Despite contrasting reports on what seems to be a daily basis about the New York Football Giants, the general consensus is that in one way or another they will pick up a quarterback in the next few weeks.
So, let’s check out some of the options, their pro’s and con’s, and grade each choice as they look to fill the inevitable void of Eli Manning.
Note to readers: Kyler Murray has not been included as he is almost nailed on to be the number one overall pick in the draft.
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
If you are looking at last season’s NCAA quarterback class and basing it solely on stats, Dwayne Haskins is unequivocally a star in the making. Haskins totaled 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns, and just 8 interceptions. That’s outrageous. A prototypical pocket-passer, Haskins is calm with the ball in his hands, has a high IQ and rarely rushes his plays. He was a very real candidate for the Heisman Trophy and is viewed as the second-best quarterback in the draft. A New Jersey native and childhood New York Giants fan, there’s a reason why most analysts have him going to Big Blue at the end of the month.
Haskins did have an unbelievable year in 2018, that much is true, but it was his first full season as a starter in college football. Is his sample size too small? Is he going to take longer to adapt to the vigorous step up to National League Football? One thing Haskins doesn’t particularly possess in his repertoire of skills is pace, running a 5.04 in the 40-yard dash at the combine. Two other tools Haskins will lose on his promotion to the NFL will be his lightning quick receivers Parris Campbell (4.32 seconds) and Johnnie Dixon (4.41 seconds), who both tore up the NFL Combine dash. Both were huge deep threats for the Buckeyes, who will run deep this season for the G-men?
What Will He Cost?
6th pick or higher. If the Giants are serious on Haskins, then they need to make him their new quarterback. Yes, he will cost them their 6th pick, and they may even feel the need to trade up. However, it depends on where their loyalties lie in terms of that 6th pick.
Drew Lock, Missouri
If you’re a stats merchant looking for gargantuan stats year on year, Lock isn’t exactly your man. However, if you’re looking for a quarterback with staying power, consistency and the experience to adapt quickly to the NFL, look no further than Drew Lock. The SEC is no joke, packed full of good schools, and Lock has produced some very good displays over the last four years as since his freshman season in 2015. Standing at 6ft 4in and improving year-on-year, Lock ran an impressive 4.69 at the combine, adding subtle mobility to his game alongside is bullet passes. His confidence is one of his best assets, and will undoubtedly be a first-round pick in the draft.
Despite being a starter for four seasons, none of his campaigns at Missouri yielded him a higher passer rate than Haskins’ 174.1 last season. Lock is the master of big plays and finding guys with pinpoint precision from more than 30/40 yards. On the flip side, his short game has caused him issues, which mainly comes down to two factors; taming his cannon-like arm and perfecting his footwork. Did I mention his deceptively small hands? Nine-inch span is not small compared to you and me, but in terms of comparing it against other QB’s in the league, it’s in the bottom 10%. However, Sam Darnold had a pretty okay rookie season, and Jared Goff guided his team to Superbowl 53, so maybe it won’t be an issue for Lock.
What Will He Cost?
6th pick, maybe 17th. I am certain that Drew Lock will be there at number 6, and nobody will trade up to take him before then. On the other hand, I don’t think he will fall as low as 17 given the number of teams that ‘could do with’ a quarterback in this draft. Even more so than Haskins, the only way I’d see Lock presented with that Giants jersey on April 25 is if the Giants have loved the idea of him at #6 all along.
Daniel Jones, Duke
Coached by the same man who took a young Eli Manning under his wing at Ole Miss, is there some sort of sweet serendipity around Daniel Jones being the New York Giants future franchise quarterback? It certainly worked out alright for Eli! Daniel Jones is an accomplished, mobile Division One quarterback who put together three very nice seasons at Duke, a team who aren’t particularly heralded for their football team, unlike their basketball side. Jones had a decent combine and seems to excel at finding passes on the shorter routes where QB’s such as Drew Lock have tended to struggle a little more. Plus, Jones is a big guy and standing at 6ft 5in, we know fine well that New York likes their tall play callers.
Unfortunately, one thing Daniel Jones is not is Eli Manning. He may be tall, but questions remain about his arm strength, which was well documented during Senior Bowl. Jones wasn’t blessed with an abundance of NFL-worthy receiver talents, nor was his offensive line anything more than adequate, but his decision making was often called into question at crunch moments in games.
What Will He Cost?
17th pick. For sure. I’ll be shocked if Daniel Jones is not still there on the board at #17, as quite frankly I don’t think he’s in the same bracket as Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock. He’s slightly fortunate that Justin Herbert opted to return to Oregon for another year or he would have been pushed further down the pecking order. Taking him at #17 reads as he’ll be probably trialed in NYC, but they won’t necessarily bank on him without doubt as the successor to Eli Manning.
Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals (UCLA)
What is the one thing that Josh Rosen has over the other three quarterbacks mentioned above? Thirteen games of National League Football, that’s what. Like Lock, Rosen never managed to put up the number of the 2018 Haskins season but had two-and-a-half steady years at the forefront of a UCLA that enjoyed peaks and suffered troughs throughout his three years there. In comparison to last year’s draft class, one underrated stat of Rosen’s was his precision of throwing between 10-20 yards, in which he ranked #1 in the class.
Rosen was pretty comfortable tucking the ball under his arm and scrambling last season, trying it on 23 occasions and averaging a hair length from the first down per carrying (9.9 yards per rush). Looking for a guy who can do it on the big stage? What about facing off against one of the best in the business in Aaron Rodgers on a frosty cold day at the Packers’ home of Lambeau Field and winning?
For a team with the gravitas and stature of the New York Giants, are they really ready to start their return to the top of the mountain with an Arizona Cardinal castoff running the plays? Rosen’s first season didn’t exactly get Cardinals fans off their seats at the University of Phoenix Stadium, as the Cards went 3-13, with Rosen calling the shots for 3-10. He recorded 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, which is quite worrying, but can you blame him entirely with one of the worst offensive lines in the league and a rapidly aging Larry Fitzgerald to throw the ball to?
What Will He Cost?
2nd round pick. I don’t believe any last minute smokescreens will mask the fact that Kyler Murray will go #1 overall to the Cardinals, making last year’s #10 pick a spare part in Phoenix. Cardinals can whine all they want about wanting a 1st round pick in return for him, they’re not getting it, and in my eyes, anyone who wants to offer it up should go ahead and do so, but not the Giants. Out of every team who has interest in him, the Giants have the best 2nd round pick to offer. To me, it’s a power stance. If the Patriots cave and offer the 32nd pick, the Giants should walk away, they have other areas of the team to build up and they shouldn’t be duped into bidding against themselves. If they can get him for a 2nd round pick, the Giants can add three first-round talents to their team.
Featured Image: Sports Illustrated (si.com)