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Giants Now 8/7: DJ could be NFL's breakout QB

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CBS Sports believes Daniel Jones could be 'this year's MVP-level breakout QB'

Daniel Jones put together an impressive rookie campaign for the Giants.

In 13 games (12 starts), the first-year quarterback completed nearly 62 percent of his passes for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His 24 touchdown passes led all rookie quarterbacks, while his 3,027 passing yards finished third. Jones added 45 rushes for 279 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and an additional two rushing scores to his final stats.

Jones set several franchise rookie records with his performance last season, including most passing yards, passing touchdowns, highest completion percentage, completions (284), pass attempts (459) and several more. In addition, he became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history with three games of four or more passing touchdowns with zero interceptions.

Last year's No. 6 overall pick also finished just three touchdown passes shy of Baker Mayfield's rookie passing touchdown record set in 2018, despite starting only 12 games.

Jones showed up to training camp this year having added nearly 10 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-5 frame, telling reporters he feels stronger than ever before.

CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin took a deep dive into Jones' rookie campaign and said that if any second-year quarterback could make the jump into the MVP conversation this season, it could be the Giants' signal-caller.

As Benjamin writes, "Now set to be uncorked under new coordinator Jason Garrett, who was a successful pass-heavy play-caller before getting bogged down by managerial duties in Dallas, Jones still has a strong set of weapons if they can stay healthy -- Barkley is a top-three RB, Darius Slayton has emerged as a legitimate big-play threat out wide, and Golden Tate remains a strong No. 2 WR... His supporting cast, in fact, is probably the biggest reason someone like Gardner Minshew isn't also a major breakout contender."

Blake Martinez wants to be 'that rock' for Giants D

Blake Martinez is not reluctant to take charge.

The fifth-year inside linebacker joined the Giants as a free agent in March and then spent months getting to know his teammates as well as he could through remote learning sessions. He's finally been able to forge more meaningful relationships with them since the team began training camp last week.

"Oh sweet, that's what you look like, it's not just your face, I get your whole body now," Martinez said of that awakening on a Zoom call today. "That portion was different, but overall it was cool to walk in and make it seem like we have been friends for the last six months."

Those connections are important to Martinez. He prides himself on being a good teammate on and off the field. And as the player who will receive the defensive calls from coordinator Patrick Graham and relay them to his teammates in the huddle, he is in a natural position of leadership. It's a role Martinez is comfortable in, even among players he is just getting to know.

"That's the reason I am here, to be that guy," Martinez said. "I pride myself on not being too flustered in any moments and being that rock for the defense. Especially obviously for me being the quote, unquote, quarterback on the defense. Being that guy that's always calm, cool, and collected."

And productive. Martinez led the Green Bay Packers in tackles in each of the previous three seasons with 156, 147 and 155, respectively. In 2018, the second of those three seasons, his position coach was Graham.

"We have a great relationship, "Martinez said. "We grew it my third year in Green Bay and it makes it a lot easier to walk into his office anytime. Any concerns I have, or certain questions I have, I can go straight to him and we chat just like anybody else. It's made it a lot easier to get new updates on anything that he is changing throughout the day."

Photos: Veterans hit the practice field Thursday

Players have yet to throw on their pads, but training camp is fully underway in East Rutherford.

Check out the gallery below to see photos of Giants veterans hitting the practice field Thursday.

View photos of Giants veterans on the practice field on Thursday, August 6th.

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