Written by: Bob Engelhard
UPDATE 1/6/18-This article was written before Lamar Jackson recently declared for the NFL Draft that is why he is not mentioned in this group of Quarterbacks. Not saying he is better or worse than any of the 4 Qb’s mentioned in this article as the top options but his name will certainly be in the mix as we go along.
The regular season is over and the playoffs will begin this weekend and our New York Football Giants are nowhere to be found. To say the least a lot of work needs to be done by the new General Manager Dave Gettleman in order for the Giants to return to their winning ways. First thing that needs to be done is to find a new Head Coach and get his staff in place. That should happen relatively soon as the Giants are currently interviewing potential head coaches as we speak. Once that is done the focus will move to the NFL Draft where our Giants will be selecting number 2 overall. This is a very valuable pick especially with the current Quarterback situation this team has and with the announcement of Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold forgoing their senior seasons and enterering the NFL draft. So where are we and what should we do with this pick ?
Biggest Positions of Need and our current situation.
Eli Manning does not seem to be to thrilled with the idea of mentoring a young QB and I do not blame him since he most likely has a few good season left in him. He deserves in my opinion a starting job somewhere and a chance to win and that may ultimately be on a different team next season. We also have last years third round pick Davis Webb who we foolishly did not get a chance to see at all this season but from what I have read a lot of people think he can be a pretty good quarterback in the future but not a slam dunk by any means. We also can resign Geno Smith to take over, just kidding.
Our biggest issue the last 2 season in my opinion was the offensive line play. We could not run the ball at all and had a hard time keeping Eli upright. Bobby Hart was just cut because he thought he was Walter Jones for a minute and had the right to decide if he was going to play week 17 or not. Ereck Flowers got confused also with his status in this league and did not get released but got benched. Left Tackle and Right tackle have been a huge disaster for us the last 2 season and while Justin Pugh did a decent job filling in he is not a tackle in this league. Speaking of Pugh he is however a great guard but he is a free agent this offseason. With his injury history and what he is going to demand in salary on the open market I do not see him returning. Our center Weston Richburg who has graded out by Pro Football Focus as a very good center was hurt most of this season and is a free agent also this offseason. He is in a similar boat as Pugh however I think he has a better chance of returning to us next season but we will see. John Jerry is signed for one more season to play guard but he is below average in my opinion and also could be cut. Bottom line is the offensive line needs a lot of help and we could see something similar to what the Vikings did last offseason and get 5 new starters (That worked out pretty good for them).
Paul Perkins flamed out early and Orleans Darkwa did a decent job when he was not hurt but he is a free agent and who knows what he will get in the open market at age 25 considering he did rush for 751 yards and 5 TDS on 171 carries behind a dreadful line. Wayne Gallman looks like a keeper to me but he is no sure bet to be anything more than a situational back so help at this position is long overdue and this is a pretty good draft for running backs.
It has been ages since the Giants have had any formidable linebackers and that is an odd thing for a franchise rich in linebacker history. Devon Kennard is decent and B.J Goodson looked to have some promise but he could not play more than 1 game in a row before getting hurt. This team desperately needs some depth, athleticism and guys who can stay on the field at this position moving forward.
So what should the Giants do with the number 2 pick ? To me they have 2 options but this is going to depend on what they see scouting these players.
Option #1- Draft your top rated QB
Stand pat at number 2 and select the quarterback they fall in love with. I am not ready yet to declare whether I think that should be Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Allen but I will have a clearer opinion on that as I do my own scouting. Right now my order would be Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield. All 4 of these guys are projected to go somewhere in the top 12 picks and all have their own strengths and weaknesses that is why this draft is so interesting to me. Despite the fact each of these players people believe have the talent to be franchise quarterbacks none of them due to different issues (Article coming soon on this issue) would be considered a can’t miss player so they are grouped very tight right now. With this option however lets say the Giants rank Josh Rosen way ahead of the other 3 guys, I would take him and let Eli find a new team. It would be nice to have Eli around to help but honestly using his cap space to fix other issues could prove more beneficial if you believe you got your next franchise QB. This move also opens up the possibility of trading Davis Webb down the road for a draft pick which can help in other areas also.
Option #2-Trade down
This option I like for a few reasons. Number 1 is by doing this the value of the 2nd overall pick is going to bring you a boat load of draft picks which can change your franchise. The Rams went with this strategy in 2012 and we now are seeing the rewards as they are right in the mix to win the Super Bowl this season. The Rams that year traded back from the number 2 pick to the number 6 pick owned by the Redskins and received the Redskins second round pick that year and 2 more first rounders the following years which eventually gave them the firepower to trade up for Jared Goff. The Redskins selected RG3 and its pretty clear who made the right move there. This scenario will take a team falling in love with one the Quarterbacks still on the board and making the move up to jump the Giants, Jets and Broncos who all need QB’s (Assuming the Browns Select a QB at number 1). Second thing about this option I like is you can still take a QB with your first pick depending how far you move back and this might be a good idea if you have the 4 guys or a dark horse guy grouped interchangeably. Let say the Broncos who are selecting 5th overall fall in love with Josh Rosen yet the Giants have Rosen, Darnold, and Mayfield rated the very similar. Why not trade back just like what the Chargers and Giants did with Eli and Rivers and gain more picks to fill other holes. The Third thing I like is if you trade back further and get a huge haul, if you do not mind missing out on this group of QB’s, you still have Eli under contract and Davis Webb behind him. So lets say we trade all the way back to 15th with the Cardinals who need a quarterback and get a monster haul we can really shore up a lot of areas on this team and go into next season looking to get back into the playoffs. This scenario for me works beautifully if you believe Eli has a few more years left and just needs better players around him or if you believe Davis Webb is as good or better than any of the QB’s at the top of this draft.
All in all the Giants are not your typical 3-13 team so this is a case where your scouts and GM are going to have to earn their paychecks. This pick is pivotal and the right move can propel us right back to the top of the NFC while the wrong move could set us back years and years. This makes this upcoming draft very exciting for us and fans and we will have continued coverage on this topic so stay tuned.