Jury still out on Daniel Jones
Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus decided to re-grade the entire first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and if you remember the New York Giants’ had three picks in the first round that year.
It sounds like Treash isn’t ready to give up on quarterback Daniel Jones, but he also isn’t ready to say he’s a franchise quarterback. Check out what he wrote below:
6. NEW YORK GIANTS: QB DANIEL JONES
It’s no secret that Jones’ pocket awareness has been bad — no quarterback has racked up more fumbles in a collapsing pocket over the last two seasons than Jones has, and he has also taken way too many sacks.
That said, Jones took big strides as a passer in Year 2, ranking 12th in clean-pocket passing grade at 90.5 and 11th in grade on passes thrown 10 or more yards downfield. He ranked in the bottom 10 in those two metrics as a rookie. The Duke product also did some damage with his legs in 2020, recording a 78.8 rushing grade that ranked fifth among quarterbacks.
Jones still has a lot to prove in Year 3, but he surpassed expectations in 2020 to a certain extent. It’s way too early to commit to Jones long term, but it is a bit too soon to give up on him. For the time being, this selection gets an “average” regrade until we see if Jones can elevate a team that just ranked 28th in the NFL in expected points added (EPA) per play generated.
I woul say that a re-grade of average is fair at this point because we still don’t know how things will turn out for Jones. I really believe 2021 will be a make or break season for him. If he doesn’t show sings of improvement, the Giants will need to look elsewhere for their franchise quarterback.
It’s also safe to say that Treash loves the Dexter Lawrence pick.
17. NEW YORK GIANTS: DI DEXTER LAWRENCE
Lawrence was one of the few players from this draft class who was able to make an impact right away, earning a 76.2 PFF grade. He managed to maintain that success in 2020 and improved drastically as a pass rusher. Lawrence’s pass-rush grade jumped from 64.5 in 2019 to 73.2 this past season, tying for 23rd among 111 qualifying interior defensive linemen.
No surprise here, with cornerback DeAndre Baker no longer on the Giants, they were given a poor grade for drafting him.
30. NEW YORK GIANTS: CB DEANDRE BAKER
There were some off-the-field concerns with Baker before the 2019 NFL Draft, and according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, that popped up from time-to-time throughout his rookie campaign. He had a rocky first year with a 45.6 coverage grade and 130.1 passer rating allowed that was buoyed by eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. Then, following a legal issue in the offseason (Baker was eventually exonerated), the Giants released the former first-rounder.
Baker was then signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in the midst of the 2020 season but suffered a broken femur in his first appearance with the team in Week 17.
I can’t argue with Treash’s grades and his comments on each pick. Right now the Giants are two for three with their first round picks, but that could turn into one for three if Jones doesn’t continue to progress.