The Giants (Finally) Have a Future

Rocco Law, Staff Writer

You can say whatever you want. This kid can’t be a starting NFL quarterback. Daniel Jones who? Who watches Duke football? I wanted Haskins! Whatever your case may be, it’s time to take a seat and enjoy the ride, because Daniel Jones has arrived, ladies and gentlemen.
I will admit, when Daniel Jones was drafted by the New York Giants last May, the language that was spewed from my mouth was far from eloquent and reasonable. Like you, the players the media and analysts etched in my brain were two and only two players that could be drafted number six overall by the G-Men: Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins.
Of course Murray the Heisman winner, would be the talk of the town, especially since he would be giving football a look again after signing to play pro baseball with the Oakland A’s for millions of dollars. But everyone knew that no matter what, Murray would be the number one pick, and the only way to get to him would be for the front office to basically throw away their future that they tried so hard to build up. So that equation was out.
Dwayne Haskins seemed like a likely answer, posting a four thousand yard season at QB1, throwing for fifty touchdowns, finishing as a Heisman trophy finalist, and leading THE Ohio State to a Rose Bowl victory for a power five conference team. Quite the resume there for a twenty two year old. And so, a small glimpse of hope shined down on the Giants, because you knew Murray was going to Arizona who was in desperate need of a QB, while San Francisco had Jimmy G. who got paid some big dollars a season earlier. The Jets drafted Darnold the year before, and Oakland and Tampa Bay both had at least an “NFL quarterback.” So as the 2019 draft approached in May, many fans and analysts including myself thought they would go with Haskins to begin the future for New York Giant football. Notice how we haven’t even gotten to talk about Daniel Jones yet?
Now imagine how this kid was feeling when getting drafted. No one, and I mean no one, had Jones as a lottery pick. No one was talking about this tall, lanky kid out of Durham, North Carolina. During the NFL combine he showed promise in his arm strength, mobility, and football IQ. But did anyone really pay attention? Of course not; everyone had their eyes on Haskins and Murray who were considered the QB crown jewels of the draft.
On the day of the draft, April 25th, 2019, at 8:30pm in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, walked on stage to the podium to disclose who the Giants would in the first round with the sixth overall pick. With Giants fans holding onto their nerves (and Tennessee BBQ) for dear life, Goodell relayed the pick: it was Daniel Jones out of Duke University. Boos that could be heard as far as Metlife Stadium filled downtown Nashville. General Manager Dave Gettleman held a press conference early the next day after the draft to discuss the Giants night in review. When asked about fans being disappointed and in disbelief about the competence of the front office, Gettleman said abruptly, “In time you’ll be very pleased.” At the time the understanding of the move was two fold: either Dave Gettleman had just made the drafting coup of the decade, or he had just set himself up for the unemployment line. And if you want to go the extra mile, I don’t even think he knew what was going on.
Fast forward to week three of the NFL season. The Giants are (0-2) and Eli Manning still can’t hit a slant route for his life. With Manning performing horribly (again), Gettleman, and Head Coach Pat Shurmur made the big decision to start the rookie Jones over Manning week three against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Does Manning deserve a lot of the blame for eight seasons of mediocre football since their 2011 miraculous Super Bowl win? Probably not, especially considering their God awful offensive line basically left Manning stapled to the turf for the better part of five years.
In any case, Jones was given his chance to prove himself. However, all the media would talk about was, “It’s too early,” or “Gettleman is out of his mind,” or even “This kid could flat out be on Sunday in front of thousands on national television.” Never one word about how this rookie could be something special. Surprising the critics, no such thing occurred on that Sunday as he showed up and showed out. Jones would not only throw for three hundred and thirty six yards, two touchdowns, and almost a perfect quarterback rating, but he would give the Giants the lead with under five minutes to go in the fourth on a twenty yard running touchdown on a big fourth and five conversion.
Now, of course the Giants should have lost that game; who misses a field goal from thirty four yards away? No one’s denying that, but whether you’re a hater or not, Jones’ performance was a debut for the ages. Jones sparkled like a diamond in the rough, the Giants (finally) won a football game, and Dave Gettleman looked like he was playing a game of chess when we were all playing checkers.
You can say Jones was drafted because he worked out with the same people Eli Manning works out with as a mild form of nepotism, you can say it’s still too early to tell and we have to wait for consistency, you can say it won’t last because they are the New York Giants and after all, look what happened to Odell Beckham Jr.! You may be right, and no, I’m not saying we should drop everything and hop on the Danny Dimes bandwagon like birds heading south for the winter. But what we can say is that now, there is a future for this young, defense hapless, New York Giants team.