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Giants select QB Daniel Jones with sixth overall pick

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman eschewed the quarterback position in the first round in 2018. He snagged his guy this time around.

Big Blue used the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, the first of New York's two draft selections in the opening round on Thursday night in Nashville. The Giants later selected Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence at No. 17.

New York's busy night wasn't done at No. 17, however, as the Giants traded back into the first round at No. 30 to select cornerback Deandre Baker out of Georgia. N.Y. traded away picks Nos. 37, 132 and 142. 

Jones has been linked to the Giants due to his connections to the Manning family. Jones started for three years at Duke under coach David Cutcliffe, the same man who worked with Eli Manning at Ole Miss and Peyton Manning at Tennessee.

Longtime Dallas Cowboys GM and NFL Network analyst Gil Brandt compared Jones' play at Duke to Peyton's coming out of Tennessee, saying "you are watching the same guy."

If he even comes close to that lofty comparison, the Giants will be ecstatic.

Jones' blend of size, toughness, leadership and intelligence enticed the Giants to make him their QB of the future.

The 6-foot-5, 221-pound Jones lines up with Gettleman's perceived preference for a big signal-caller. Jones doesn't have a huge arm, but is a touch passer who throws with anticipation short and can hit receivers on the run deep with lofted shots. His skill set, especially on short balls, could excel in Pat Shurmur's offense. His career completion percentage at Duke was just 59.9 but many analysts attribute some of those struggles to dropped passes. Jones brings more athleticism to the position than Giants have been used to in Eli Manning.

The Duke product said this week he had no problems sitting a year or two behind Manning.

"That'd be awesome. I'd be extremely excited about that," Jones said Wednesday. "The opportunity to learn from a guy like Eli, to watch him, the way he carries himself day in and day out, would be a tremendous learning opportunity for a young guy. That'd be an awesome situation."

Now he'll get that chance and the Giants finally get their heir to Eli.

With his second selection of Thursday night, Gettleman grabbed a "hog molly" to upgrade a diminished defensive line. Lawrence is a massive body at 6-foot-4, 342 pounds to plug the middle of a porous D. At his size, Lawrence is an agile athlete. NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah compared him to long-time Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata

Lawrence is a power pocket pusher and a dominant run defender who can push aside single blocks. The Clemson product should be an immediate force against the run with a chance to develop into a potent pass rusher in time. After Big Blue traded Damon Harrison during the 2018 season, they grabbed a big body to fill the middle in the first round.

Later in the draft, the Giants made a move to add another piece to defensive coordinator James Bettcher's system. Big Blue traded back into the first round, shipping the 37th pick, 132 and 142 to Seattle for the No. 30 pick, selecting Baker.

The Georgia product was the first cornerback selected in Thursday's first round.

The 2018 Jim Thorpe award winner as the most outstanding defensive back stands at 5-foot-11 but is a tough, feisty cover man who plays bigger than his size suggests. Baker doesn't own blazing speed, but his toughness in press coverage and instinctive ball-skills fit well with what Bettcher seeks from his CBs.

For the first time, the Giants netted three first-round picks on the night. Big Blue went out and got its future franchise QB, then upgraded a defense in need of an infusion of youth and talent.

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