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NFC executive: Giants’ Daniel Jones will be a top 10 quarterback

by Dan Benton

The New York Giants appear stocked with young talent ranging from left tackle Andrew Thomas to nose tackle Dexter Lawrence, and from linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux to rookie cornerback Deonte Banks.

Despite their valuable youth, FOX Sports had the Giants land outside the top 10 in their most recent “Young Talent Rankings.”

Big Blue ultimately checked in at No. 12 overall.

Times are changing in East Rutherford … where the Giants went on a spending spree on their homegrown talent this offseason. They gave big money to quarterback Daniel Jones (four years, $160 million), defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (four years, $90 million) and left tackle Andrew Thomas (five years, $117.5 million). They gave smaller deals to receiver Darius Slayton (two years, $12 million) and edge rusher Oshane Ximines (one year, $1.18 million), too.

That’s a lot of second contracts for players they drafted in 2019 or 2020, especially for a team that only gave out second contracts to two players they drafted between 2011 and 2018 (receivers Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham).

FOX Sports listed the Giants’ young core as quarterback Daniel Jones, right tackle Evan Neal, linebacker Azeez Ojulari, safety Xavier McKinney and the aforementioned Thomas, Lawrence, Thibodeaux, and Banks.

Unsurprisingly, Thomas was listed as New York’s standout player while Ojulari was named their potential breakout player.

“What’s impressive about him is how much he creates the pressure for himself,” said one NFC scout. “As a rookie, he had no help off the edge. He was all they had and he still got eight sacks. Last year they finally had (rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux) on the other edge and look what happened when he came back (from the calf injury).

“If they can stay healthy, those two, with the big guys (Lawrence, Leonard Williams) in the middle … it’s all going to be hard to stop.”

The most interesting commentary came from an anonymous NFC executive who laughs at people who question the Giants’ investment in Jones, who he believes will be a top-10 quarterback despite having just average weapons around him.

“I laugh every time I hear someone questioning the Giants for giving him that $160 million (contract). When you’ve got a quarterback like that, you don’t let him walk,” he executive said. “And this guy has all the tools. There are only a handful of guys in this league who can both run and throw like that.

“And I keep coming back to this: Look at what he did with nobody around him. I mean nobody. He had no help and he carried that team to the playoffs. He’s got better weapons this year. Not great, but better. If they can protect him, he’s going to be a top-10 (quarterback). Just watch.”

Oh, we’ll be watching.

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