Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones is suddenly making a run for Eli Manning's job just months after being mocked as a poor draft pick

daniel jones preseasonAl Bello/Getty ImagesDaniel Jones has had a solid preseason.Al Bello/Getty Images

  • New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has been playing well and impressing the NFL world during the preseason.
  •  Many mocked the Giants for taking Jones sixth overall in the draft - what many considered a reach.
  • Giants owner John Mara said in an "ideal world," Eli Manning would start the entire season, but Jones could be coming for the job quicker than expected.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The New York Giants were widely mocked in May when they used the sixth overall pick in the draft on Duke quarterback Daniel Jones.

Jones was considered a prospect, but his college resumé did not shout "top-10 pick." He completed 60% of his passes for over 8,000 yards, 52 touchdowns, 29 interceptions, and a 122 passer rating over three seasons for a school not known for producing top NFL talent.

Most thought the Giants made a massive reach for Jones, though the Giants contended that they had intel that Jones would be selected later in the first round if they didn't take him. For a team that perhaps extended Eli Manning's tenure longer than what's best for the franchise, Jones felt like an underwhelming choice for a replacement.

Read more: The NFL world mocked the Giants after the controversial decision to use the 6th pick in the draft on Duke QB Daniel Jones

So surprising was the choice that even Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield weighed in, saying it blew his mind that the Giants took Jones. He later said he called Jones to apologize.

Jones has impressed during the preseason

However, through three preseason games, Jones has helped silence some critics and given the impression that he could take over for Manning sooner than later.

daniel jones 2Elsa/Getty ImagesDaniel Jones.Elsa/Getty Images

In limited snaps in the preseason, Jones has completed 25-of-30 passes for 369 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Of course, preseason isn't always indicative of regular season play and, frankly, is often meaningless. But Jones' poise and precision have been a welcome sight so far.

On Thursday, Jones delivered several crisp deep balls to move the Giants down the field. One pass set up a rushing touchdown by Rod Smith.

Jones' first NFL action also included a touchdown drive on his very first series.

After Thursday's game, Tom Rock of Newsday tweeted an excellent photo of Jones being mobbed by reporters while Manning was left alone.

After the game, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur continued the team's defense of Jones and questioned critics instead.

"You can ask me all you want about why I like him," Shurmur said. "I think it's time to start asking the people that didn't like him what they think."

eli manning daniel jonesBobby Ellis/Getty ImagesEli Manning is slated to be the Giants starting quarterback over Daniel Jones,Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

The path to Jones starting will still be tough, however. Giants owner John Mara recently said that in an "ideal" world, Manning would start all 16 games and Jones would be the backup.

"I'd be very happy about that because that means we're having a great year and Eli's having a great year," Mara said.

There's still a long way for Jones to go. During the preseason, he has lost several fumbles and struggled under pressure, something that should continue into the regular season, given the state of the Giants offensive line.

Though Jones has made some nice throws, many of them have also been simple reads. A few of his best deep throws have been noteworthy for the impressive catch, rather than the ball placement.

Few expect the Giants to contend for the playoffs, but if things go south quicker or worse than imagined, Jones could find himself on the field earlier than 2020.
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