After his not-so-warm reception on draft night, it appears Daniel Jones is out to silence the doubters.
The New York Giants rookie quarterback opened his NFL career with a perfect touchdown drive against the New York Jets. Jones found Bennie Fowler on a twelve-yard touchdown pass to give the Giants an early lead.
Jones went 5 for 5 passing on his first drive with 67 yards. Jones entered the game after Eli Manning played one series, completing his only pass attempt.
Jones got his feet wet with a quick pass to Cody Latimer for five yards on the opening play of the drive. He would hook up with Latimer again three plays later for a 31-yard strike down the sideline.
In between Latimer receptions, Golden Tate made his first catch in a Giants’ uniform, an 11-yard catch short left.
Fowler made the last two catches of the drive, an 8-yard snag on a 3rd & 7 followed immediately by the touchdown. Both catches came on out-routes to the right side.
From Zero to Hero?
On draft night, Jones was not given the welcome he anticipated by Giants nation. Instead, he was met with a chorus of boos by fans in Nashville and at the team’s in-stadium watch party.
He was booed at Yankee Stadium when he threw out the first pitch, and again on Thursday when he took the field at Metlife Stadium. Though the rookie has said he’s “unfazed” by the boo-birds, it’s still not an easy situation to deal with.
During mock draft season, Daniel Jones was hardly regarded as a top-ten selection and in some cases was even projected outside the first round. Most mock drafts had Dwayne Haskins projected as the sixth overall pick to the Giants.
New York was ready to ring in the Haskins Era, but instead they went with the Duke quarterback.
At Duke, Jones didn’t do much to establish himself as a can’t-miss NFL prospect. He completed under 60 percent of his passes and only threw for 8,201 yards over three full seasons for the Blue Devils.
Granted the Duke program isn’t one of college football’s elite and the ACC is a tough conference to play in, Jones made do with what he had. His receivers dropped 38 passes during the 2018 season alone, a cause for his low completion numbers.
But his numbers still wavered, with 52 touchdowns and 29 picks. But his 22-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio as a junior did provide some encouragement heading into the combine.
He did, however, show good awareness in the pocket at times and had the ability to scamper ahead for positive yardage. Jones also seldom fumbled, doing so only twice in his Duke career, both recovered by the offense.
Jones at the Combine
His numbers at the combine were average, far from head-turning. Coming out of the combine, his status as a second-round pick seemed cemented though he was still felt to make an impact as a starting quarterback at some point in his career.
The scouting report on Jones: He has a high football IQ and operates with a rare level of quality mechanics to make pro level throws. We maybe saw a flash of that on his first drive of preseason, dropping a dime in tight-coverage for a score.