The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine came to an end on Monday. The combine gave fans plenty to talk about over the past week.
Perhaps the biggest storyline of the weekend was that the Giants are reportedly enamored with Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. It is certainly not a surprise to know that the Giants are finally attempting to find their next franchise quarterback. They made a few half-hearted attempts to find Eli Manning‘s successor in the past couple of years, but mid-round selections Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta did not develop into starting quarterbacks. Webb is currently a member of the New York Jets, while Lauletta threw more interceptions than completions in his rookie year.
Now it appears that the Giants are willing to up the ante and draft a quarterback in the first round. The Giants, as has been the case these days, are a year late with their plan. Last year, they were coming off of a disastrous season and hired a new general manager and head coach. Furthermore, the Giants had the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft. The Cleveland Browns selected Baker Mayfield with the first pick, but the Giants had their pick of the rest of the signal-callers in what was considered to be a strong, deep quarterback class. Dave Gettleman and the Giants front office could have drafted Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, or Lamar Jackson. Instead, the Giants decided to draft star running back Saquon Barkley. Hindsight is 20/20, but it now seems that the Giants should have given new head coach Pat Shurmur a rookie quarterback to work with. It is rare to be in possession of one of the top two picks in the draft. The Giants missed out on a rare opportunity when they did not select a quarterback with that pick.
That brings us to the Giants’ other big problem. The Giants are not only trailing the pack when it comes to important trends and big decisions, but they also leak information and tip their hand far too often. They are one of the league’s worst offenders in this regard. If Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden (who reportedly had a good meeting with Kyler Murray in Indianapolis last week) is the worst poker player in the NFL, Gettleman is a close second. Gettleman spent the majority of last March and April drooling over Barkley’s skills. Everyone in the league knew the Giants were going to take Barkley and not look back. The Giants could have either taken a quarterback or traded down to stockpile more picks and future assets. Instead, Gettleman had his mind made up weeks before draft night. The Giants were on the clock for all of one minute before the pick was made, which further reinforces the stubbornness of the Giants front office. They would not even hold on to listen to any offers from potentially desperate franchises.
The Giants clearly learned nothing from their experience in last year’s draft. Last weekend, Gettleman met with Haskins. Of course, now the whole league knows that the interview went well and that the Giants are probably trying to draft Haskins so that they can follow the Kansas City model of developing a young quarterback. They would like to have a rookie sit behind Manning in 2019 and be ready to take over as the full-time starter in 2020. Of course, the rest of the league now knows this, and opposing general managers know that they’ll have to leap-frog the Giants in the draft order or threaten to trade up if they want Haskins.
A nightmare scenario could potentially play out for the Giants. That scenario would be that the team trades up for Haskins and gives up multiple high draft picks in the process. Haskins had a tremendous 2018 season, but he is not considered to be an elite prospect. If this year’s version of Haskins was in last year’s draft, he would have been the fourth or fifth quarterback to hear his name called.
Gettleman and the Giants front office didn’t fall in love with any of last year’s quarterbacks. Are we expected to believe that they are now enamored with Haskins? Or are they forcing themselves to fall in love with him? Either way, the Giants are not making good decisions right now. They are bungling their pursuit of a franchise quarterback.
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