The Giants‘ decision to take Daniel Jones with the No. 6 pick was the biggest surprise of the 2019 NFL Draft. Yes, New York desperately needed a quarterback — Eli Manning is 38 and has been replacement level in recent years — but Jones was widely considered the No. 3 or No. 4 quarterback in the class behind Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and possibly Drew Lock.
But the Duke standout had a strong spring, both during voluntary workouts and mandatory minicamp. Apparently, none of that mattered on Monday evening when Jones was at Yankee Stadium. According to various social media accounts and SNY.com, when Jones’ face was flashed on the video board the crowd took it as their cue to boo.
If recent history is any guide, Jones is unconcerned. He was booed on draft night — which was more a reflection on general manager Dave Gettleman’s decision to take him at No. 6 than an indictment of his abilities — and was asked about it a few days later.
“I haven’t paid too much mind to that,” Jones said at the time during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I think that’s key to playing quarterback, to being consistent as a quarterback, is keeping your head in the same place. I think that just comes down to your confidence in yourself, and your confidence has got to come from inside of you. I think if you’re looking externally for confidence, then you’re also going to be affected by the negative as well. Just finding confidence in yourself and knowing what you can do as a player, as a person, is kind of the way that works and the best way to think about handling a lot of that stuff.”
Gettleman, meanwhile, has sounded much more defensive about the decision to take Jones.
“In three years, we’ll find out how crazy I am,” Gettleman told NBC Sports’ Peter King days after the draft. … “The bottom line is, I have confidence in what I do and who I am. I’ve been a part of organizations that had pretty good quarterbacks — Jim Kelly, John Elway, Kerry Collins, Eli Manning, Cam Newton. I’ve led a charmed life with the quarterbacks on the teams I’ve worked for. I know what good ones look like. The other thing is, résumés matter. Every once in a while, I wish the people taking the shots would take a minute to look at my résumé. I’ve been a part of teams that went to seven Super Bowls. I had a hand in some of them. But today, there’s no patience. And there’s no room for civil discourse in our society, which I find sad.”
Of course, none of this matters if Jones turns out to be a franchise quarterback. But for that to happen he’ll need to get onto the field. Coach Pat Shurmur was asked about just that last week as the Giants wrapped up their offseason workouts.
“I think we’re going to play the very best player,” Shurmur said at the time, via NJ.com’s Matt Lombardo. “I know we’re dancing around the words there. Eli is getting ready to have a great year and Daniel is getting ready to play. We’ll see what happens with it. We feel good about where Eli is. He’s our starting quarterback. And we’ve got a young player that we think is going to be an outstanding player who is getting himself ready to play.”
By the way, Shurmur knows something about getting booed at Yankee Stadium. Back in April, even before the Giants drafted Jones, Shurmur was booed on his birthday.