The excellent ‘The Brady Six’ documentary produced by NFL films is simply essential viewing for NFL fans. Multiple NFL talking-heads describe ideas into why the greatest QB of all time Tom Brady remained unpicked until the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft, behind six alternative QB selections. The developed narrative is Brady did not look the part, was handicapped by the curious selection methods by the college coaches at Michigan and lacked the physical necessities to succeed in the NFL. Coaches like Steve Mariucci lament the decision of chosen alternatives stating they may still employed if Brady’s talents were recognised. Alas, it is extremely interesting to think about the other coaches, general managers or players who may still be in work if Brady had been picked by their team.
General managers have often highlighted the stress of finding ‘the Franchise Quarterback’ for their team. Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has stated that the thought ‘consumes you’ and it is questionable that until a GM finds a potential signal-caller they are ever completely safe in their position. While three quarterbacks were drafted in the first round of the 2019 draft, the selection which has received the most criticism is the Giants choice of Duke QB Daniel Jones with the 6th pick. Giants GM Dave Gettleman is seen to have ‘reached’ for Jones, a cardinal sin for NFL GMs. However, it should be argued that if the Giants are confident in Jones’ ability, the speculated reach for Jones should not be considered a mistake.
Dave Gettleman must know that his future employment as an NFL general manager depends on the success of Daniel Jones. He has a reputation of being overrated in Carolina and was fortunate to receive the opportunity in New York. Gettleman is unpopular in the harsh New York media and has made questionable free agent decisions in the past. He has been a staunch defender of Eli Manning despite the fact that the 2019 version of Manning cannot be considered a top 20 starter within the league.
Additionally, Odell Beckham Jr was resigned to a lavish contract last season, yet the star wide receiver has since been traded to the Cleveland Browns. This move did nothing to challenge the perception that Gettleman does not know what he is doing. Therefore, when the draft began this past Thursday, the consensus was that Gettleman had to improve an ailing roster that was devoid of talent.
Gettleman entered the 2019 draft with two first round picks in the top 17, a significant amount of draft capital to attain impact players.
Draft experts had predicted Gettleman would select Dwayne Haskins with the 6th pick, but instead Haskins will apply his trade with fellow NFC East competitors Washington Redskins.
The added visibility of seeing Haskins on a rival squad will put added pressure on the Giants front office. Jones was an underwhelming QB statistically in college and could be tainted by recent QB’s who he may physically resemble. While Kyler Murray is not the prototype QB with his short stature, his ability to move from the pocket and make inventive plays on his own speaks to the recent success of Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Carson Wentz.
In contrast, Jones is tall and gangly, without intense speed to respond to a changing game. Jones’ supposed rigidness likens his abilities to those of Brock Osweiler or Mike Glennon, which gives a negative perception of his future potential. Jones did not have a great supporting class at Duke and deserves an opportunity to prove his worth. A common consensus given to Jones is he shows an insane amount of toughness and mental strength, which should give Giants fans great hope for their franchise.
Brady proved that looks and college records can be deceiving. If the Giants see Jones as the route to further Super Bowl success, then it should not matter if the Giants ‘reached’. However, it cannot be doubted that every snap taken from Jones will be critiqued and analysed to assess the Giants decision. The statement that Gettleman made on Thursday was clear, Daniel Jones is the Quarterback that he is willing to cement his career to. Nonetheless, general managers are rarely given a long time to see their ideas manifest, thus Gettleman must hope that Jones is an instant success to ensure his tenure in New York continues.