Giants QB Daniel Jones went through ups and downs last season, as one might expect from a rookie leading an NFL team for the first time. However, Jones showed flashes of great quarterback play and the ability to play gritty, hard-nosed football that leads to wins. That's exactly what the Giants, and its fanbase, wanted to see.
As Year 2 approaches, Jones taking a leap forward is a big priority. But can it be big enough to take over New York City and emerge as a true star in the league?
That's what NFL Network's Peter Schrager thinks Jones is capable of in 2020, as he said on Good Morning Football that he has the skill and personality to become the New York's pride and joy.
"It's such an interesting thing to think of primetime player and New York," Schrager said. "You always think in the lens of Joe Namath or Phil Simms and these big personalities who are going to be on these endorsement deals. If you look in New York right now, Sam Darnold and Daniel Jones are two of the most mild-mannered quarterbacks in our entire league. They're no bravado guys, they're not 'look-at-me' guys, and yet if they win in that city or they win in that market, they are going to be huge, huge celebrities."
Schrager is also factoring in the current U.S. landscape with the coronavirus pandemic putting the NFL schedule in jeopardy despite it being months away before it kicks off. With many Americans hurting from the effects of the virus, the ability for fans to see the Giants winning under Jones' leadership would mean that much more.
"I don't want to be overly dramatic here, but New York and New Jersey are going through some things right now, and if there is football, do you realize how important the Giants and Jets are going to be to those fan bases?" Schrager questioned.
"And Daniel Jones can bring glory to this team, you better believe that Daniel Jones might be the biggest superstar in New York throughout the entire fall and winter months."
He certainly has the resources to become that this season. GM Dave Gettleman stocked up on offensive linemen for Jones to feel more comfortable in the pocket. Also, barring any health restrictions again, his offensive weapons in Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley are more than enough to work with.
Jones led all rookies in touchdowns last season with 24, which is a great start. Of course, he needs to limit his interceptions after having 12 last season, and even more important, his fumbles (he had 18). But Jones has proved he can lead this Giants offense, and in turn, take that next step.
"Primetime player" is what Schrager has in mind.
"So, yes, he is ready to become the primetime player," he said. "All he's gotta do is win and all he's gotta do is exactly what he did at the end of last season when he really showed some grit."