With the No. 6 overall selection in the NFL Draft, the New York Giants basically have a blank canvas.
The franchise continues to have many pressing needs, including the quarterback position. In a draft seemingly top heavy in defensive talent, it would not surprise anyone if the New York Giants grabbed Eli Manning’s successor.
Then again, the top quarterbacks may be at a premium, so a blue chip defensive player could drop into their laps unexpectedly.
As the NFL Combine begins this week, be aware that despite their protestations to the contrary, teams fall in love with certain players. This happens all the time at the combine.
The G-Men certainly did with running back Saquon Barkley last year, and picked the Penn State star despite the availability of franchise quarterback Sam Darnold.
This year, will Giants general manager Dave Gettleman suddenly get religion and figure out that the NFL has become a passing league?
Perhaps, but from early indications, the quarterback class of 2019 doesn’t appear to have the same star quality as last year’s group.
The 2018 NFL Draft was extremely deep, as prospects did not seem to thin out until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected DT Vita Vea at No. 12. The Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys got tremendous value with safety Derwin James and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch at Nos. 17 and 19 respectively.
Ironically, the two previous Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma QBs, as a comparative, seem to cancel each other out. If the Cleveland Browns didn’t select Baker Mayfield at No. 1, would the Browns have taken Darnold or Barkley?
If that happened, which team would have grabbed Mayfield?
Actually the Browns and Giants made things easy for the New York Jets when Mayfield and Barkley went off the board at Nos. 1 and 2.
This year, Kyler Murray can become a similar wild card to what Mayfield was in 2018. He can go anywhere from No. 1 to No.10. At least that’s what it seems.
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When scouting the diminutive Murray, expect the measurables to open some eyes, and not in a good way. Size, weight, hand size, etc. will all be scrutinized heavily. Given the potential widespread interest, expect the New York Giants to poke their nose around the hybrid baseball/football star.
It’s clearly a case of pure gamesmanship. Big Blue won’t want to tip their hand one way or another. But the G-Men would love nothing better than for someone to jump up and grab Murray in the top 5.
Conversely, the team’s interest with consensus top quarterback Dwayne Haskins appears to be legitimate. According to NFL.com, Haskins stands 6-3 and weighs 218 lbs. His height passes the New York Giants litmus test – barely.
According to Sports Reference, Haskins also has only 22 college starts under his belt.
"“His athletic limitations could keep him pocket-bound, but he has the arm talent, confidence and pocket savvy to become a good NFL starter if he’s protected and given the time to develop early on.”"
Lack of mobility becomes a concern for many, if not most, NFL teams, except don’t expect the Giants to blink. Team brass doesn’t bat an eye when faced with the reality of Eli Manning’s lack of mobility. If Haskins’ heavy feet rear their ugly head in a big way at the combine, then all bets are off.
The only other guy to keep an eye on is Daniel Jones from Duke. Honestly, watching his tape gives the impression that’s he’s the second coming of Manning. Back in his prime, Manning threw an exceptional deep ball, and we see some of those characteristics from Jones.
Jones’ athleticism and mobility are off the charts, and at 6-5, he has the length that the New York Giants covet. When watching the Duke star, pay close attention to his passing drills. If he is accurate on all of his throws, his draft stock may rise like Josh Allen (Wyoming) did last year.
For any of the trolls out there, would a more mobile and athletic Eli Manning be a bad thing?
Folks will talk up a good game with Drew Lock (Missouri), Tyree Jackson (Buffalo) and Will Grier (West Virginia), but don’t pay too much attention to the chatter. Purely from a measurables standpoint, the only other quarterback in which Big Blue may have interest is NC State’s Ryan Finley.
Finley has a third-round projection, however, and the New York Giants don’t currently have a selection in that round, due to grabbing supplemental draft pick Sam Beal last summer.