Diagnosing The New York Giants Quarterback Problem

New York Giants Quarterback

Up to this point, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has not proven to be the future leader of the franchise. Though for the past two years Jones has had a stone-age offense and Jason Garrett hovering over him, he has not made the situation any better for himself or the teammates around him.

Unfortunately, this problem goes beyond repair and replace. The New York Giants have several other positional issues that need to be settled outside of quarterback. At times, Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley have not been given a fair shake due to the inept talent of the starting five in front of them.

However, here is a diagnosis of the quarterback issue and how the Giants can attempt to resolve it.

Looking At The New York Giants Quarterback Mess

Daniel Jones

2019

The New York Giants drafted Daniel Jones sixth overall in 2019 out of Duke. This boiled the blood of many, but others were willing to sit and see the results. Two weeks into the 2019 season, Pat Shurmur named Daniel Jones the future starting quarterback. Through 12 games in a west coast offense, Jones threw for 3,027 yards, a completion percentage of 61.87, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He also rushed for two rushing touchdowns.

Jones threw for two touchdowns in five games and tossed three or more touchdowns in three games. However, this came with a downside as “Danny Dimes” fumbled 19 times and lost 11. This was a result of his poor pocket presence and blindside pressure from Nate Solder.

The New York Giants fired Pat Shurmur and 90% of his coaching staff on Black Monday of 2019, meaning Jones would go through a second scheme in two seasons.

2020

Newly-hired head coach Joe Judge hired Jason Garrett as the team’s new offensive coordinator, who previously served as the Dallas Cowboys head coach. Adding on to learning a new scheme, Daniel Jones’s first preseason as the starting quarterback would be during a COVID-19 pandemic, meaning no preseason games and limited padded practices.

Jones started off the first eight games of 2020 on a poor note to go along with a relatively conservative offensive game plan. He tossed seven touchdowns and nine interceptions to go along with five fumbles, losing four. Up to this point in his career, there was only one game where Daniel Jones did not commit a turnover. To go along with his subpar play, the offensive line and lack of talent at wide receiver remained an issue.

Down the stretch from Weeks 9-17, Jones cut down on touchdowns and turnovers. The Giants started to cement a running game at the latter half of the season which featured Wayne Gallman, Alfred Morris, and Dion Lewis. The ground game averaged 118.1 yards per game in the last eight games. In that eight-game stretch, Jones compiled four touchdowns to go along with one interception and one lost fumble.

Though his touchdowns were down, it seemed that the implementation of a semi-productive running game helped the offense blanket their issues temporarily. Jones finished the season with 11 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 10 fumbles, and six lost fumbles.

2021

Preseason

The Giants upgraded their weapons but not their offensive line in the 2021 offseason. The team added Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney but declined to add any offensive linemen in the NFL Draft. The Giants just added Joe Looney and Zach Fulton, who both retired during training camp.

Jones only had one opportunity during the preseason to impress and he did just alright. He tossed a drive-killing interception to DeAngelo Ross and then avenged himself, later throwing a lead-changing touchdown to Kaden Smith. At the time, his only healthy targets were Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and Kaden Smith. Kyle Rudolph, Golladay, and Toney were sidelined with injuries.

Regular Season

The Giants started the 2021 season with an 0-3 record with mixed offensive performances. Daniel Jones tossed for one touchdown and lost a fumble against the Denver Broncos, he tossed and rushed for a touchdown each against Washington and his stats were empty in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett implemented the same conservative game plan as the 2020 season except without a functioning running game. Week 2 was the only exception as Jones rushed for 95 yards and reached up to 344 scrimmage yards.

The offense skyrocketed against the New Orleans Saints, where Jones tossed two touchdowns and for over 400 yards for the first time in the Jason Garrett era.

The next few weeks Jones’ production resembled a see-saw. A bootleg play call concussed Jones in Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys, so there is not much to take away there. He mightily struggled the next week against the Los Angeles Rams as he fumbled twice, losing one, and then tossing three interceptions. Games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers resembled this type of production, where Jones tossed two touchdowns and three interceptions combined in those two primetime losses.

The playbook was minimized for Jones against the Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders as the team relied heavily on the running game and roll-out plays. In those two wins, he tossed two touchdowns to go along with one lost fumble.

Coming off a horrific loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it is not wrong to have the opinion that Daniel Jones is not the future New York Giants quarterback. Joe Judge firing Jason Garrett helps, but may still leave questions on the table revolving around Jones. There is a chance Daniel Jones stays another year with head coach Joe Judge as there are limited options to replace the former sixth overall pick.

Options

Free Agency/Trades

Likely, the New York Giants will not have enough capital or money to trade for Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson. They have to spend what they have on positions like the trenches, the linebacker core, and other reserve spots.

Affordable quarterbacks are on the market as there are options like Tyrod Taylor, Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater, Cam Newton, Mitchell Trubisky, and others. The issue at hand is how much better are they in their careers at the moment than Daniel Jones.

Winston is coming off an ACL tear, Bridgewater is playing at a game-managing level for the Denver Broncos and Trubisky is a backup with the Buffalo Bills with other reasons to point as to why the Giants should avoid the quarterback market.

NFL Draft

Like the free-agent route, there are no slam dunk options in the 2022 NFL Draft Class. The best option looks to be Matt Corral from Ole Miss, but because of the scarce draft class, he likely goes to the Detroit Lions or the Houston Texans within the first three draft picks.

Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett are options as well with their own cons. Malik Willis is having a great year for Liberty, tossing 23 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. However, if many criticized Daniel Jones for being a Duke quarterback, the same outrage will likely be directed at the team if they took a Liberty quarterback.

Selecting any other QB in the later rounds is asking to develop a project in a scarce amount of time that the New York Giants don’t have unless they fully collapse their roster. Even then, depending on a 4th-round pick is sketchy when that can be used for depth pieces missing on this current roster.

Outlook

The New York Giants quarterback problem is very evident. Many feel Daniel Jones is not the answer, while some feel Jason Garrett shaded his talent. The next seven games will present the truth, though no massive changes or results will likely occur. His game is too inconsistent, where he needs almost the perfect situation to rise to the occasion.

As far as replacements go, the Giants have limited options. There is no slam dunk prospect in the ’22 class and all of the free-agent options are backups and bridge quarterbacks.

The New York Giants need as many high draft picks to assess the top needs. Spending it on a quarterback from a scarce draft class is a high risk. The next general manager may take the risk, depending on the situation.

Giving Daniel Jones the fourth year is not the worst idea in the world. That is as long as Joe Judge and the coaching staff sticks by him. However, if John Mara is not convinced that this current team is competent, a full rebuild is coming. In that case, taking a quarterback with a new set of front-office executives and coaches is not entirely bad.

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