Time will if what the Giants did Thursday night was prescient or pathetic.
For now, the selection of quarterback Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL draft goes down as one of the greatest gambles this franchise has undertaken.
With elite pass-rusher Josh Allen of Kentucky on the board, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman eschewed helping his ailing defense by taking a quarterback who some scouts love and most others view as a middling prospect.
The Giants were serious about finding an eventual successor to Eli Manning, who is 38 years old and entering the final year on his contract. Gettleman spoke often about finding a young quarterback to sit and learn “at the feet’’ of Manning this season. That the Giants had Jones so highly rated on their draft board will come as a shock to many, with Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State and Drew Lock of Missouri still available.
Jones is something of a Manning clone. He looked a bit like Manning and was coached at Duke by David Cutcliffe, Manning’s coach at Ole Miss and big brother Peyton Manning’s position coach at Tennessee. Jones is big (6-foot-5) and sturdy at 220 pounds, but many scouts question his arm talent. He is more athletic than Eli but his statistics at Duke – playing alongside subpar talent – were unimpressive. As a three-year starter, he finished his career completing 59.9% of his passes, with 52 touchdown passes and 29 interceptions. In 2018, Jones completed 60.5% of his passes, with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
With this pick, the Giants took a player they expect will sit for all or most of the season and perhaps then take over for Manning in 2020. Had they taken Allen – who had 17 sacks in 2018 – or another top-end defender, he would have been an immediate starter
The Jaguars immediately took Allen with the No. 7 pick.