When the Giants drafted WR Darius Slayton in the fifth round of this year's NFL Draft, the Auburn product knew he was going to head into rookie minicamp with the team's first-round pick in QB Daniel Jones.
But, like the rest of us, Slayton wasn't really sure what to think about him. Talking at length with TMZ Sports, Slayton admitted that he was skeptical of Jones' abilities when they got on the Giants practice field for the first time.
That is until he started to sling the pigskin.
"Well we came in during rookie minicamp together obviously and I didn't know anything about him either coming out of Duke," Slayton explained. "I didn't know much about him. But we got to rookie minicamp and I just heard what everyone else was hearing, you know they wasted the pick and blah blah blah. So I kinda came to the first day of practice like, 'Man, let's see what this guy's about. I'm out here trying to make catches, this dude's gonna be throwing balls all over the place.' Then we get out there and he's spinning that thing. It was clear from day one he's got a great arm, very accurate. ...I've played with some pretty good quarterbacks and this dude can spin the pill.
"I think it was pretty clear from the first day he got here that he was going to be pretty good."
Fast forward to now where Jones has transitioned to QB1, and had an insane debut that saw him tally 336 yards as well as two passing and two rushing touchdowns. Before that start down in Tampa, though, many still had the mindset that Slayton had back in April. But Slayton knew Jones was never paying attention to that, and would much rather have his play do the talking for him.
"I think it speaks to his mental toughness," Slayton said. "I mean, quarterback is an extremely hard job and then on top of the fact that people are already expecting you to fail basically, almost praying on your downfall some to degree -- I think he just handled it great."
With Jones fever flying all around the Giants at the moment, Slayton was also asked about how Eli Manning -- the team's franchise quarterback for the past 16 years -- has dealt with the transition. Slayton said though he isn't under center any longer, he is still one of the leaders in the locker room and that won't be changing anytime soon.
"I think he's been a real pro," Slayton said. "Honestly, from the day they announced it until now, he's been the same guy. He's came in, I think he's really tried to help Dan get ready week in, week out because obviously you can't replace 16 years of experience.
"He's still a big leader around here. He's still Eli Manning now. He's got rings, he's all over the facility. It's really important for a guy like that to be involved and be part of the team."