2019 NFL Draft Results: Giants place trust in Daniel Jones; snag Dexter Lawrence and Deandre Baker in first round
Coming into the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, the New York Giants, despite what their goals or aspirations were for their picks, had priorities for how they should attack the NFL Draft and the pressure to fill those priorities. With the first round in the books, they were able to meet their defensive priorities, but the pick they made at No. 6 will be a source of debate as much as the Saquon Barkley pick the year prior.
One of the biggest talking points surrounding the Giants heading into the draft was their undeniable need to draft a quarterback, one who will be the next franchise quarterback after Eli Manning’s time is up. There have been many debates over who the Giants should take at No. 6, as many looked at the stats and film and preached for Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State.
However, to many fans and the media’s dismay and dissatisfaction, the Giants saw their future elsewhere and went the opposite route.
With the 6th pick, Dave Gettleman and the Giants selected QB Daniel Jones out of Duke University. Jones, a senior Blue Devil, impressed the Giants scouts and general manager from the moment they met him at the Senior Bowl. They like his mobility within the pocket and ability to run with the football if needed which showed in his 4.80 40-time at the combine.
During his time at Duke, he made 36 starts in which he completed about 60% of his throws for 8,201 yards and notched 69 total touchdowns. Seventeen of those touchdowns came from his rushing which the Giants praised, as he ran for over 1,300 yards with a per-game average of 36.75, per Dan Salamone of Giants.com
Additionally, Jones holds the Duke single-game records for total offensive yards (547) and rushing yards by a quarterback (168), the most notable of his achievements.
Jones may have been received with open arms by the Giants organization, but many in the fan base and the media have given him an unfriendly New York welcome. A big reason for this is that compared to Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, Jones’s numbers are lower, most notable in total touchdowns.
Nevertheless, Dave Gettleman is confident that the Giants have made the right move with Daniel Jones and will be able to make him a possible franchise quarterback. In a press conference following the first round, he told reporters about Jones:
“He was up there with everybody else on our board in terms of value and he was just perfect for us. I really believe in this kid. I really believe he is going to be a really nice, quality quarterback for us, for our franchise”
“I loved him on film. I absolutely loved him. I loved everything about him. And then I went to the Senior Bowl and I watched him that week.... he walked out there and I saw a professional quarterback after the three series that I watched, I saw a professional quarterback. I was in full bloom love.”
Whether or not Jones becomes the next man for the Giants is yet to be seen, but it will certainly make things interesting if he and Haskins square off with each other this season and determine the future of Dave Gettleman as general manager.
As mentioned earlier, following the drafting of Daniel Jones, the Giants went out and got two more selections in the first round, one via a trade with Seattle and both being defensive studs.
With the 17th pick, the Giants selected defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence from the national champion Clemson University. Lawrence came into the draft weighing around 340 pounds and the way he plays is already getting comparisons to Damon “Snacks” Harrison.
The parts of his game that stand out are his ability to stuff the run even as a two-down player in college and to get into the pocket to impact the pass game as well. Gettleman added that Lawrence is “versatile” and can use his hips to quickly switch his focus from the run to pass and vice versa.
Lawrence could help provide a pass rush and run stuffer to a Giants defense that has lost that since trading Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions last season.
Late in the first round, the Giants made a surprising trade with the Seattle Seahawks to move up into the first round again to select one of the highest ranked cornerbacks in college football. In exchange for the 37th, 132nd and 142nd picks, the Giants got the 30th pick and selected Georgia defensive back Deandre Baker.
Baker is not one of the fastest corners out there, but what he lacks in that area he makes up with incredible arm length. While he stands at 5’11” and had a 4.52 40-yard dash, Baker’s arm length measured in at 32” and his broad jump reached 118”.
With this unusual height advantage, Baker was able to get in the way of receivers as they were accelerated from the line of scrimmage and slow down their route timing. Since 2017, he gave up zero touchdowns and with excellent field awareness racked up five interceptions.
Baker’s press coverage is also a great quality for his draft stock. He has to the ability to stick with most guys throughout their routes and make changes on the fly. If routes go towards the sidelines, he knows how to close down the open space and get a hand on the football.
Deandre Baker was a Second-team All SEC selection as a junior in 2017 as he finished with 44 tackles and the Georgia Bulldogs leader in pass breakups. He also received the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award for being the nation’s top defensive back that year.
Thus far in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Giants have been filling in the needs of their roster, but the biggest question will be if their quarterback selection of Daniel Jones will turn out to be the heir-apparent for the aging Eli Manning.
Throughout the rest of the draft, the Giants will need to continue to stockpile their defense “hog mollies” as Dave Gettleman so infamously calls them and address the protection for Eli Manning on the offensive side.
All eyes on Gettleman and the Giants, what’s their next move?