One of the players that have stood out for the New York Giants during the first few days of OTAs has been Davis Webb.
The regime that drafted him in the third round of the 2017 draft (87th overall), general manager Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo, was fired in December en route to a 3-13 season. This left his spot in the team up in the air.
Despite the Giants being out of playoff contention in October of last season, Webb never saw the field leading people to speculate that he wasn’t ready for NFL action. Questions began to arise about whether or not the Giants made a mistake in drafting him.
Webb did work on his craft this offseason and even worked with tight end Evan Engram. But there was still a cloud hanging over his future with the Giants.
Great session today with Giants QB Davis Webb working Stretch Naked Bootleg Throwing Deep Drag to Giants TE Evan Engram. Davis can make every throw in the game in or out of pocket and Evan is a mismatch everywhere. @TEST_Football @Davis_Webb5 @EvanEngram @Giants #nfl #giants #qb pic.twitter.com/EukRQ6KKwr
— Tony Racioppi (@Tonyrazz03) February 21, 2018
Due to this and the fact that Eli Manning turned 37 in January, many felt the Giants would take one of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft (Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen).
Instead, the Giants took Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the draft, giving Webb the inside track to be the backup for this season and the successor for when Manning retires. The Giants did draft quarterback Kyle Lauletta out of Richmond in the fourth round (108th overall) to push Webb for the backup role.
He’ll probably never admit this publicly, but the Giants drafting Lauletta surely gave Webb extra motivation heading into OTAs on Monday.
There’s only so much you can take out of OTAs since there’s limited contact and the players are not in pads, but Webb was one of the Giants that stood out at practice.
He was accurate in his intermediate and deep passes including connecting with Roger Lewis on a long touchdown along the left sideline.
Not only did the 23-year-old Webb outperform Lauletta, but he had a better practice than Manning.
After practice, Shurmur spoke about Webb’s performance.
“I thought he did a good job. Every day he does something a little bit better. He’s becoming more and more comfortable with our scheme and I thought he did some good things.”
Players normally make the biggest jump in their careers from year one to year two, and although he didn’t take a snap last season, Webb did get to watch how Manning prepares on and off the field which helped in his maturation process.
We’re just under three months until the start of the preseason, but so far the Giants having faith in Webb in not taking a quarterback with the second pick is paying off.
Webb looks vastly better than a year ago, and Barkley who the Giants took with the second pick has been the most impressive Giant in rookie camp and OTAs and is one of the favorites to be named rookie of the year.
Manning connects with Barkley on 11 on 11 drills pic.twitter.com/6ztiNeu6Uw
— Jason Leach (@JasonKLeach) May 21, 2018
It’s very possible that when Manning’s contract expires following the 2019 season, that Webb and Barkley will be the faces of the franchise alongside Odell Beckham Jr.
The first major decision of the Gettleman and Shurmur regime to not take a quarterback with the second pick, and electing to draft Barkley and show faith in Webb might turn out to be their best decision. A decision that has the franchise competing for championships for years to come.