The New York Giants currently reside in the NFL’s basement. The franchise is in a freefall after last season’s 11-5 campaign that ended with the team’s first playoff berth since winning Super Bowl XLVI.
Once it became apparent the Giants’ season was a lost cause, ownership mandated that the team seriously take a look at this year’s crop of college quarterbacks. It is a prudent move considering that the Giants will be picking from the beginning the draft order.
The quarterback question is one the Giants need to resolve. Eli Manning will be 37 on Jan. 3 and has two years remaining on his current deal. Head coach Ben McAdoo said he wants to take a look at the “younger players” at some point this season.
McAdoo may have been referring to Davis Webb, the Giants’ third-round pick in this past NFL Draft. Webb is the Giants’ highest quarterback selection since taking Philip Rivers fourth overall in 2004 and trading him to the then-San Diego Chargers for Manning.
The original plan was for Webb to sit behind Manning. He has not appeared in a regular season game. If the Giants are seriously considering drafting a quarterback in April, it would be wise for them to see what Webb has picked up being Manning’s understudy.
The Quarterback Class of 2018 is already drawing comparisons to the Classes of 1983 (which included Hall of Famers John Elway, Jim Kelly, and Dan Marino) and 2004 (which includes Manning, Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger.
The college quarterback with the highest pro ceiling is USC’s Sam Darnold. He is considered the top quarterback in this year’s class but the word is that Darnold will not turn pro this year and return to USC. Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, and UCLA’s Josh Rosen are also quarterbacks who should be on the Giants’ radar.
Manning has said he wants to play until he’s 40. The NFL’s iron man quarterback will make his 209th consecutive regular start Sunday when the Giants host the Kansas City Chiefs, surpassing his brother Peyton for second all-time to Brett Favre’s 297. If the Giants draft one of these coveted quarterbacks, it may benefit the team and player in the long run to sit behind Manning for a year or two before inheriting the keys to the kingdom.