Giants Could Land ‘Very Strong Arm’ QB: Analyst

New York Giants

Getty New York Giants president John Mara talks with head coach Brian Daboll.

New York Giants first-year head coach Brian Daboll was the offensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills and helped turn raw 2018 first-round quarterback Josh Allen into a Pro Bowl talent. Could Daboll turn Daniel Jones into a Pro Bowler as well? Absolutely, but the team’s playmakers and offensive line have been overwhelming, which could have to do with his Pro Football Focus rating (67.4), which is 21st in the league.

No matter what happens for the rest of the season, the Giants will have to make a decision on Jones, who is in the last year of his rookie contract in 2022. Big Blue did not exercise the 2019 first-round pick’s fifth-year option.

According to The Draft Network’s Joe Marino in his latest mock draft, the Giants could select Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson with the 24th pick in 2023.

“We’ll know soon enough, but there are some rumblings out there that Anthony Richardson is going to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft—let’s live in a world where that is true,” Marino said. “While he’s far from a polished quarterback, Richardson has every desirable trait necessary to be a unicorn at the position. The last time Brian Daboll had one of those it worked out quite well.”

In Marino’s mock draft, Richardson was the fourth quarterback off the board. The signal callers who went before the Florida quarterback were Alabama’s Bryce Young, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

Profile of Anthony Richardson

Last season, Richardson appeared in just seven games for the Gators. He threw for 529 passing yards, six touchdowns, and five interceptions. On the ground, he rushed for 401 yards and three touchdowns. The 2022 season was the first team that Richardson would be given clear-cut QB 1 duties for Florida.

Richardson’s numbers weren’t exactly eye-popping in 2022. He posted a 53.8% completion percentage with 2,549 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and 9 interceptions this season. He also had 654 rushing yards and 9 scores on the ground.

Yet, Luke Easterling of USA Today compared Richardson to Buffalo’s Josh Allen, who also had similar final college season stats to Richardson. Allen had a 56.3% completion percentage, 1,812 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in his final season at Wyoming. He had 204 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns that year as well.

“If a quarterback-needy team is looking for the next Allen in the 2023 NFL draft, they just might find one in Florida’s Anthony Richardson,” wrote Easterling.

“It’s easy to watch Richardson’s film this season and be reminded of Allen’s last year at Wyoming, when he flashed otherworldly potential alongside some head-scratching moments,” Easterling continued. “His completion percentage wasn’t impressive, his penchant for playing hero ball on every snap got him into trouble just as often as it helped, and he was plagued by the same decision-making and consistency issues that Richardson dealt with earlier this season.”

The Draft Network’s profile on Richardson says he has a “very strong arm.”

In a game against Florida State on November 25, he threw an accurate 50-yard touchdown missile to wide receiver Ricky Pearsall Jr.

Should the Giants Bring Back Jones in 2023?

For the most part, prior to 2022, Jones was viewed as a disappointment. He averaged a 62.9% completion rate, 2,799 passing yards and 15 touchdowns a season and had a 12-25 record.

The Giants own a 7-4 record this season with Jones under the helm at quarterback. Yet, his 10 touchdowns and four interception stat line aren’t exactly eye-candy.

Still, Jones hasn’t turned the ball over nearly as much as in previous seasons. He’s also played without most of his key offensive playmakers throughout the regular season.

There’s a chance the Giants re-sign Jones, which would make sense, even if it’s only on a short-term basis. The quarterback options in the 2023 NFL draft might not be favorable to New York, especially if they’re low in the selection order. Veteran free agents, which include Jacoby Brissett, Taylor Heinicke and Baker Mayfield, aren’t upgrades over Jones. And potential unhappy Pro Bowl quarterbacks — such as Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson — could remain with their teams.

There are still six games left of the season, and four of those games will be against  Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders.

For New York, there’s still time to dissect Jones’ overall season performance and the team’s next stretch of games could decide his future.

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