New York Giants: Top College QB Prospects
By Michael Stewart
Introduction: So the New York Giants have the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 draft; which hasn’t happened since 1981 when they selected Lawrence Taylor out of North Carolina. Many experts, fans and mock drafts have them selecting either Josh Rosen (UCLA) or Sam Darnold (USC) with that selection.
Although both are gifted young quarterbacks, let’s not forget that this year’s draft could have at least 6 quarterbacks taken in the 1st round (Joseh Allen (Wyoming), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), Lamar Jackson (Louisville) and Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma); which compares favorably with the 1983 draft when John Elway, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Ken O’Brien and Dan Marino were all taken in the 1st round.
Personally, I believe a couple could fall into the 2nd round, but as of now that’s the projection. Based on most recent reports, GM Dave Gettleman’s meeting with QB Eli Manning went very well and it seems any problems that occurred regarding the benching is now water under the bridge and it appears that Manning will be a Giant in 2018. Below are my top options at QB for the Giants if that’s the direction they plan on taking courtesy of Walterfootball.com:
- Josh Rosen (UCLA) 6’4/220: Of the top quarterback prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft, Rosen has the best mechanics and is the most natural pocket passer. He throws a tremendous ball and can really spin it. Rosen’s tight spiral helps him to get his passes through tight windows and beat good coverage. He has serious arm talent along with field vision and pocket presence. Rosen also worked under center, which has been rare to see with college quarterbacks in recent years. Teams also have some concerns about his intangibles and durability.
- Sam Darnold (USC) 6’4/225: Darnold completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He had an up-and-down season with too many turnovers – fumbles were a particular issue beyond the interceptions. Darnold also made some beautiful anticipatory throws with excellent accuracy in just about every game.
- Josh Allen (Wyoming) 6’5/233: Allen completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,812 yards with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions. He notched five rushing touchdowns as well. Allen will probably be a high pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but some of his performances in 2017 indicate that he could be a work in progress who will need some developmental time. His completion percentage and interception total from 2016 provide evidence for that assessment, too. Allen has a great skill set, but he needs a lot of grooming for the NFL.
- Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) 6’5/230: Rudolph has nice size with an arm to deliver the ball downfield. He throws nice touch passes and locates passes well. However, Rudolph is going to need a lot of work on his field vision for the NFL. He rarely works beyond his primary read and constantly stares down his first option. In terms of his longer-term development, Rudolph was wise to return for his senior season. He should focus on improving his field vision to work through progressions before going pro. Along with improving his footwork, working on being under center, and learning how to call NFL plays.
- Lamar Jackson (Louisville) 6’3/200: Jackson has an amazing skill set with a powerful arm that allows him to make throws off platform that many NFL quarterbacks couldn’t even dream of making. He is tough in the pocket, knows his scheme well, and has amazing athleticism and speed as a runner. Jackson looks like a taller and right-handed version of Michael Vick.
- Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) 6’1/218: Mayfield has excellent mobility to dodge sacks, escape pressure, extend plays with his feet, and throws well on the run. He also can pick up critical yards on the ground and adds the value of being a dangerous threat on third-and-short or third-and-manageable. Mayfield is undersized for the NFL with just average arm strength. He can have issues reading defenses because of his height, throwing into tight windows, and will have a big adjustment in learning to work under center, call plays, and operate a pro style offense. One big area of improvement for Mayfield is his footwork as he gets happy feet in the pocket
Final Thoughts: After watching countless hours of film and televised games on all of these quarterbacks and also on current Giants backup quarterback Davis Webb. I see no clear separation of talent that would warrant me to draft a QB with the 2nd overall pick.
In my opinion, there are only two ways the Giants should go in this year’s draft and they are: 1) Stay at #2 and then the clear and obvious choice would be selecting RB Saquon Barkley, unless the Browns shake up the draft by selecting Barkley 1st overall; which is a possibility. If not, that should be the direction the Giants go.
I believe they will address the offensive line in free agency with at least one big name signing and then draft a lineman or two through rounds 2-7. Finally 2) If they have no plans on drafting Barkley or a QB with the 2nd overall pick, then they need to trade back for additional picks to the highest bidder. The Giants need to revamp the roster with more talent and the best way of doing that is through the draft with extra picks.