giants starting QB should be. Given the controversy over Jones, it probably wouldn’t be a bad thing if he wound up basically sitting behind Eli, and maybe playing in spots his rookie season? Might be the best of both worlds for them to have the heir apparent eased into the lineup while easing out the long time starter?

  6. Daniel Jones ranked 7th in passer rating in the ACC! Thats a fact. And it was a down year for the ACC! I’m not sure he could beat out Geno!

  7. I agree with your assessment Mike. If Jones does well in practice I think they’ll play him. DG has taken enough heat. The Eli loyalty is wearing thin.

  8. Jones does not have potential that made him the 6th pick. An insane person making an irrational choice is what made him the 6th pick. He has mediocre NFL starter as his ceiling. Eli will be that over the next 2 years. Jones was a terrible college QB who was only considered a prospect because of his teacher?

    His teacher is the guy who taught Heath Shuler, Sean Renfree, Thaddeus Lewis, and Erik Ainge. None of those guys have half of Archie Manning’s DNA either.

    Lots of smart NFL people had Jones in the 25th to 80th pick range. Look up Eagles Jon Harris and tell me if he had first round pick potential just because they picked him in round 1.

  9. Back in 2012 Matt Flynn got hurt for a couple weeks in the first preseason game and Wilson was then getting full reps in camp for that time, and took over.

  10. Start Daniel Jones? I thought they bought him in for spare parts for Eli!

    New York, (sigh) Dave Gettleman is the proverbial monkey throwing darts when it comes to being in charge. And when asked to justify his choices, he flings poop.

    The only competition between Eli and Jones should be who can go the longest without a disgusted look on their face.

  11. No. As long as Eli’s there the job is his. My guess is, since Eli now has some competition, he will play just good enough to not get benched. Then if they do put Jones in and he doesn’t light the world on fire they’ll go back to Eli.

    However, if the Giants do decided to part ways with him, they should call Elway. He loves wasting millions on QBs.

  12. At some point don’t the Jets have to stop measuring themselves by what the Giants do? Doesn’t this ‘little brother syndrome’ have to end at some point?

  13. Considering it NYC and considering the NYC media, I would not play up Daniel Jones starting card. I would say Eli is the starting QB period. I would not want to pressure Jones in that way. I would want to let Jones progress in his own way. I would try to shield from any pressure to start immediately. I do like Daniel Jones and believe he is a starting QB in the NFL. Is he a franchise QB? Maybe.

    The Giants obviously believe Jones is the heir apparent to Eli Manning. Too many QB get pressured by the fans and the media to start immediately when those QB’s are not ready. I hate to see that happen to Jones. Let Jones progress at his own pace. When QB’s get pushed into starting before they are ready, then often go backward in their development.

  14. All you need to do to start for the GNats is fake injuries really well.
    If he can master that, he’ll be in for ELie in a NY minute

  15. Because the Giants traded away OBJ, Eli will likely have a worse season than the year before. The rookie will get his chance to start when that happens.

  16. Eli will start until they are mathematically eliminated. Then it’s all Jones. Probably one of the few who feel this way, but I think the Giants will be better than expected this year. Not saying Playoffs, but they could finish above .500.

  17. This will be fun to watch (since I’m not a Giants fan). In one corner you have Eli who, other than a decent game here and there on occasion, is a has-been at this point. I get that he is beloved in NY for the two Super Bowl wins and it’s hard to let go of the past. What makes it even harder for Giants fans is the anointed heir is a never-was/never-will-be. In the other corner is… Daniel Jones? Let me pause while the rest of the NFC East laughs and thanks the Giants vociferously for this good fortune. I have watched Jones play plenty over the past 3 years, Raycom/Jefferson Pilot games were aired here weekly. In 3 games against my alma mater alone, Jones threw 9 interceptions, including 5 in one game (throw another lost fumble in to boot). Turnover machine. Poor decision making. Not very accurate. Keep blaming the Duke receivers though… Jones lost his last start 59-7 at home against Wake Forest. Does that sound like a guy that can elevate a franchise? I think not… When I heard mock drafts speculating he could be a first round pick, I was floored. The people projecting that surely were the ones who had not seen this guy play. Then lo and behold, David “Football” Gettleman sends in the card. At 6th overall. And Dwayne Haskins falls into the Skins’ lap at 15. Allow me to pause while Skins fans regroup, trying to believe their good fortune. Meanwhile, Giants fans are stuck with this dumpster fire. Enjoy…

  18. charliecharger says:
    Jones is an elite franchise QB in the mold of a Roethlisberger or Phillip Rivers. The Giants were fortunate to land him. How many of us said “wow, the Patriots stole Tom Brady in the 6th round” the year he was drafted? How many people even heard of Russell Wilson or Ben Roethlisberger the day they were drafted? Kurt Warner, anyone? Yet we’re all experts on evaluating college QB’s.

    So now Daniel Jones is elite?
    Just to remind everyone else, Charlie is the same guy who, at different times, wrote on this very site that undrafted free agent Drew Lock is the best QB on the Broncos’ roster, Gardner Minshew was the third-best QB in this draft, and Luke Falk was the best QB in last year’s draft class.
    I can’t believe you were ale to write “yet we’re all experts on evaluating college QB’s” with a straight face.

  19. It was sheer insanity to pick Jones over Haskins. Just watch the tape, Haskins spins pinpoint passes with velocity all over the field. He shattered Big Ten records (and a bunch of Drew Brees records) by putting up eye popping numbers 4800 yards, 50 tds, 7 interceptions. Watch his games and there is no denying his elite arm talent. Jones is his mirror opposite. He has a weak arm. He is inconsistent. He was one of the lowest ranked quarterbacks in the ACC. Gettleman’s legacy will have been to have passed on not one but two franchise quarterbacks to take a journeyman game manager with the sixth pick. I sincerely feel bad for Giants fans — they are loyal and don’t deserve this.

