Read and React: Daniel Jones converts all the haters (for now)

Kevin Kaduk

[This is an excerpt from the Yahoo Sports’ Read and React Newsletter. Subscribe here]

When it comes to sports takes, the wisdom of crowds can be spotty.

Take Daniel Jones, for instance. When the Giants drafted the Duke product with the sixth overall pick in last April's NFL draft, the reaction formed an immediate monolith of overwhelming negativity.

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Didn't matter whose tweet you read or draft show you sampled. Within a minute of the pick, a consensus had formed: Dave Gettleman's selection was an overreach of epic proportions, destined to inevitably embarrass one of the league's glory teams.

Yes, some of the reaction was based on reality. Draftniks had Jones pegged as a mid first-round selection at best and the Giants had neglected the position a year earlier when they held the second pick in a draft that was more rich with QB talent.

Yet some of it also seemed rooted in that time-honored 2019 tradition of wanting to weigh in with the funniest joke on social media no matter how little you'd seen a player in action.

Gotta make honey when the hive is alive, after all.

Jones wins his first start

Four months later, Jones made all of those jokes seem misplaced with his performance on Sunday. Appearing in his first game since supplanting Eli Manning as the Giants' starter, Jones went 23 of 36 for 336 yards with two passing and two rushing touchdowns in a fun 32-31 win over the Buccaneers.

The toasts to Jones were plentiful, the mea culpas decidedly less so. The game — which ended with the Bucs kicker missing a gimme FG — was so fun that no one had problem completely reversing the narrative that had seemingly been written in stone last spring.

There are plenty of reasons to think Jones can do well in his rookie season. He looked good during the preseason, plus the schedule isn't exactly a killer. While Jones will have to face the defenses of the Patriots, Bears and Vikings, he'll also get to go against the Cardinals, Jets, Dolphins and Washington (twice).

But if we should have been preaching patience during April's pessimism, then the same applies here. New York sports history is full of sensations like Matt Harvey and Jeremy Lin who could only capture the imagination of the tabloids for so long.

Jones could go either way, but I'm tempted to place my bet wherever the crowd isn't headed.

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