Steve Serby

Steve Serby

NFL

Daniel Jones’ Giants clock is ticking as Joe Schoen approaches pivotal NFL Draft decision

Even as Daniel Jones met the media Monday, Joe Schoen and his army of lieutenants continued their dogged search for his successor.

The drumbeat gets louder on the march to the April 25 NFL draft and it is impossible for Daniel Jones not to hear it even as he tries not to.

This is Boom or Bust time for Daniel Jones.

Boom would be the first No. 1 receiver he has had as the Giants franchise quarterback.

Bust would be Schoen and Brian Daboll drafting Drake Maye or J. J. McCarthy as their own chosen franchise quarterback.

Boom: Any of the elite receivers — Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze — with an improved offensive line that could keep him upright, would give Jones the chance, at the very least, to be Quarterback of The Present in 2024 … and state whatever case he possibly can to escape the guillotine that the Giants constructed when his contract allows for a termination prior to the 2025 season.

Bust: Any of the top Class of 2024 quarterbacks would render him a $35.5 million lame-duck mentor with a fleeting present and no future. He would be living on borrowed time.

Daniel Jones insisted that his neck is “100 percent healthy.” Charles Wenzelberg
Joe Schoen could take a quarterback for the Giants in the 2024 NFL Draft. Charles Wenzelberg

It would be negligent of Schoen not to research these quarterbacks diligently given the neck woes and torn ACL that have sabotaged Jones.

If Schoen has the kind of conviction on one of these quarterbacks that Ernie Accorsi had on Eli Manning, that Dave Gettleman had on Jones, you strike when the iron is hot if and when you can, because you don’t know if you will be picking as high as No. 6 again.

Wherever he is at around 9 o’clock on the night of April 25, Jones will have his fingers crossed that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will step to the position and announce: “With the sixth pick, the New York Giants select” … Marvjn Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze.

Boom.

It would allow Jones to urge his naysayers to hold the obituary on his Giants career.

There is plenty of franchise quarterback handwriting on the wall, but Jones insists he’s not reading it.

“My focus is what I’m doing here with my rehab,” he said. “You know, that’s the nature of our business. It’s a competitive league, so the best way to handle that, I think, is to focus on what I’m doing, focus on myself, and making sure that I’m, one, healthy, and then ready to play good football. So that’s what I can control. That’s what I can do to help myself and the team.”

Daniel Jones’ torn ACL ended his 2023 season. Charles Wenzelberg

He offered an optimistic progress report on his rehab. No setbacks so far.

“The plan is to be ready to go by training camp,” Jones said, “so that’s what I’m shooting for, and feel good about being ready.”

There are never guarantees, of course. That is why the Giants signed Drew Lock after they researched Russell Wilson.

“I’m throwing with movement and dropping and kinda quarterback-specific drills,” Jones said.

Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy could be an option for the Giants if they draft a quarterback later this month. AP
The Giants could draft Drake Maye if they opted to take a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft. AP

The uncharted variable that has given the club pause is Jones’ more recent neck issue.

“My neck’s 100 percent healthy,” Jones said. “That was a stinger-type injury, that’s pretty common in football, that’s calmed down, and I feel good.”

But it nevertheless remains a cause for concern because he missed the final six games of the 2021 season with a neck injury, and the Giants will need to protect Jones from himself even more now.

“A lot of the hits are in the pocket where you’re not moving or protecting yourself as much as you would be when you’re running,” Jones said.

Schoen finally bolstered the offensive line — he prays — in free agency, with the brilliant idea that Jones will not be running for his life again. Until further notice, less Vanilla Vick, please.

Daniel Jones plans to be ready for the Giants by training camp, he said. Robert Sabo for the NY Post

“We’ll just have open lines of communication with Daniel and all the players,” assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said. “You want to be able to gauge all of them. We’ll see where they are and see what his comfortability is on those, and put together a game plan on offense that we really feel good about.”

The NFL always reminds us that you can be a prince one year and a pauper the next.

Asked if he feels like he’s the best quarterback, if healthy, for the Giants when the 2024 seasons begins, Jones said: “I do, yes.”

Of course he does. He doesn’t want to be the pauper.

“I think you can get into trouble when you try to think too much about some of those things and how it all works out,” Jones said.

His Boom or Bust clock is ticking.

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