New York Giants, NFL Draft

Giants may see Daniel Jones as perfect Eli Manning successor

As the New York Giants try to conceal their intentions in regard to Eli Manning’s successor, signs are starting to point to Daniel Jones.

After passing on a quarterback with the second overall pick last year, the New York Giants have two first-round chances this year with their own pick (No. 6 overall) and a pick from the Cleveland Browns in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade (No. 17). With pass rushers on the radar for the sixth overall pick, Ryan Dunleavy of has passed along an “increasing amount of buzz” the Giants will use the 17th overall pick on Duke quarterback Daniel Jones.

The Giants were at Jones’ Pro Day last Tuesday, and they had him in for a private workout last Thursday. Dan Patrick cited a scout who said Jones is rising up draft boards, and the Giants like him. Jones is mostly being projected as a second-round pick, but there are mock drafts out there that have him as a first-rounder. With how quarterbacks rise in the draft, however artificially in some cases, it would be a mild upset if Jones is not a first-round pick.

Jones was coached a Duke by David Cutcliffe, who coached Peyton Manning at Tennessee and Eli Manning at Ole Miss. So the current Giants’ signal caller knows Jones, and may be able to theoretically hand-pick his successor with an endorsement to general manager David Gettleman.

There are more than a few questions about Jones, starting with his accuracy (59.9 percent completion rate for his career at Duke) and arm strength.

The stat of particular note from Pro Football Focus last year is a 53.9 passer rating against pressure, to go with a below-par overall average of 6.8 yards per attempt. Jones’ passer rating from a clean pocket (104.1; 53rd among qualified quarterbacks) wasn’t even that great.

Blue Devils’ receivers dropping passes in bunches didn’t help, but adding back 50 of those 86 drops still leaves Jones’ career completion rate shy of 64 percent.

Bucky Brooks of has tabbed Jones as a potential “Alex Smith-type leader,” and draft evaluator Benjamin Allbright has compared Jones to Ryan Tannehill.

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If the Giants don’t hold Dwayne Haskins in high enough regard to take him No. 6, and any trade talks for Josh Rosen fail to get traction, Jones may well be the pick at No. 17. Unless all the positive vibes out there attaching them to him is a smokescreen. But the signs are starting to point to Jones being drafted as Manning’s successor, with possibly two years to wait before taking over for the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

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