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Giants' Russell Shepard on Daniel Jones: 'He's Going to Be Very Special'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 9, 2019

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

The New York Giants and rookie quarterback Daniel Jones silenced their critics, at least for a day.

Per ESPN's Jordan Raanan, Giants wide receiver Russell Shepard had high praise for the sixth overall pick, and that was before the former Duke star went 5-of-5 for 67 yards and one touchdown against the New York Jets on Thursday night.

"I've said it before: I think he's going to be very special," Shepard said earlier this week. "He just has to wait for his time, and I think when his number is called and his time comes, I have no doubt this city and this organization is going to fall in love with Daniel Jones. He's going to be a good one."

Jones was arguably the most scrutinized pick in April's draft, with The Ringer's Danny Kelly giving the Giants a D-minus:

"He displayed questionable decision-making, anticipation and deep accuracy at Duke, and he now faces a steep learning curve as he transitions to the pros after running the Blue Devils' RPO-heavy offense. His career statistics in that scheme are, let's say, less than encouraging: Jones averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt, finished with a 60 percent completion rate and threw 29 interceptions to go along with his 52 touchdowns in three seasons as a starter."

Many New York fans didn't respond kindly to the selection, greeting Jones with a chorus of boos when his face was shown on the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium during a June game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters after the game Jones didn't motion the tight end on their first play, which forced running back Wayne Gallman to go one-on-one with a defensive end.

Shurmur did say Jones did "a very effective job" in his only series.

There is still a steep learning curve for Jones in the NFL, but his first impression is an encouraging one after he spent three months being dismissed by fans and some analysts as a bust before taking a professional snap.

Jones and the Giants will be back on the field for their second preseason game Aug. 16 against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium.