Matt Breida, left, and Tommy DeVito of the Giants celebrate after a...

Matt Breida, left, and Tommy DeVito of the Giants celebrate after a touchdown during the second quarter in the game against the Commanders at FedExField on Sunday in Landover, Md. Credit: Getty Images/Rob Carr


Tommy DeVito may have just helped make the Giants’ big-picture quarterback question a little bit clearer.

It’s not that his performance in Sunday’s 31-19 win over Washington — three touchdown passes in only his second career start — put him in the conversation regarding serious options for 2024. It wasn’t that spectacular. And it was against the Commanders, a team the Giants have routinely owned.

Rather, he serves as an illustration of what Brian Daboll and the coaching staff were able to accomplish in just a few short weeks with a lump of clay who essentially has the league minimum in terms of talent.

They took a practice-squad kid who couldn’t even function well enough to throw a forward pass when he was first pressed into action earlier this month and transformed him into someone who threw for 246 yards and a rating of 137.7 on Sunday.

He became the first rookie quarterback in Giants history to throw for five touchdowns in his first two starts.

Now . . . just imagine what Daboll and Co. can do when breathing life into someone who already has legitimate first-round abilities.

There’s no question that’s what Giants executives have been mulling ever since Daniel Jones left the field with a torn ACL in Las Vegas. That’s when using what is certain to be a very high draft pick on his replacement — or at least his competition — became a serious option for them to consider.

That’s also one of the few things many fans have been excited about recently, too. On Sunday at FedEx Field, in one section in the corner of the end zone, two Giants fans who ostensibly had never met sat at opposite ends of the same row. One of them was wearing an old Jones jersey that he’d doctored up with masking tape and magic markers and transformed into a number 15 and a DeVito homage. The other was a number 80 (Shockey? Cruz?) with the name taped over. In its place: Caleb Williams.

Both had reason to leave the building feeling pretty good about their handiwork. As did the Giants themselves.

“He’s made progress,” Daboll said of his creation. “I think Shea Tierney is an exceptional quarterbacks coach and Tommy has put the work in. He’s had some production and I think he’s improved. But he’s got the right mindset.”

And, it’s become clear, the right teachers around him.

Daboll has taken his lumps during this dreadful season, but he and his crew were brought here because of what they can do with the right quarterback, and whether they have had a chance to work with one here is a valid question.

“They’ve had a lot of trust in me, they’ve made that known,” DeVito said. “When they are calling plays, they are calling plays that let me go out and do what I do with no handcuffs. I appreciate that. They continue to try to get me better every week and hold me to a high standard.”

Jones himself experienced a similar transformational boost last year, going from a quarterback Daboll and Joe Schoen were so uncertain of that they passed on his fifth-year option into one who won a playoff game and earned a $160 million contract from them.

But Jones was not able to continue that upward trajectory this season. Consider this: DeVito threw more touchdown passes on Sunday (three) than Jones did all season (two).

Throw in the worrisome neck and knee injuries that Jones is dealing with and he comes off as a player who has plateaued. The Giants come off as a team that can’t survive with that. Not in this league. Not in a sport in which having a young, dynamic player at quarterback is the golden ticket.

On Sunday, DeVito played under just as much duress as Jones usually did (he was sacked nine times). He played with just as few weapons. And yet he made it work: zero turnovers and his first career victory.

If DeVito can, Williams certainly should be able to. Same with North Carolina’s Drake Maye (who was scouted in person by four Giants representatives at his game against Clemson on Saturday night) or Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. (whom those scouts saw two weeks ago against USC) or whomever they draft in April.

DeVito is savvy enough to know that any of his wins actually hinders the process. The Giants may wind up playing themselves out of one of those precious top two picks.

“I’m sure I’m going to hear about it because I’ve seen it,” DeVito said of the Giants fans — many of whom he grew up with and still lives among in Cedar Grove, New Jersey — who have been hoping for a tank. “But my job is to come in and help win football games and play to the highest of my ability and put my teammates in situations to be successful.”

The truth is if the Giants want a quarterback in this draft class, they have the assets to move up and get one, even if they wind up winning a few more games down the stretch.

DeVito didn’t do anything wrong by winning. If anything, he made it clear to the organization and outside observers that the Giants have a nest in which a quarterback with a baseline of skills can develop, improve and even soar.

They just need the right one to do so.


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