This could be a make or break year for Daniel Jones and the New York Giants. The team has been working to surround him with talent, but ultimately he needs to make a big third-year leap in 2021 for the team to have confidence in him as their franchise quarterback moving forward.
Jones has shown serious flashes in his first two seasons, but he hasn’t been very efficient, averaging 6.6 yards per attempt both years, and turnovers have been a big issue. He had 12 interceptions and an eye-popping 18 fumbles as a rookie, losing 11. Things got better in his second year, with 10 picks and 11 fumbles (six lost), but that number is still far too high. His touchdowns also dropped from 24 to just 11 in 14 games last season, and he threw for 2,943 yards, down from his 3,027-yard rookie season. He’s 8-18 as a starter over two seasons.
The Giants season got off on the wrong foot last year, when superstar running back Saquon Barkley went down with a season-ending ACL tear in Week 2. Barkley is getting ready for a return in 2021, and he likes what he sees from his teammate Jones.
“I really don’t want to speak for Daniel, but just knowing Daniel, it is what it is. He has an amazing work ethic,” Barkley told the Rich Eisen Show this week. “I think anyone in the facility can see that clear as day.
We’ve seen his workout videos on social media, so @richeisen flat-out asked @Giants RB @saquon Barkley if he’ll be out there #NFL Week 1, the pressure on Daniel Jones and where he should go in #fantasyfootball drafts: pic.twitter.com/0JHyXunUm3
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) July 8, 2021
“He’s a guy that’s going to come into work and is a guy that’s going to lead you and is a guy that’s going to compete. So I think that’s his mindset, is come in and try to get one percent better every day and lead this team.”
That work ethic is certainly important, and a good sign, especially as someone aspiring to be the leader of the team. We’ll see if it pays off for him.
Having Saquon Barkley back should help take the pressure off of everyone. He had over 2,000 total yards from scrimmage and averaged five yards per carry as a rookie, and posted a second-straight 1,000+ yard rushing season in 2019, before last year’s injury. The team has also added some significant pieces to the receiving corps, including Kenny Golladay and rookie Kadarius Toney, and has taken fliers on guys like Kelvin Benjamin and John Ross. Daniel Jones will have every opportunity to impress this fall.