Daniel Jones is not walking into the warm embrace of Giants fans.
At a team draft party, the pick was booed. Across social media, critics lambasted the team.
About the only Giants fan who seemed happy on Thursday night was the guy who won 100 years’ worth of season tickets from the NFL. And even his temperament may have changed shortly after the sixth overall pick was made. After all, now he’s got to sit through it!
But general manager Dave Gettleman said the initial reaction to Jones will change.
“In time,” Gettleman said, “you’ll be very pleased.”
At least one Giants fan seemed especially surprised by the pick: Dwayne Haskins, who grew up in New Jersey and was passed over before eventually landing with the Redskins at 15.
“I’m just looking forward to being able to compete against those guys for the rest of my career,” Haskins said.
There is something to be said for Giants quarterbacks who are initially booed. Phil Simms was greeted with disdain when he was selected in 1979, and by the time he left the Giants he was one of the most beloved players in franchise history and a Super Bowl winner.
Some of the ire aimed at Jones has to do with where he was picked and where he comes from. Many believe the Giants could have selected a pass-rusher such as Josh Allen (available at six) and waited until the 17th overall pick to grab a quarterback. That likely would have been more palatable. Fans also have been quick to draw connections between Jones and the last first-round quarterback the Giants selected from Duke to replace a Super Bowl-winner: Dave Brown, taken with a supplemental draft pick in 1993. In six years with the Giants, Brown had a 23-30 record and threw 40 touchdowns with 49 interceptions.
Linking Jones to Brown based on their college makes as much sense as saying the Giants should have drafted the quarterback from Morehead State (Simms’ alma mater). But that’s too rational for the emotions that flow when a team makes a first-round draft pick that will affect the foreseeable future of the franchise.
“I’m certainly thrilled to be in New York and I can’t wait to get started,” Jones said Thursday night.
Those are sentiments he’ll have to convince Giants fans to share with him.
Maybe, as Gettleman suggested, over time he will.