The New York Giants are in the midst of another rebuild, this time under head coach Joe Judge, the former New England Patriots assistant. Needless to say, they’re not going far in 2020 without help from second-year quarterback Daniel Jones.
The good news for fans is that the Giants are seeing a big difference in Jones, literally. He’s added muscle, which may help solve the emerging quarterback’s No. 1 problem from a year ago.
Daniel Jones’ rookie season was mostly a success
The arrival of Daniel Jones from Duke as the No. 6 overall draft pick brought an end to the Eli Manning era of the New York Giants. Jones threw for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions last season to become the franchise’s most accomplished rookie signal-caller ever.
Along the way, Jones became the first NFL rookie with three four-TD, zero-picks games. His passer rating was a little soft at 87.7, but that will come up when his completion percentage (61.9) does – a frequent occurrence for second-year quarterbacks.
The one knock on Jones was his penchant for losing his grip on the football. Jones fumbled 18 times, a combination of pocket awareness and ball security issues. The defense had enough problems without Jones repeatedly surrendering field position, so it’s essential that the Giants see improvement in that area this fall.
They figure to be better than last year’s 4-12 record anyway. If the extra muscle and a fresh set of coaches result in Jones hanging onto the ball, the Giants have the potential to make some noise in a division full of flawed rivals.
Giants fans can look forward to a beefed-up Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones looked lanky at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds as a rookie. The updated version of the quarterback has him tipping the scales at 228 pounds, and his shoulders appear a bit broader than a year ago.
” I feel like I’m as strong as I’ve been,” Jones told Giants.com. “I feel like I’m in good shape. I was in Charlotte for most of the offseason and training there. I wanted to get stronger and wanted to gain some weight for what that does for every part of my game, standing in the pocket, running when I need to, and obviously throwing the ball as efficiently as I can using my strength, my lower body.”
Giants fans have to be hoping that the bigger and better Jones will get an additional boost from the regime change. Head coach Joe Judge has brought Jason Garrett aboard as offensive coordinator. Garrett oversaw the development of Dak Prescott while the head coach of the Cowboys.
The season is in the hands of young players
The New York Giants hope that Daniel Jones, 23, is the quarterback who takes them to 2030 and beyond. If so, and so long as free agency doesn’t do too much damage, the Giants have a strong core to build around.
ESPN rates the Giants as second to the Baltimore Ravens in terms of talented players under the age of 25. The gem, of course, is running back Saquon Barkley, who is coming off consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in his first two years in the NFL despite an ankle injury that caused him to miss three games in 2019.
Guard Will Hernandez and tackle Andrew Thomas are seen as the long-term foundation on the offensive line protecting Jones and paving the way for Barkley.