Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta was selected in the fourth round. This was after the Giants selected running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick. Sam Darnold, considered the draft’s top quarterback prospect, went third to the stadium mate New York Jets.
In 39 career games for the Spiders, the 6-foot-3, 222 pound Lauletta threw for 10,465 yards and 73 touchdowns (both school records). After suffering a torn ACL in 2016, he returned to have his best statistical season in 2017 and earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl.
At the Senior Bowl, with general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur in attendance, Lauletta completed 8-of-12 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns. The highlight of the day was a 75-yarder to LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark.
“He was impressive and he made some strong throws into tight windows, anticipated things and for me, that’s what really piqued my curiosity,” Gettleman said. “ I heard all the stuff about him from the scouts, but after watching that Senior Bowl, I said, ‘We’ve got to dig into him. You guys have to dig into him. There is something here. We just have to figure out what it is.’”
Of course, not everyone is convinced. Some NFL insiders believe Lauletta lacks the arm strength needed to succeed at the NFL level. One scout reportedly said, “He’s a backup…this is not the Giants drafting their next franchise quarterback. This is competition.”
The Giants have two other quarterbacks on the roster at completely different (and some might say completely opposite) ends of the spectrum. Eli Manning, the holder of virtually every significant franchise passing record, is entering his 15th season. Davis Webb, who was selected in last year’s third round, hasn’t played a meaningful snap.
Although Shurmur said the Giants’ starting quarterback in 2018 will “most likely be Eli”, it is obvious the team wants to have a good ol’ fashioned quarterback competition in training camp.
“The one good thing about quarterbacks is I’ve watched it with my son, they’re always drafting, or in the case of college, they’re always recruiting the guy to replace you, so they’re used to competition,” Shurmur said. “I don’t think you’re going to be a very good quarterback if you don’t look forward to it, so there is competition in the room.”