What to do with pick #2? The amount of speculation and analysis of what the NY Giants should do at “1.02” is unending. My twitter feed has been non-stop on the subject for 2 months and it will continue straight into the draft. It’s rare for the Giants to pick so high, and this franchise should be thankful that there are so many intriguing choices waiting for them (and/or other suitors) for the right to choose at that spot.
We’ll cut to the chase and repeat the headline to this post. DRAFT A QB.
One follower on Twitter asks, why not take Josh Rosen?! This opened up a (direct message) reply which is blog-worthy.
There is nothing to stop Rosen from being one of those 4 franchise QBs. His flaw is he has the most injury-prone body. So let’s review the 4 QBs’ flaws…
Now it’s easy to say that omg, why take Allen when he is the least finished product. True. But I’ll turn that on it’s head… the other 3 have flaws that are less likely to be fixed. Darnold isn’t going to necessarily make less careless decisions w the ball. Rosen (think Bradford?) is less likely than the others to be healthy. And Mayfield will never grow another 3”.
While Allen may never improve/polish his mechanics, he’s already advanced in the offseason. He has everything else. So his upside is easily better than all of the others. Add that Shurmur’s success with (teaching) QBs is PHENOMENAL, and Allen’s potential ceiling is crazy good. I’m actually at peace with any of the 4 QBs taken because I have that much confidence in Shurmur as a QB whisperer. Shurmur took garbage and made it work. He took good and made it terrific. If he gets his hands on whoever he wants of the (3 or) 4, I believe it’s going to be just fine.
In terms of the Rosen calculus, here is where Gettleman factors in- he believes in protecting his QB (shocking, right?!), so that would tend to lessen Rosen’s injury rate. He needs to put on 15 lbs of muscle like Simms had to do in order to survive the pounding. That’s Wonder’s rx. If Rosen can do that, then the sky is the limit. So that becomes very exciting. When you get down to it, we see the potential for any or all four players to become franchise QBs. We have to trust Shurmur to know what baseline traits he wants to coach.
This is why I don’t want Barkley. Tortoise and hare. Barkley will win games and help the Giants right out of the gate. It is easy to understand Barkley’s value proposition. Our draft analyst is sky high on him. He’s big, strong, fast, great moves, and to me most importantly- he is an asset in the passing game in the 21st Century NFL. If Barkley delivers certainty early, as a RB, he delivers uncertainty later. RBs typically don’t last. They get hurt. We were against the David Wilson not because we did not believe in the RB (although his pass catching skills were also a negative), but because RBs get injured. So it was not merely “bad luck” that he busted. He busted in part because of the position he plays. This is why the RB is the hare. Their value shows up immediately, but where are they down the road? More likely they end up platooning to limit snaps and cannot take control of games consistently over a career the way a QB can. We have stated this before, that unless you can tell me with certainty that Barkley will be healthy for 10 years (which no one can), then it is not good architecture to take a Round 1 pick, let alone a “1.02” 2nd overall selection and make this the cornerstone of my team. Brady tore his ACL in 2008 and ten years later he’s still in the league. RBs get old fast.
RBs compliment your QB, not the other way around. Alvin Kamara, as a Round 3 selection, is a reminder that you can always find help at RB anywhere in the draft. It’s tougher at QB. RB is the hare. QB is the tortoise. RB does not win you championships. QBs win you championships.
The last 10 QBs to win the Super Bowl:
There isn’t an accident on this list.
The last 10 RBs to win the Super Bowl:
This is a pretty stark demonstration of how interchangeable RB is as a cog in the 53 player championship machine. Only 1 of those RBs were drafted in Round 1 of the draft. Contrast that with 8 (or 9) of the 10 QBs being 1st rounders.
The game has changed. Growing up in the 70’s, if you couldn’t run the ball you were dead. The league changed, and the rules changed. More passing was encouraged/incentivized. While QB has always been important, here is another way to see that:
From 1967-2000, QBs were Super Bowl MVP 51% of the time. RBs were MVP 20% of the time. From 2001-present, QBs were MVP 65% of the time. Running backs? 0%.
If you are a GM with a 37 year old QB with the #2 pick overall and 4 strong prospects, as long as one of them is capable of being a franchise QB, you DRAFT A QB.
Another element to this discussion is Pat Shurmur the QB whisperer. We discussed Shurmur’s tremendous track record in developing/assisting QBs. None of the 4 prospects are a mortal lock to ascend in the NFL coming out of the draft the way John Elway, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck came out of college. But by adding a good coach, it is a much stronger proposition.
About the only thing we cannot account for in this discussion is a fair point: Davis Webb. It is possible Shurmur has already determined that he has confidence that he can bring Webb along to be a championship QB. Given that he has had zero snaps and literally has not even dressed in a professional football game, why not get more certainty and have TWO answers at QB?! Heaven forbid that happens, the Giants have a Franchise QB and collect a additional Round 1 draft pick for their troubles with the other one. OR, that Webb is Rosen’s backup in case Rosen gets hurt. As we saw with Foles, there is nothing wrong with having a quality backup. I am reminded of the Bill Parcells quote:
“It’s a very easy thing to say, ‘Go get a backup Quarterback.’ Now tell me where to get them. You just can’t dial them up.”
From this perspective, Davis Webb should be seen for who he is, an opportunity for the Giants to provide (1) insurance (2) backup (3) potential franchise QB (4) all of the above. He does not stop you from drafting a QB at 2 overall because that does not diminish his value. Quarterback is too important. It is the viability and stability of your franchise. You can trade down only if your scouts/Shurmur do not have any consensus on the 4 prospects. That can be the case, but with 4 choices, I suspect that they already covet (at least) one of them.
ANY of the 4 QBs selected + Shurmur can generate a Giants Franchise QB for 10-15+ years. That means a competitive franchise for the next generation. This is why Wonder says it simply- “DRAFT A QB.” We agree. Draft a QB. If you find too many flaws in all of them, trade down. Otherwise, keep it simple, architect your championship blueprint and draft the QB.