Daniel Jones has thrown more interceptions than games he’s started, and the Giants should turn their attention to Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence
Jones, chosen by the Giants with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has now made 16 career starts and is just 3-13 in those contests. His win/loss record might be the least of the Giants’ worries.
Following Sunday’s game, Jones has now thrown 17 interceptions and lost 12 of his 20 fumbles. Through the first four weeks of 2020, Jones has already turned it over seven times and is on pace for 28 turnovers this season.
It is nearly impossible to win the NFL when the quarterback can’t protect the football.
Regardless, Giants head coach Joe Judge backed Jones as his quarterback Monday, after another costly Jones interception dashed a comeback bid.
“I don’t know if there’s ever a pinpoint in terms of what’s your threshold for saying some guy’s your guy,” Judge said Monday. “But Daniel’s our quarterback.”
To be fair, Jones is far from the only reason the Giants offense has been the most inept in the league.
Running back Saquon Barkley is out for the season with a torn ACL, wide receiver Sterling Shepard will be sidelined at least one more week — after already missing two games — due to turf toe, and the offensive line looks lightyears away from being complete.
Still, Jones is at the helm of an offense that is averaging a league-low 11.7 points per game and has not scored a touchdown since the fourth quarter of a Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears.
The Giants, according to Tankathon would hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, need to be all-in on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
In the modern NFL, quarterbacks make the players around them better, and Jones hasn’t been able to elevate his supporting cast despite having playmakers like wide receivers Darius Slayton, Golden Tate, and tight end Evan Engram healthy and at his disposal.
Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, this year’s No. 1 pick, Joe Burrow looks every bit the part of a franchise quarterback. Burrow has already passed for 1,121 passing yards, six touchdowns, two interceptions and an 89.7 passer rating in just four career starts for the Bengals.
Young quarterbacks have quickly made significant strides in recent years, as well. Patrick Mahomes made the AFC Championship Game in his first year as a starter and won the Super Bowl in his second. Lamar Jackson won the MVP in his second season. Carson Wentz put the Eagles in position to ultimately win the Super Bowl during an MVP caliber season in 2017 before tearing his ACL in Week 14 that season.
The Giants needed Jones to take a similar leap to justifiy picking him, and keeping the general manager who drafted him, Dave Gettleman, beyond this season. Instead, the clock may already be ticking on Jones with 14 games remaining this season and Gettleman’s seat has never been hotter.
For the Giants, the harsh reality is the NFL is a league powered by elite quarterbacks, and unless you have one, it is exceedingly difficult to compete for Super Bowls.
Jones was a flawed prospect with immense potential coming out of Duke, where he threw 29 interceptions in 26 career starts.
Lawrence, on the other hand, looks to be one of the most complete quarterback prospects to enter the NFL Draft in decades.
At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Lawrence has completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 7,793 yards with 73 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a 165.4 passer rating in 33 starts while leading Clemson to a pair of appearances in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, winning the title in 2018.
Lawrence has all of the physical gifts, and the winning pedigree to step in and have a chance to immediately follow in Mahomes’, Jackson’s, Wentz’s, and Goff’s footsteps. If the Giants hold the No. 1 overall pick next April, that means Jones didn’t.
It will also likely mean there will be a new general manager in East Rutherford, one who did not draft Jones and did not hire head coach Joe Judge.
Jones should be given every chance to turn this season around.
But ,if the Giants don’t start stringing together victories (and we’ve seen nothing to suggest they can or will), 0-16 even seems possible. If that happens, Jones will be a significant reason why.
If they have the chance, the Giants must take Lawrence, in order to jump start this rebuild. Otherwise, the Giants risk being mired in the duldrums waiting and hoping Jones takes the next step after inspiring little confidence through 16 starts that he has the ability to.