A season after throwing 24 touchdowns in 13 games to lead all rookies, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is ready to take another leap in his progress in the 2020 NFL season, potentially a Pro Bowl caliber one.
Jones, who was drafted by the Giants with the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, came into the season with a huge chip on his shoulder, being heavily scrutinized by analysts and Giants fans for having a relatively mediocre career a Duke where he played all four years. Many would have expected the Giants to pick a defensive player in a deep defensive player draft, or a more proven quarterback. Jones was able to show that he was worth a high pick with very productive play throughout the season.
Jones did struggle with his turnovers throughout his rookie season, leading the league with 18 fumbles. This should not discourage anyone betting on him not to clean things up as he has been reportedly working a lot with his former college coach David Cutcliffe and a trainer on cutting down on his fumbling. Jones has also reportedly already added nine pounds of muscle this offseason. Adding more muscle should help him be able to hold on the ball in tough situations. Jones should be protected from having to escape the rush or getting sacked with a new and improved offensive line the Giants brought in.
He has also been working out with his wide receivers down at his Alma mater Duke in North Carolina. This was a tradition former Giants Quarterback Eli Manning, who recently retired, would do with wide receivers during the offseason.
Not only did Jones lead all rookies with total touchdown passes, but he did it in only 13 games. This was the fourth most touchdowns passes by a rookie in NFL history. There is no reason not to believe that if he is healthy and plays all 16 games next season, he could have a 30+ touchdown season.
Jones showed tremendous potential and flashes throughout the season, most notably his first career start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he led the Giants to a comeback 32-31 victory on the road. He threw for 336 yards with two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. He also had three other games where he threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions versus the Lions, Jets and Redskins. Jones threw five touchdowns and no interceptions with 352 yards and a 132.1 rating in overtime, with a game-winning touchdown versus Washington. no one expected to see even a glimpse of this caliber of play his rookie year, judging by his career at Duke.
With the addition of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who helped develop Tony Romo and Dak Prescott with the Cowboys, Garrett can help Jones take that next step in his play.
Jones also has a plethora of weapons to work with, given they all stay healthy for the majority of the season. Wide receiver Golden Tate missed four games due to suspension, and tight end Evan Engram missed eight due to a foot injury. With the likes of Sterling Shepard, Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley and Darius Slayton, who should also be taking another leap in his play this coming season after a very productive rookie season, this could be a very dangerous offense. This could cause Jones to put up huge numbers this coming season.
Only time will tell what type of player Jones will become throughout his career, but based on his very productive rookie season, there seems to be every reason to believe he is headed in the right direction.
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