The first round of the 2019 NFL draft is in the books, and the Giants, desperate for an heir apparent to Eli Manning, selected “their guy” with the number six overall pick: former Duke QB Daniel Jones. One could very well wonder why they chose to ignore their potential two biggest holes with that pick. They needed a pass-rusher and they needed offensive linemen. They had their pick of the offensive linemen since none had been taken before them. While there had been two highly skilled pass rushers taken before that pick there was still one available who some thought could be the best pass rusher of the bunch. To be perfectly frank, I would have been a lot happier with Jonah Williams or the linebacker Josh Allen.
With the Browns 1st round pick (#17 overall) they got for Odell Beckham Jr, they selected Clemson’s DT, Dexter Lawrence. While he isn’t known as a pass-rusher, he’s considered an excellent run defender and anchor in the middle. Now he could be their replacement for Damon “Snacks” Harrison as he seems to bring the same kind of impact. Maybe the attention he gets from opposing offensive lines will open up lanes for their already existing (while scarce) pass rush.
Then, in an unexpected move they traded back into the late first round to select what a lot of people believe the be the best overall cornerback in the draft with Georgia’s DB: Deandre Baker. This guy is looking like the best of their three picks so far, the tape on him is exciting. Back in October he was projected as a top 5 pick, but with how important the pass rush has become in today’s NFL, he dropped all the way down to the 30th pick. Another thing to note that makes him exciting; he only gave up one TD in his four years in college
This is what stings more than anything in my eyes though. The fact that they needed pass-rushers and offensive linemen and refused to take any guy who could help with two aforementioned issues with any of their three picks in this first round. Daniel Jones is clearly a project and will likely sit behind Eli Manning all of next year. Dexter Lawrence could come in and contribute right away on that line. They’re going to have to find a spot for Dalvin Tomlinson, who replaced Harrison as their anchor in the middle. Deandre Baker could come in and start right away. Couple him with last year’s supplemental draft pick in Sam Beal and they could potentially have their cornerback position locked up for the next couple of years at least.
Still the focus for their fans and critics will be on the Jones pick, especially with a QB still on the board at the time who MANY believed was the better prospect. Something that Jones will never be able to escape will be the forever comparisons of him to Jets QB Sam Darnold (who they passed on last year in their selection of Saquon Barkley) and Dwayne Haskins, who the Washington Redskins liked enough to take with their first round selection.
Perhaps the Giants felt that Daniel Jones wouldn’t last until the #17 pick, maybe fearing the Redskins would trade up or grab him at 15 and the Giants would forever have to watch the guy, they had deemed as “their guy,” play against them twice a year for the next decade. There’s a saying when it comes to quarterbacks, if you like the guy you don’t wait to take him. Clearly, Dave Gettlemen loved this guy.
Another unsettling thought about the Jones pick, it screams of Jerry Reese. He was notorious for taking guys that nobody thought should have been taken at the time he chose them, a player that he really thought he knew better than the rest of the NFL. This pick feels eerily similar to that method. Now, Reese was spot on with some of his guys that he reached for, like Odell and Jason Pierre-Paul. Others, not so much, like Ereck Flowers. So the question is this: Will Daniel Jones turn out more like the former or more like the latter or possibly in between? Only time will tell, so in the meantime, let’s all give this kid a fair chance?