There were a few surprises near the top of the 2019 NFL Draft, like Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock of the Oakland Raiders selecting Clelin Ferrell, anticipated to go in the back half of the first round, at No. 4 overall. No team made a bigger head-scratching decision, however, than the New York Giants who at No. 6 overall picked Duke quarterback Daniel Jones.
Jones going to the Giants wasn’t a tremendous surprise, as they also had the 17th pick and there had been rumors GM Dave Gettleman was a big Jones fan. Going sixth was a shock, though, especially after Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen fell into their lap. Gettleman explained afterward that he was a big fan of Jones after watching tape, but really fell in love with the quarterback at the Senior Bowl.
He also insisted he had Jones having the same grade as Allen. You’d be hard pressed to find a single soul who does draft analysis for a living who would even come close to agreeing.
Jones will come in and back up Eli Manning, a fellow acolyte of Duke coach David Cutcliffe, and while he could compete for the job soon, he may wait a significant amount of time before he’s brought into that starting role.
Gettleman’s defense of the pick is bizarre, but one had to think that highly of Jones to make this selection. There are a number of flaws in this logic, though, and we’ll start with the idea he could serve as a backup for multiple years. Many around the NFL have lamented the fact that player development has become less of a priority in recent years, and that’s a result of the incredible pressure coaching staffs and front offices are under to compete and win in the immediate or risk being let go. As such, players in need of development opportunity and reps before playing don’t necessarily get the focus, because staffs are much more concerned with the players that can offer them some assistance immediately.