The New York Giants surprised quite a few draft analysts and fans when they made the decision to take Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney — a nod to Daniel Jones — with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
It was a move that may have shocked fans, but one that has excited them as well. Now, the Giants have added both Kenny Golladay and Toney to an offense that desperately needed more playmaking.
Daniel Jones is probably the most excited man in the NFC East right now. He finally has a true No. 1 target with the Giants, a young rookie who is capable of making big-time plays anytime he touches the football.
During the 2020 season with the Gators, Toney racked up 70 receptions for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 14.1 yards per reception, which does not truly show how capable he is as a deep threat and a big playmaker. Toney will fill in nicely as a No. 2 target for the Giants and Jones is widely expected to make a major jump in 2021.
Speaking of Jones in particular, there are a ton of questions surrounding him entering his third NFL season. In his first two years with the Giants, he has completed 62.2 percent of his pass attempts for 5,970 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions. He has also picked up 702 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Those numbers are not horrible, but they certainly are not what the Giants were hoping for after taking him No. 6 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Jones has shown signs of being a true star, but he has also shown quite a few issues that could end up making him a bust. This season will say a lot about what the future holds for the former Duke star.
With all of that being said, what does the Giants’ decision to draft Kadarius Toney in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft mean for Jones and his future with the franchise?
Over the first two years of his career, Jones has had quite a few excuses that can be made for his lackluster play. He hasn’t had elite weapons and he is young. New York wasn’t expected to compete for a playoff appearance in either of the last two seasons either.
Quite a few young quarterback struggle to find their identity in the first two years of their NFL careers. It can be difficult to adjust to the speed, athleticism, and schemes that opposing defenses throw out on the field. Jones has definitely had issues dealing with all of those factors.
However, entering the 2021 season, those excuses will no longer hold water. He now has a true star wideout in Golladay and a young first-round wide receiver who many believe has star potential. Saquon Barkley will also be back healthy and the Giants have improved their roster a lot as a whole.
If Jones is unable to put things together, take care of the football, and take leadership of the offense, his future will be murky in New York. The franchise has to start seeing consistent signs that Daniel Jones can lead them to the promised land.
Just like the New York Jets dealt with during the Sam Darnold era, the promise of potential is not enough. Teams have to see results in the win and loss columns. Jones has been unable to do that so far.
Now that he has a true supporting cast and the Giants have the pieces in place to make a push to improve, it’s on Jones’ shoulders to make that happen. He needs to take a big-time jump in his third season. If that does not happen, the Giants should absolutely start considering their options and potentially moving on from the young quarterback or at least bringing in serious competition for him.
Expect to see the Giants take a big step forward in 2021 and for Jones to rise to the occasion. There is no denying the potential that he possesses, but he needs to put it all together. Hopefully, with his new supporting cast, he can make that happen in 2021.