INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Justin Herbert of Oregon throws a pass during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The New York Giants are doing their due diligence on Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert despite taking Daniel Jones sixth in 2019.

Is it time for Daniel Jones to start watching his back? According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the New York Giants “have spent a lot of time researching Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.”

Rapoport notes that Herbert has had FaceTime conversations with brand new Giants head coach Joe Judge. No one expects the Giants to take a quarterback in round one for the second-straight season, but this report would indicate that this option is on the table.

Just last year, the Arizona Cardinals traded away their first-round pick, quarterback Josh Rosen, to make room for the 2019 NFL Draft’s No. 1 pick—Kyler Murray. Arizona’s new coach Kliff Kingsbury was deadset on having the dynamic Murray as his quarterback of the future.

Could the Giants be in a similar situation with Judge and Herbert at the 2020 NFL Draft? It’s possible, but it still seems unlikely. General manager Dave Gettleman made the Jones pick last year and the rookie quarterback did enough to warrant a second season. Although he struggled with turnovers, he has the athleticism, arm strength, and demeanor to be a successful quarterback in New York.

This report has all the look and feel of a “smokescreen.” Gettleman has already admitted that he’s willing to trade down in the right scenario. By feigning interest in Herbert, the Giants are likely trying to convince a quarterback-needy team to trade up and give up assets to avoid missing out on a franchise cornerstone.

The Giants have been mostly linked to an offensive tackle or Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons. Depending on how far they trade down, drafting one of the top four offensive tackles is still possible.

That would actually help make this report make sense. In that scenario, the Giants would be able to draft more protection for Jones while adding more draft capital. As we know, Gettleman is someone we “can’t trust” when the draft rolls around. The GM is always looking for an edge.

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