Vikings DBs Coach Lands Interview with Giants

Dec 17, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; A detailed view of a New York Giants helmet before the game against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

A number of former Vikings coaches have been connected to NFL coaching jobs in recent days.

Former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier recently landed an assistant head coaching gig in Seattle while another former head coach, Mike Zimmer, is in talks with the Dallas Cowboys regarding their vacant defensive coordinator spot.

However, there has not been a ton of buzz with current Vikings assistant coaches potentially getting hired. That all changed on Sunday, though. Vikings DBs coach Daronte Jones is officially in the running for the defensive coordinator job with the New York Giants.

Vikings DBs Coach Lands Interview with Giants

Vikings DBs Coach
Jun 11, 2019; Eagan, MN, USA; A Minnesota Vikings helmet sits on the field at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The news was reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, who tweeted, “The #Giants interviewed #Vikings DBs coach Daronte Jones for their defensive coordinator job, per source. The interview took place last week in Mobile, where Jones impressed as the National team’s defensive coordinator at the @seniorbowl.”

Jones entered his third season as the Vikings’ defensive backs coach this year, and his seventh year of NFL coaching overall. Prior to his time in Minnesota, Jones spent the 2016-17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins and the 2018-19 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The DBs coach worked closely with rookie CB and third-round pick, Mekhi Blackmon, this season. The cornerback played 15 games for the Vikings this season, including three starts, and recorded 41 tackles, three tackles for loss, eight passes defended, an interception, and a fumble recovery.

Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon (5) intercepts a pass from New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (not pictured) in front of wide receiver Chris Olave (12) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Blackmon earned PFF’s fifth-highest grade among rookie CBs with at least 100 defensive snaps. He finished the season with an overall defensive grade of 71.7.

This past week, Jones had the honor of being the defensive coordinator of the National team at the Senior Bowl. In that role, he worked closely with a number of top defensive prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, including EDGE Laiatu Latu and CB Quinyon Mitchell.

In the Senior Bowl game on Saturday afternoon, Jones’ National squad claimed a 16-7 victory behind a very strong defensive effort, which inevitably seems to have caught the eyes of some teams around the NFL.

Sep 9, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Laiatu Latu (15) runs off the field after the game against the San Diego State Aztecs at Snapdragon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

If Jones were to take over the defensive coordinator role of the New York Giants, he would be replacing Wink Martindale, who was fired earlier this offseason after New York’s defense ranked 26th in points allowed and 27th in total yards allowed.

Still, this should be an attractive landing spot for a defensive coach, considering all the young talent that they have on that side of the ball. Over the past three years, these are the defensive players that the Giants have selected in the top 100 picks:

  • OLB Azeez Ojulari (R2, P50; 2021 NFL Draft)
  • DB Aaron Robinson (R3, P71; 2021 NFL Draft)
  • DE Kayvon Thibodeaux (R1, P5; 2022 NFL Draft)
  • CB Cordale Flott (R3, P81; 2022 NFL Draft)
  • CB Deonte Banks (R1, P24; 2023 NFL Draft)

The Giants currently hold the No. 6 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and they could once again be in the market to add some defensive talent.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.