The quarterback position is the most vital position in all of Football (duh). Behind almost every elite team is a quarterback that keeps every game in reach and even push them over the top. However, we must keep in mind Football is still a team sport. No single player can win games alone because there are always multiple players affecting the outcome of each play. How many times have we seen an offensive lineman block a star pass rusher long enough for their quarterback to make a game winning pass to his star wide receiver that broke free from coverage? In 2019 the New York Giants and former GM Dave Gettleman drafted Daniel Jones to be Eli Manning’s successor. The problem is, they drafted the young quarterback without giving him a stout offensive line or an alpha wideout to grow with (and still haven’t to this day). Every successful, young quarterback in the modern NFL have one of these positions covered to facilitate their leap to stardom…but the Giants failed to do so. The G-Men DID have a wide receiver that could have helped Jones, but they traded him away a mere month before they drafted their young signal caller. Here are the series of events that led to where we are at with Jones today.
Odell Beckham Jr was a marvel to behold in a Giants uniform. From the night of the famous catch that put him on the map, to his many endzone celebrations; Odell was a polarizing figure full of passion that made every Giants game a clinic of wide receiver greatness. No matter how you viewed his demeanor, it will never change the impact he made on the field. Unfortunately, GM Dave Gettleman saw fit to trade him away to the Cleveland Browns for players/picks he didn’t even use to help the quarterback he knew he was planning on drafting in a month. Not having this weapon for Jones started his career in an uphill battle as a result. Luckily, he had the benefit of a great “QB Whisperer” in Pat Shurmur (albeit a bad head coach) in his 1st year that helped mask the deficiencies along with his athleticism to maneuver a bad offensive line. Unfortunately, year 2-3 were overseen by Joe Judge’s staff and had no clue how to develop a QB or scheme over roster deficiencies. Odell sure would have gone a long way to save Jones from that albatross, right?
As mentioned before, every successful, young QB needs either a decently consistent clean pocket and/or an elite wide receiver to become successful. A good offensive line gives a QB time and confidence to find even the weakest receiver open. An elite receiver gives a QB someone who will command attention from defenses and give the QB more open options to work with as a result, all the while still able to throw in the weapon’s zip code for a big play. Regardless of what side of the great Jones debate you are on; you cannot deny the correlation between a great young QB and an elite receiver and/or good offensive line. Give Jones a top 15 line or a top wideout, and we will see 2019 Daniel Jones in no time (minus the fumbles). It’s a shame it will never happen because the Giants failed Jones in so many ways, and it all started with a pointless trade made a month before he was even drafted (and all the other things that happened afterward, too).
Sidebar: For those who want examples, see below.
Josh Allen: Progressively improved O-Line each year, Stefon Diggs after his 2nd year (and BOOM).
Dak Prescott: Elite O-Line (Dak average otherwise), Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and Amari Cooper.
Justin Herbert: Progressively improved O-Line each year, Kenan Allen, and Mike Williams.
Lamar Jackson: Great coach, Elite O-Line (until now), Mark Andrews, and Marquise Brown (until now).
Patrick Mahomes: Great coach, Great O-Line (when healthy), Tyreek Hill (until now), Travis Kelce.
Joe Burrow: Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase.
Daniel Jones: Bad O-Line/WRs since day 1, best WR he’s ever had just tore his ACL and was never a top 20 WR.
(Jones wins the Dallas Monday night game with a top WR at his disposal. Change my mind.)