The New York Giants have their heir apparent to Eli Manning, just not the one everyone expected.
With glaring needs for an edge rusher and other defensive players, the Giants stunned many at the NFL draft by taking quarterback Daniel Jones of Duke with the sixth pick overall.
In the weeks leading up to the draft, many prognosticators felt the Giants would fill the defensive needs with the pick and maybe turn their attention to quarterback at No. 17, the pick they got from Cleveland by trading wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., perhaps targeting Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State or Drew Lock of Missouri.
General manager Dave Gettleman had other thoughts and took Jones, who threw for 8,201 yards and 52 touchdowns in three years starting for Duke after joining the program as a walk-on. He also ran for 1,323 yards and 17 TDs.
"Physically, I think I can make every throw on the field," said Jones, who noted he was not sure when he would be taken until the Giants called him before announcing the selection. "My accuracy is a strength of mine and I have the athleticism to extend plays. I play outside the pocket if I need to. Physically, I can do both those things well."
Jones was developed by David Cutcliffe, the same coach who groomed both Peyton and Eli Manning in college.
Jones said he needs to improve his understanding of when to throw the ball away or dump it off to a back.
Cutcliffe and Jones watched films of the Manning brothers and talked about their development.
"Just hearing those stories and learning from some of those experiences was an awesome perspective for me and certainly a great situation," said Jones.
Before the draft, Gettleman said he was in favor of using the Kansas City model in developing a new quarterback. The Chiefs hit a jackpot with Patrick Mahomes, letting him learn under Alex Smith until giving him the starting job last season.
Expect the Giants to do that with Manning and Jones.
Finding a replacement for Manning has been a pressing issue for the team. The two-time Super Bowl MVP just turned 38 and is entering the final year of his $84 million contract.
While Manning's statistics aren't horrible, the Giants have won eight games in the past two years (5-11 in 2018) and they have made the playoffs once since winning the Super Bowl in February 2012.
Manning's biggest flaw is his mobility. He is a solid pocket passer but lacks the ability to extend plays in coach Pat Shurmur's offense. The offensive line allowed 47 sacks last season.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Jones is similar to Manning. He is a three-time ACC selection and was impressive in the Senior Bowl, winning MVP.