Another year, another draft cycle. For the second year in a row, the New York Giants have a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft.
Who will they take? Conventional wisdom dictates they will select a quarterback, specifically Dwayne Haskins of The Ohio State University or Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murphy of Oklahoma. There is also a school of thought that suggests the Giants will focus on the defensive side of the ball.
“For the Giants, if they don’t take a quarterback again all the way up here, you know it would be interesting,” the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said in a Monday conference call.
Last year, the Giants had the No. 2 overall pick. No one with half a brain would say selecting Saquon Barkley, the Offensive Rookie of the Year, was a mistake. Still, four quarterbacks were selected in the first 10 picks of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Class of ’18 drew comparisons to the Classes of 1983 and 2004…at least on paper.
Jeremiah acknowledged the Giants would be an interesting situation if they don’t take a quarterback this year.
“It would be something they would have to answer a lot of questions about,” Jeremiah said. “I’ll put it to you that way, if they were to escape the top 10 without a quarterback in back-to-back years. The question isn’t do you take one. It’s if you have one that you like, you might even have to just move up a little bit just to guarantee you get the guy that you like.
“That’ll be a tough decision for them to make, but it would be very tough on the organization to have had two cracks at it and not come away with a quarterback.”
The Cleveland Browns had the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. They went against conventional wisdom and selected Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. Mayfield went 6-7 in his first season in the NFL and was Barkley’s only real competition in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race.
Jeremiah said the Giants could use the Browns approach: develop the team before getting their quarterback.
“We saw it, though, with Cleveland, trying to build up the team, and then eventually get that quarterback later on,” Jeremiah said. “The difference is that Cleveland didn’t have a capable guy on campus already in Eli Manning, so I think it’s a little different from that standpoint.”
The clock is on to find an heir apparent to Manning. He turned 38 last month and is entering his 16th NFL season.
The Giants would face a slew of criticism if they were to pass on a quarterback for the second consecutive season. Top 10 draft picks usually mean a lack of regular season success. There is also the possibility that the Giants overachieve in 2019 and will have to pick from the middle (or end) of the pack next year.
Of course, this draft speculation is all a crap shoot. A quarterback taken in the top-10 doesn’t guarantee NFL success any more than a late-round pick means bust. The first round of the NFL Draft isn’t until Apr. 25. Speculation will run rampant until then.