New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is known for his shoulder shrug and “Aw, Shucks” mannerisms. After thirteen seasons in the NFL and playing in the nation’s largest media market, No. 10 is a master at not providing bulletin board material.
Anyone who follows the team knew what Manning’s reaction would be when the Giants selected quarterback Davis Webb with the 87th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
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“Well, once they drafted him, nothing to say different than drafting a defensive lineman or linebacker, I’d say. So, I’m fine,” he said.
This is Easy Eli taking it all in stride, as usual. Maybe it’s because he’s been in this situation before.
“We drafted a quarterback four years ago with Ryan Nassib,” Manning said. “So I understand they have to draft a quarterback and they have to draft players on the board who are going to help out down the road.”
Besides Nassib, the Giants drafted quarterbacks Andre Woodson (2008) and Rhett Bomar (2009) during Manning’s tenure as the starter. No one ever expected Woodson or Bomar to supplant No. 10 as the starter. Nassib held the clipboard for four seasons before departing in free agency.
Webb is different than Nassib, Woodson, and Bomar. He was selected in the third round and has more ability coming in than those other guys, even if he didn’t play in a pro-style offense at the University of California.
Manning’s age is a factor as well. He turned 36 on Jan. 3 and is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. As expected, Manning has taken on the role of mentor for Webb. The incumbent called the rookie to welcome him to the team. Manning has spent considerable time helping Webb get acclimated to the NFL, much like Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner did for him in 2004.
Webb has not been overwhelmed while learning this new offense. He has impressed coaches and players with his work ethic and ability.
“You know Davis has done a good job just learning the offense,” Manning said. “He throws the ball well, so now it’s just, for a young guy, it is just learning the system, learning the ins and outs, and getting reps and he has done a good job picking things up quickly.”
Quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti agrees.
“Davis is really doing a really nice job,” Cignetti said. “Most quarterbacks in this league all do a great job in their preparation, they’re professionals. Davis is just falling in line with the rest of the guys.”
Webb is in the quarterbacks room with Manning, Josh Johnson, and Geno Smith. He only started one season in college in an Air Raid offense that bears no resemblance to any offense ran in the NFL.
Talk of Webb becoming Manning’s successor is premature now. After 211 consecutive regular season and postseason starts, Easy Eli behind center still gives the Giants their best chance to win.