Giants 2024 Position Breakdown: Is this the last hurrah for Daniel Jones?

Heading into the 2024 season, the Giants are coming off a disappointing 6-11 campaign, looking to bounce back and resemble the team that won a playoff game in Minnesota two years ago.

In this series, we’ll break down the depth chart for every position group. This time, we’ll go in-depth at the quarterback spot…

Projected depth chart

Starter: Daniel Jones
Backups: Drew Lock, Tommy DeVito, Nathan Rourke
Key additions/losses
: Tyrod Taylor signed with Jets, New York added Lock
Top Performer in 2023: Taylor, who threw for 1,341 yards and five touchdowns with Jones injured
2024 ranking via PFF: 29th out of 32 starters

What Giants quarterbacks have going for them

While his five seasons in New York have been up and down, Jones has shown that he has the talent to lead a playoff-caliber offense. In 2022, Jones threw for 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding 708 yards on the ground. In the first year under head coach Brian Daboll, Jones proved that he’s the exact type of QB who can thrive in that system.

Jones has also done a good job of patching up the turnover problems that he had as a rookie, particularly when it comes to fumbles. Jones fumbled 19 times in 2019, and that number has gone down every year — from 10 to seven to six to four. Jones may not wow you with a lot of his plays, but he takes care of the football and can deliver a big throw when needed.

And as previously mentioned, Jones knows this Daboll system. If the Giants would have drafted a QB in the first round or gone out and traded for a new starter, that QB would be on the ground floor. Jones knows the language of the offense, he knows the players around him, and he knows the pressures of playing in New York.

Key concern for 2024: Jones’ health

It seems rare for any NFL quarterback to go through a full season without getting hurt, but Jones has played a full season just once, in 2022 (he technically didn’t start the season finale after the Giants secured a playoff spot).

He’s also coming off a pair of concerning injuries in 2023, when he first dealt with a neck issue and then tore his ACL against Las Vegas. One of Jones’ real strengths is the threat he poses to take off for a big run or avoid a sack by using his legs on any given play, so if he feels his knee isn’t 100 percent, that could negatively affect him.

Player who must step up in 2024: Jones

It’s become very clear that the Giants aren’t committed to Jones for the long haul. This offseason, the Giants did their homework on the top quarterbacks in the draft, with SNY NFL Insider Connor Hughes reporting that the New York made an aggressive attempt to try to move up to the No. 3 selection to take North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

The Giants signed Jones to a four-year extension after the 2022 season, and at the time he did indeed look like the QB the team would stick with for the long run. But the Giants could easily extricate themselves from Jones after this season. While there would still be more than $20 million in dead cap money if the Giants were to cut Jones, it gives them a chance to move on from him at a discounted rate.

So if Jones wants to stay in New York, this is basically his last shot. If he goes out and has a great season and the Giants are back in the playoff hunt, Jones is probably back with Big Blue next season. But if he doesn’t play up to par, he’ll probably be looking for a new NFL home next season.

Biggest camp battle: Lock vs. DeVito

With Taylor joining the crosstown Jets, the Giants added Lock on a one-year, $5 million contract to be Jones’ backup. A second-round pick of Denver in 2019, Lock has starting experience in the NFL. In 28 starts, Lock has thrown for 5,283 yards with 28 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. While those numbers might not blow anyone away, he’s got plenty of experience facing NFL defenses.

On the other hand is DeVito, who became a darling with the fanbase when he stepped in and started six games last season. Appearing in nine games, DeVito threw for eight touchdowns and only three interceptions, and the Giants went 3-3 in his starts.

DeVito, a former undrafted free agent, doesn’t have the pedigree or the size that Lock possesses, but it will be interesting to watch which quarterback gets the first call if Jones ever misses time.

Overall 2024 outlook

When it comes to the quarterback position, the Giants’ situation is hard to predict, because that’s just been the nature of Jones’ career. In theory, if Jones is healthy, he has the best supporting cast of receivers that he’s had in a while with first-round pick Malik Nabers flanked by Wan’Dale Robinson and Darius Slayton. Saquon Barkley is no longer around, and Darren Waller’s status is a mystery, but Jones has weapons at his disposal.

If Jones can get back in 2022 mode, the Giants will be in good shape. But if he gets hurt, it’s hard to imagine Lock or DeVito providing enough to get the Giants to the postseason.

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