  20. 2 words : Davis Webb. 2 Years ago, in the middle of yet another season of not making the playoffs and the Giants coach wanted to see what their rookie QB could do, to see if they needed to draft another QB for the future. Because the rookie was only getting 3rd string reps, he started the 2nd string QB for 1 game while he got the rookie some reps. Needless to say the Manning mafia kicked in and the coach was fired and the rookie never saw playing time.

    Follow that up with training camp last year where reporters and coaches were saying how good Webb looked. The Giants made him a surprise cut after the preseason when everyone’s roster was set. That left the Giants with some random dude who had been on 7 teams in 10 years backing up Manning. He was there because he wasn’t a threat to Manning playing.

    Good luck to Jones. The Giants could go 4-12 and Manning would play every snap.

  21. Eli’s mentoring to Daniel Jones: “Didn’t your daddy tell you the Giants are a dysfunctional mess? You should refuse to play here.”

  22. Start him immediately. The sooner they realize he’s a wasted pick, the sooner they’ll be realize that they should use NEXT YEAR’S top-five pick on an actual QB.

    Some great QBs coming out in 2020 and 2021 – and NYG is sure to have high picks in both of those years. It will drive the fanbase nuts to see them passing on QBs like Tua, Fromm, Herbert and Trevor Lawrence while still hoping this 3rd rate, unproven clown from Duke can live up to expectations.

    This is exactly what’s going to happen.

  23. Bobby105 — Brady, Peyton, Rivers are statues too. And they have done just fine in the NFL. Passing matters, running doesn’t.

  24. The 2 teams in LA have both gone from bad to playoffs in just a couple years, in spite of relocation, temporary facilities, etc.

    I don’t understand why the sporting media continues to give both NJ teams a pass, year after year after year. Coverage of the front office intrigue with both teams diverts attention from the fact that the Jets and Giants have been way too inept on the field for way too long.

    My challenge to the folks who cover the NFL: Jets and Giants must BOTH be in the playoffs by 2022, or the press should admit once and for all that BOTH NJ clubs are inferior to their LA counterparts.

  25. bobby105 says:
    May 18, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Haskins is a STATUE.Will get killed in NFL.
    That’s why Johnny Manziel was a huge success in the NFL, while a slow plodder like Brady could never win any games.

  26. Jones needs to sit for a year or two. The same needs to happen to Haskins.

  27. “Jones is an elite franchise QB in the mold of a Roethlisberger or Phillip Rivers.”

    Proceeds to name two guys who share few similarities beyond being good QBs with neither being much like Jones. Why not just throw Drew Brees into the mix, as well?

  28. dregonspengler says:
    May 18, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    So now Daniel Jones is elite?
    Just to remind everyone else, Charlie is the same guy who, at different times, wrote on this very site that undrafted free agent Drew Lock is the best QB on the Broncos’ roster, Gardner Minshew was the third-best QB in this draft, and Luke Falk was the best QB in last year’s draft class.

    I can’t believe you were ale to write “yet we’re all experts on evaluating college QB’s” with a straight face.
    I think you meant to type undrafted free agent Chad Kelly, not Drew Lock, but otherwise I agree with you.

  29. @binarymath you do realize the jets fired their head coach after last season and the Giants fired theirs the prior off-season so I’m not sure where you believe their getting a pass.

  30. Only way if they cut, saying good bye Eli Manning and that send in the young Jones in is if the team has enough confidence in the kid. But for the time being, Manning is week 1 starter in 2019.

  31. well, when your defense doesnt get off the field on third down after getting sacked by one of those defensive lineman that were still available and Manning goes three and out on their next possesion you might want to run Jones onto the field after your defensive doesnt get off the field again on third down cause you passed on one of those defensive players for Jones.

    Why is this even a competition? You picked him 6th overall. He should be starting day 1 and Manning should be holding a clipboard going over everything with him on the sidelines.

  32. Tom Brady was splitting reps with another QB. So, film didn’s show who he was. I’ve yet to see a QB with as many starts and has shown to be as average, on the collegiate level, as Jones, magically turn into an NFL Hall of Famer. Say what you want about Eli; but if you look at Ole’ Miss film; he had games that made you jump out of your seat. I’ve never seen anything from Daniel Jones that didn’t make me get up and get a beer; in the middle of his series! Horrible pick at #6!

  33. I’ve watched a lot of video on Jones before the draft and I was really impressed with him. After he was drafted and all the criticism of the pick I’ve watched more video and am even more impressed. I think he has all the tools to be an excellent QB.

  34. Jones is in the same position as Drew Lock in Denver: If through 8 games the veteran QB has a losing record, they will be replaced by the rookie. Lock is in a better position because nobody in Denver cares much about Joe Flacco. He’s just “another guy” to most Broncos fans and we want to see our QB of future, so it won’t take long for the fans to turn on “Jump Ball Joe” if things go poorly. Eli Manning is beloved by many Giants fans and at least half the front office, so replacing him will be a more difficult decision.

  35. The dude reminds of Blame Gabbert. Decent arm. Highly suspect accuracy. All over the place with his reads and had a happy to be there attitude.
    Hope I’m wrong.

  36. Thia article is laughable…qb rating is your gauge?…lol…Eli was ranked 8th by pro fb reference.com…Tom Brady had like a 97 rating so to use ratings is pretty stupid…Eli will be starting for the Giants behind a completely rebuilt line and will play well.

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