Turning 24 years old on Thursday, Daniel Jones has quickly gone from young gun to veteran presence in the Giants‘ locker room since the organization decided to pull the trigger on him with the No. 6 overall back in 2019. Now embarking on his third NFL season, Jones is not only the longest-tenured signal-caller on the Giants’ roster, but the longest-tenured signal-caller in all New York football.
Following the New York Jets‘ decision to move off of three-year starter Sam Darnold this offseason, the Giants’ intra-city rival has undergone a massive youth movement under center. To replace Darnold, Gang Green opted to use the second-overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft to nab BYU’s Zach Wilson. Beyond the rookie, the Jets have a pair of former Day 3 picks in James Morgan and Mike White — each of whom has zero professional snaps under their belt.
In conclusion, it’s safe to assume Wilson will be baptized by fire this season. The 21-year-old will be tasked with the ever-daunting job of revitalizing a team in the midst of a long-term rut (just one winning season since 2011), all while playing under the microscope of the biggest media market in the country — both of which Jones has learned a thing or two about over his two-plus years in New York.
Jones Shares Advice With Wilson
Speaking to reporters following Giants’ OTAs, the birthday boy was asked if he had any advice for his new Jets counterpart. Here’s what Jones had to say.
“Get used to doing media and talking to you guys,” Jones said humourlessly, adding “I don’t know Zach, but he certainly looks like a talented guy. I’m sure he’ll do great — I’m pulling for him.”
Jones’ Work Ethic Earns Coach Judge’s Praise
Another tip Wilson can take from Jones is the way he carries himself on and off the football field. Remember, Jones was not handpicked by head coach Joe Judge. He was instead a carryover from the previous regime — a highly unusual practice in today’s NFL. However, Jones’ continued growth and leadership traits have quickly turned Judge into one of the quarterback’s most prominent supporters.
“I’m proud of the way he works every day,” Judge told reporters. “This guy comes to work every day and whatever phase he’s in, if he’s in the weight room, if he’s getting treatment, if he’s on the field throwing with his teammates, organizing things outside this building, the guy always has a plan of how he’s going to attack things and proud to watch how he’s worked.”
Judge isn’t the only one who has continuously backed his quarterback in recent months. General Manager Dave Gettleman has also been vocal in his support of the NFL’s reigning top-deep ball passer (per NextGenStats). This offseason Gettleman put his money where his mouth was and splurged on new offensive weapons to better support Jones in what many perceive as a make-or-break season for the North Carolina native.
“I’m excited to get back out on the field,” Jones said. “I think we’ve got a great group of guys coming in from last year. (We added) a few new pieces here and there. It’s about working together and building chemistry, getting on the field. I’m excited. I think we have an opportunity to improve this spring, keep that going into training camp.”
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