New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones still seems to fight the stigma of his draft projections not living up to his draft slot. Even after a rookie season in which he led all first-year signal-callers in touchdown passes, he still finds himself slept on from the masses.
For example, ESPN recently did a draft assuming every NFL player was available to be picked. As you would expect, quarterbacks dominated the 1st-round, with 20 coming off the board in the first 32-picks. Names like 2019 2nd-rounder Drew Lock and one-year wonder Ryan Tannehill found themselves landing in the 1st-round, yet the 23-year old Jones was nowhere to be found.
However, Chris Simms of NBC Sports, or more notably known to Giants fans as the son of 2x-Super Bowl Champion Phil Simms, is not buying into the Jones disrespect. In fact, Simms sees Jones taking a massive step forward from a rookie campaign in which the analyst deemed “phenomenal.”
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Simms: Daniel Jones ‘Was the MVP of the Giants’
In a recent interview with Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advanced Media, Simms discussed the G-Men’s hopeful franchise quarterback’s play in year one. Safe to say, the ex-five-year pro came away thoroughly impressed with what Jones put on tape in his rookie season.
“I was blown away by Daniel Jones,” Simms stated in regards to Jones’ first NFL season. “It was good to see (coach) Joe Judge start talking about him (earlier this offseason) and saying ‘everybody’s gotta compete for a job’. But, no, no: Daniel Jones doesn’t have to compete against anyone on that team or on that roster. Anyone who is on that roster, I can just tell you: He’s better than them. Daniel Jones, he was the MVP of the Giants last year, to me. It’s not even close.”
Simms Impressed by Jones’ Ability to Carry Big Blue
Simms pointed to Jones’ ability to step up to the plate in 2019, despite New York placing hefty pressure on the rookie quarterback’s shoulders, mainly due to injuries and lacking talent at the skill positions.
“It’s a bunch of receivers that were really good, not great. I would say Darius Slayton is probably the most dangerous one of the group.” Simms continued, “Saquon Barkley wasn’t 100%. The offensive line was solid, not great. We know the defense was nothing special, either. I mean, Daniel Jones was asked a lot on a weekly basis.”
“For a rookie quarterback with not a lot of talent around him, they were basically asking him: ‘Hey, Daniel, we need you to throw the ball 40 times, you’re probably going to have to throw four touchdowns and no more than one interception if we want to win a football game.’ That’s basically what it came down to.”
Simms wasn’t lying. Over Jones’ final seven starts of last season, he averaged a whopping 40.5 pass attempts per game. Over that span, he topped 300-yards passing four times and tossed at least three touchdowns three times.
While turnovers certainly hampered his stellar play, you can’t help but be impressed by his production. This is something that should only grow in year two, with a healthy Saquon Barkley by his side and offensive guru Jason Garrett calling the plays.
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