For the New York Giants, taking a quarterback with their first pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft makes too much sense.
The best part about it? They don’t need to make a trade up to get their future starter.
Former NFL general manager Jeff Diamond thinks the Giants have the chance to draft the replacement to Eli Manning with the sixth pick.
Or, Diamond says, perhaps even later in the first round as well.
A lot has happened to the Giants in recent weeks, who are in a state of flux when it comes to their identity and the direction of their team moving forward. After trading All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. two weeks ago, the Giants picked up the option on their long-time starting quarterback, meaning that Manning is the likely starter for this team come Week 1. How long Manning remains the starting quarterback is anyone’s guess and likely boils down to who the Giants draft in the first round in next month’s NFL Draft.
So the Giants are in rebuild mode with a veteran quarterback. It is an unusual identity for the team right now.
And with Giants general manager Dave Gettleman signaling that the team will take Manning’s eventual replacement in April, the Giants likely will use the sixth overall pick on a quarterback. For Diamond, a former senior vice president of the Minnesota Vikings and a general manager of the Tennessee Titans who is currently a sports business consultant, the Giants can get their quarterback with that pick or potentially move back.
The consensus top three quarterbacks in the draft right now are Kyler Murray (Oklahoma), Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State) and Drew Lock (Missouri). Murray has the inside track as being the top pick to the Arizona Cardinals and Haskins is a popular mock draft selection for the Giants.
“I think they could have Haskins or Murray at six or drop back a couple of picks and take Drew Lock because he can go more like No. 10 through No. 15 and maybe pick up a second rounder or whatever. Add some depth to your offensive line, add a pass rusher,” Diamond told MSGNetworks.com.
“This is a really good draft from rounds two to five with a lot of good players. I could see them considering them doing that, but it’s a real risky move. If there is a quarterback you like and you’re sitting there at six…unless those top guys get taken, which does happen time and time again with [Marcus] Mariota, with Carson Wentz, with Jared Goff…It does happen that the quarterbacks get bit up. I’m not saying that those two guys are going to go one and two. But they could climb as the fervor raises for them and for quarterbacks. I could see something like that happening.”
The Giants, who obtained the No. 17 pick as part of the Beckham trade, have been linked to a possible move up the board to select their quarterback. Diamond, however, doesn’t think that needs to be the case.
Haskins could be there with the sixth pick. If he’s not, Diamond is confident that the Giants can move back and get the highly-regarded Lock.
“I think the Giants have a lot of different options. If I’m Dave Gettleman, I sit at No. 6 and see what’s happening and see who is there at the time and see what kind of offers are there to move down. I’m not necessarily looking to move up if I’m him because I think he can still get one of those top three quarterbacks,” Diamond said.
The return of Manning in what is likely his final year with the Giants would let whoever the Giants select have a season to sit and develop. Diamond, however, doesn’t think that the Giants need to treat their future quarterback with too much caution.
Plenty of quarterbacks have come through the pipeline in recent years that haven’t needed extended time to assimilate to the league. Diamond is confident that the recent trend of draft-and-play quarterbacks can work for the Giants sooner rather than later.
This is true even for Haskins, who started just one year at Ohio State before declaring for the draft.
“That’s what people said about Lamar Jackson, that’s what people said about Carson Wentz and we know what happened,” Diamond said.
“He does [have just one year] but so did Mitch Trubisky and he sat for a half year in Chicago. His rookie year wasn’t great and he got them in the playoffs and playing really well. I could see definitely a situation where Haskins sits for part of a year, so did Goff, he sat for a little while – he didn’t have a great rookie year and by his second year, they are in the playoffs. Sometimes you get your battle scars as your initiation in the league and by year two, it all clicks together. I could see that happening for Haskins or for Murray in that regard.”
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