The NFL season is officially at the quarter mark.
The Giants' 2019 draft class has played a large part in the team's 2-2 start. Through the first four games, several rookies have stepped into prominent roles. Already, two Giants have been nominated for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week Award, Daniel Jones in Week 3 and Ryan Connelly in Week 4.
The class has also caught the eye of Daniel Jeremiah. The lead draft analyst for NFL Network ranked the top 25 rookies in the NFL through the first month, and three Giants made the list: Jones (No. 3), Connelly (No. 21), and outside linebacker Oshane Ximines (No. 25).
Heading into Week 5, Jones has completed 69.0% of his passes for 578 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also shown the ability to make plays with his legs, as the 22-year-old has rushed the ball 10 times for 66 yards and two additional touchdowns. Jones helped spark an 18-point second-half comeback against the Buccaneers in Week 3, using both his arm and legs to keep drives going.
"Jones is smooth and athletic," Jeremiah wrote. "He's shown the ability to extend plays, and he's been excellent on third down since the team made him the starter in Week 3."
Connelly was a fifth-round pick (143rd overall). Due injuries and his own performance, he was thrust into game action right away. Connelly recorded the defense's first turnover of the season in Week 3 when he picked off Jameis Winston, and followed that with another turnover in Week 4 when he intercepted a pass from Case Keenum. On the season, Connelly has 20 total tackles, one sack, two interceptions and two passes defensed.
However, his season was cut short when he tore his ACL in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against Washington, but he still earned the No. 21 spot on Jeremiah's list.
"Connelly was having a phenomenal rookie campaign before suffering an ACL tear vs. the Redskins on Sunday," Jeremiah wrote. "He should be a key member of this defense in the years to come.
The third and final Giant to make the list was Ximines. The edge rusher out of Old Dominion was selected in the third round, and it hasn't taken long for the 22-year-old to look like an absolute steal.
Through his first four games, Ximines has recorded 10 total tackles, two sacks and a pass defensed, good enough to earn him the No. 25 spot in the rookie rankings. As Jeremiah wrote, "Ximines looks like another home-run pick from this talented Giants rookie class. He uses his length and speed to generate consistent pressure in the passing game."
The Giants were joined by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the only teams with three players on Jeremiah's list. The Green Bay Packers were the only other team with more than one.
Here is a look at Jeremiah's top five:
1. QB Gardner Minshew, Jaguars
2. S Darnell Savage, Packers
3. QB Daniel Jones, Giants
4. LB Devin Bush, Steelers
5. TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions
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