By Michael Stewart
Introduction: The 2019 NFL draft might be eight months away, but NFL scouts are scouring the country looking for college prospects that could fit their system and add talent to the roster. Over the following months leading up to the 2019 NFL draft I’ll be previewing prospects that could be of interest for the New York Giants. Since the revamping of the Giants roster; which included the release of Davis Webb who was thought to be Eli Manning’s successor; it’s only fitting to start off with quarterbacks who could interest the Giants on draft day:
- Drew Lock (Missouri) 6’4/225: Lock is currently ranked 1st among the 2019 quarterback class and has the makeup to be a successful quarterback at the NFL level. Lock is a vertical passer and throws more deep balls than nearly any other quarterback in the country. Lock is currently projected to go somewhere between the 1st and 3rd rounds in the draft.
- Ryan Finley (N.C State) 6’2/215: Finley is currently ranked 2nd among the 2019 quarterback class and has been efficient the last two seasons for the Wolfpack, and he completed 65.1 percent of his passes in 2017. He threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns against Clemson last season. Finley needs to take advantage of some big stages to increase that stock.
- Justin Herbert (Oregon) 6’6/230: Herbert is currently ranked 3rd among the 2019 quarterback class and has the size and arm strength NFL teams covert. Herbert is also very mobile for his size and makes all the necessary throws. Scouts like his pocket presence and his ability to find the secondary or third option receiver. Currently projected to go somewhere in the 1st or 2nd round of the draft.
- Nick Fitzgerald (Mississippi State) 6’5/230: Fitzgerald is currently ranked 4th among the 2019 quarterback class and can hurt with his arm and legs (2,486 rushing yards, 33 touchdowns) and an improving passer for the Bulldogs, but the career completion percentage (55.4) needs a lot of work
- Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) 6’2/214: Stidham Is currently ranked 5th among the 2019 quarterback class Shea Patterson (Michigan) 6’3/225: Patterson currently ranked 9th among the 2019 quarterback class and has a big strong arm. Staying in college was a great decision as Stidham will benefit greatly to improve his accuracy and decision making ability.
- Clayton Thorson (Northwestern) 6’3/225: Thorson is currently ranked 6th among the 2019 quarterback class and has the size and will be coming off his third year of starting experience when entering the draft. Accurate with short to mid range passes, and has a very good feel for a short, controlled passing game. Able to scramble when needed, with good running skills, but doesn’t panic in the pocket.
- Will Grier (West Virginia) 6’1/215: Grier is currently ranked 7th among the 2019 quarterback class and has a big arm, mobility and high-volume statistics. He passed for 34 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions and averaged 9.0 yards per attempt. Grier has a chance to add to that in 2018.
- Brett Rypien (Boise State) 6’2/210: Rypien is currently ranked 8th among the 2019 quarterback class and has had a solid career in college. Rypien Has the skill set to translate nicely to the next level. He is very accurate and consistently puts his team in winning situations. His quick release makes him tough to sack and when pressured he is mobile enough to step up in the pocket and run if needed.
- Shea Patterson (Michigan) 6’3/225: Patterson currently ranked 9th among the 2019 quarterback class and has offered an enticing sample at Ole Miss each of the last two seasons, and it comes with a strong arm and flashy playmaking skills. He also suffered a torn PCL last season and will face a daunting Big Ten schedule if he wins the starting job. This is a big year for the highly touted recruit.
- Tyree Jackson (Buffalo) 6’7/245: Jackson is currently ranked 10th among the 2019 quarterback class and has the size and arm strength to excel in the NFL. Jackson also has arguably the best running ability among the current top 10 quarterbacks; which he will utilize well when pressured out of the pocket. Jackson is a bit raw compared to either Lock, Finley or Herbert, but you can’t ignore his physical skills and potential that many scouts envision. Jackson is currently projected to go somewhere between the 3rd and 5th round in the draft.
Final Thoughts: With 8 months before the draft many of these prospects ratings and draft status will change. It should make sense to consider drafting a quarterback in this year’s draft to have another option along with this year’s pick Kyle Lauletta as possible successors to Eli Manning; if the team doesn’t consider trading for one. The million dollar question will be which round would they select a quarterback? The first round seems like the logical choice as its’ projected that Giants will select somewhere in the middle of the 1st round. Once again, the draft is still 8 months away and a lot will change from now until the final weeks leading up to the draft.