Manning on Giants' drafting Jones: 'Fine with it'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning watched the NFL draft like everybody else. He just didn't have much of a reaction to the team selecting Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in this year's draft.

"Fine with it," Manning said Monday in his first public comments since the draft.

Manning received a phone call from general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur as the pick was happening, and he had known the Giants might select a quarterback in the first round.

Manning has said in the past it's not his job to be a mentor even if he's willing to help. Shurmur has told him the same on multiple occasions. Still, Manning has filled the role in past years to Ryan Nassib, Davis Webb and, most recently, Kyle Lauletta.

"I've been doing that for the last 11 years, 12 years," Manning said. "I don't know when you become a mentor, when that is official. When you've been in the league longer than any other guy in the quarterback room, you should be a mentor in that sense where you know a little bit more."

Shurmur explained Monday after the first organized team activity of the season that Manning was the starter and the other quarterbacks (Jones, Alex Tanney and Lauletta) are behind him.

Jones took third-team snaps behind the veterans, Manning and Tanney, during the first OTA. Lauletta, the Giants' fourth-round pick last year, was sidelined after having his knee cleaned out earlier this offseason.

Shurmur and Manning were adamant that the quarterback room lacks discord, andManning said it's not awkward to have a high draft pick in the room. The two-time Super Bowl winner believes it's "my job to earn that job, keep that job" and win games. That will keep him entrenched as the starter with Jones on the bench, this season and potentially beyond.

Manning, 38, is in the final season of his current deal and insists he hasn't decided how long he wants to play. He started slowly Monday at OTAs with a string of incompletions and an interception early in the practice. But he seemed to be moving well and throwing with velocity.

"Play this year and go from there," Manning said of his future.

Jones had his ups and downs during his first practice against an opposing professional defense. At times, he held on to the ball too long, but overall, he threw the ball well on a windy afternoon in East Rutherford.

Manning likes what he sees so far.

"I think Daniel throws it well. Good kid,"said Manning, who knows Jones through their college coach, David Cutcliffe. "Just trying to pick up the offense. Only been here two weeks. So a lot going on right now with trying to learn the offense, protections, footwork, everything. We've all been there. We've all been rookies and learning it. But he seems to have the right attitude and doing some good things."

The plan appears to be for Jones to sit and learn behind Manning, who can be his mentor if all goes well. Manning is willing to help if and when it's warranted.

"It's not necessarily your job to do it," Manning said. "Like I said, you're in the quarterback room, and if all the quarterbacks are in there, you're talking and you're helping out and everybody is kind of mentoring everybody. If certain guys aren't in there, then they can't be mentored.

"It's a little bit on Daniel being in there, listening, asking questions and everybody willing to help out in those situations."

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