by Alex Poletti
Taking advice from his mentor Eli Manning in minicamp, sixth-overall draft pick Daniel Jones has already significantly improved his ability to throw the ball inaccurately and make poor decisions on the gridiron.
“I’ve learned so much about my game from Eli,” Jones says. “It’s been very special for me. Now I know that instead of taking a shot deep at the best receiver on my team, I can check down instead. I would’ve never known about these options if not for Eli’s mentorship.”
Manning, who is in the twilight of his illustrious career, has been under fire for the past few seasons due to his offense’s declining production. Whether that is due to the aging quarterback’s ability or questionable play calling is still a divisive topic among NFL analysts, but Manning has regardless shown the ropes to the Duke product.
“I’m really proud of this kid,” Manning says. “He’s got a lot of talent and I see him taking the Giants far in the future. Maybe even to 8-8. You can see him out there, he takes sacks like a champ now. Arrogant as it may seem for me to say, I’d like to think he learned that from me.”
Daniel Jones was among the most controversial picks in the 2019 draft, with many seeing him as a second-round talent, far below the likes of fellow quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray. However, the Giants were smitten with Jones and took him inside the top ten, although he would have most likely been available with their second pick at 17.
“Did we miss out on a talent like Ed Oliver or Josh Allen? Sure, you could say that,” Giants general manager and man who surprisingly still has a job Dave Gettleman says. “But I don’t think they were in our plan. Building a good team just isn’t what we want to do. We’re really trying to make it difficult to assess the talent of a quarterback by putting a mediocre team around him, both on offense and defense. That’s what we do best.”
Jones hasn’t let the criticism get to him, working hard in rookie minicamp to impress his teammates and fans alike. To this, he credits the two-time Superbowl MVP under whom he is learning.
“Eli has taught me everything I know,” the Charlotte native says. “He took me under his wing and that’s been a great experience. He said it was too late to demand a trade, because that’s suppose to happen right after you’re drafted, but other than that I think I’m following his footsteps pretty well.”