With the 2020 NFL Draft less than a month away, and very little sports to keep us entertained in the meantime, ESPN has taken this gap in relevant sporting events to revisit last season’s draft class and evaluate how they fared in their inaugural NFL seasons, while also taking a sneak peek at what we could expect from said players in the upcoming 2020 season.
You would think that leading all rookie signal-callers in touchdowns this past season would give a quarterback a bit of leeway in the eyes of evaluators as he preps for just his second professional season.
However, after fending off doubters from within draft circles to his own team’s fan base to turn in a promising rookie campaign, talent evaluators still believe the jury is out on New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.
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Evaluators Believe Jones’ Turnovers are an ‘Innate Trait’
In ESPN’s evaluation of all 32 first-round picks from 2019, they scaled players between the following:
- has a lot to prove
- he’s a starter
- on his way (to stardom)
- he’s a star
While fellow first-round quarterback Kyler Murray was anointed the star label by writer Josh Weinfuss, Jordan Raanan was not so kind on his evaluation of Jones. Here’s what Raanan had to say about his decision to peg Jones with the “he’s a starter” tag.
Analysis: Here’s what we know with certainty about Jones: He is at least an average starter. That is something considering that draft busts at quarterback, even in the first round, aren’t uncommon. Jones flashed enough to provide hope he can become much more than an average starter. He threw 24 touchdown passes with 12 interceptions in 12 starts. It’s simply a matter of whether Jones can cut down on the turnovers (23). Some of that can be attributed to rookie mistakes, but there are NFL talent evaluators who believe it’s an innate trait and his weakness. He should only get better in Year 2.
Rating: He’s a starter. — Jordan Raanan
Jones’ Turnovers Should Cut Down With More Talent Around Him
Raanan makes sound points on both ends of his argument. From praising Jones and stating the QB “flashed enough to provide hope he can become much more than an average starter,” to also bringing to light valid concerns of his abundance of turnovers in 2019. I would also like to point out that the majority of the writers in the column tended to be overly lenient with their grading, leading Raanan’s to appear a bit harsher.
However, the most glaring statement made from Raanan didn’t pertain to any of his personal takes, but rather relaying the fact that NFL talent evaluators believe that Jones’ turnover woes are “an innate trait and his weakness.”
There’s no denying that Jones will need to grow out of the rookie mistakes that hampered him and his team a season ago, but it seems a bit unfair to believe he wouldn’t be able to do such a thing.
For starters, Jones hasn’t shown to be prone to turnovers in his past. During his time at Duke, Jones tossed single-digit interceptions in two of his three seasons as the starter.
Next, we must take into consideration that Jones was thrown to the wolves with a talent-deprived roster in his rookie season. His top three pass catchers, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Golden Tate rarely played together due to injury or suspension. He also entered games with players such as Jon Hilliman as his lead running back while Saquon Barkley battled injury.
With a full NFL season under his belt and an arsenal of reliable and healthy playmakers at his service entering next season, Jones’ turnovers will likely take a staggering dip from season one to season two.
Raanan Responds to Hate, Praises Jones’ Potential