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The New York Giants’ hopes hinge on the maturation of third-year quarterback Daniel Jones.

The sixth overall selection in the 2019 NFL draft has had a spotty first two seasons in the NFL, and the team has doubled down on the former Duke star, surrounding him with new weapons and an offensive line that should be much better.


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After a rookie season that showed much promise, Jones fell flat in his second campaign, tossing just 11 touchdown passes against 10 interceptions. His ability to move the offense was apparent at times, but he could not get the Giants into the end zone when needed, hence a 6-10 record with five losses by eight points or fewer.

In 2020, the Giants averaged just 17.5 points per game, which was next to last in the league. Only the Jets averaged fewer. This year, the club wanted to ensure that Jones is not the solitary issue with the offense. His ball security still needs to be addressed, but he’s only played a handful of games with his full complement of weapons.

Last year, star running back Saquon Barkley missed the last 14-and-a-half games with a torn ACL, stripping Jones of his most valuable weapon. Wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate both missed four games, leaving Jones with just Darius Slayton and largely unreliable tight end Evan Engram.

This year will be different. The Giants will get Barkley back (hopefully by the season opener) and will have big-ticket free agent Kenny Golladay, speedster John Ross and first-round draft pick Kadarius Toney in the wide receiver mix with Shepard and Slayton. Kyle Rudolph will take the in-line reps at tight end, leaving Engram open to assignments where the Giants can utilize him in mismatch situations.

Most experts are expecting Jones to flourish with these players around him. His offensive line is a year wiser and should continue to jell under new line coach Rob Sale. Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report believes Jones is one of the top candidates to become “the next Josh Allen” this year.

Golladay isn’t a silky-smooth route-runner, but he’s going to haul in some acrobatic passes with his wide catch radius. Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard and rookie first-rounder Kadarius Toney will round out a high-end wide receiver group.

If tight end Evan Engram can stay healthy, Jones would have another big-bodied target (6’3″, 240 lbs) for third-down and red-zone situations. Thus far, he’s missed 14 contests in four seasons.

Jones will have to stay healthy himself to capitalize on all of the new riches. He’s missed four games due to injury in his short career — two in 2019 and two last year — and must learn to not put himself in the line of fire unnecessarily.

If he can do that and cut down on his turnovers, the Giants could find themselves in playoff contention.