The direction the New York Giants take with the second pick of the NFL draft is based in large part on how they view quarterback Davis Webb.
The New York Giants took Webb in the 3rd round out of California in last year’s draft, but despite their 3-13 record he never played a single snap the regular season.
This is not an ideal situation for any franchise to be in considering how valuable third round picks can be. Just look at what the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs with their 3rd round picks in Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara, and the 2017 rushing champion Kareem Hunt.
Webb did complete 18 out of 34 passes for 190 yards in the preseason, but you can’t gauge Webb based on this since it was against players that failed to make an NFL roster. So, as it stands right now, the Giants don’t know if he’s the next Eli Manning or the next Kent Graham.
Head coach Pat Shurmur did praise Webb during his introductory press conference, but maybe that was Shurmur posturing in case the team wants to try to trade Webb in the offseason.
With the NFL combine just under three weeks away, Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman are going to have to come to an assessment on Webb to determine which direction they intend to go with the second pick.
If they feel that he can be Manning’s successor, they have a couple of directions they can go with the second pick.
They can take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley who is by far the most talented running back in the draft, and has a potential to be a superstar in the NFL. They could look to trade down and try to take one of the top linemen in the draft in Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams, or Oklahoma tackle Orlando Brown.
But if they have any doubts about Webb, then they have to take one of the talented quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
There are four quarterbacks currently projected to go in the top 10 of this year’s draft: USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. All four have a bigger upside than Webb and are more athletic. So the Giants who don’t expect to have a top-five pick again anytime soon, can’t pass up on the opportunity to take a quarterback that can help them for the next decade.
In ESPN’s Todd McShay’s recent mock draft, he has the Giants take Rosen with the second pick. If they go this route they’ll likely see if they can trade Webb for a late round pick because it wouldn’t make sense to have two inexperienced quarterbacks behind Manning.
Manning is only under contract for two more seasons so it’s imperative to have his successor in place.
With the rest of the NFC East teams having their quarterback situation set for the next few seasons, Shurmur and Gettleman can’t afford to be wrong on their quarterback assessment.
Either they think Webb can compete against the likes of Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, and Alex Smith, or they’ll have to draft someone who can. He’s either their future or an afterthought.