The 2018 NFL Draft Dilemma For The New York Giants
Conventional wisdom says that when your team is bad enough to be picking among the top three selections in the NFL Draft, and if your team has questions around the most important position on the football team, you better darn well address the quarterback position with your top pick, especially if there’s a player worth taking.
The New York Giants, owning the #2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, find themselves in such a situation. They have the second pick in a draft that has one of the deepest groups of quarterback prospects we’ve seen in nearly a decade. Yet, if they go in that direction with their pick, how is that going to go over in Gotham, considering the team already has a quarterback it’s committed itself to, and by taking a quarterback in this year’s draft, they’d pass up a running back prospect who might be the best we’ve seen in a few decades.
Let’s say that the Cleveland Browns take Sam Darnold with the #1 overall pick. If the Giants take a quarterback at #2, that would presumably be Josh Rosen from UCLA. Rosen is one of the better quarterback prospects to come out of college in recent memory. The way he delivers the football, and the precision that he shows on many of his throws, is like watching a football clinic in motion. If you’re talking about a “pure passer,” Rosen is not only the best one of those in this quarterback-rich class, but the best such passer we’ve seen in a while.
But Rosen is a rich, intelligent, self-assured, and precocious young man as well. He’s not afraid to speak his mind, and his millennial-like habits and thought processes do not sit well with the more old school, conservative decision makers in the professional football world. There just doesn’t seem to be a scenario where the Giants could realistically let Rosen sit on the bench, while Manning goes out and continues playing like a guy in the twilight of his career.
And taking Rosen to be Manning’s replacement, while the team has publicly committed to Manning after last season’s benching that ended up being an absolute PR nightmare, would be just as disastrous. New York can’t put itself in a situation where the organization and the fans are choosing between Rosen and Manning. But can the Giants really afford to pass on Manning, knowing that he only has a few good years left (if any)?
Of course, the other wrinkle in all of this would be the fact that the Giants would be taking a quarterback instead of running back Saquon Barkley from Penn State, who is not only the consensus #1 overall player in this year’s draft, but the best running back prospect we’ve seen in a long, long time. The Giants could really use a running back who provides them some semblance of a rushing attack, considering it’s been five years since the Giants last had a running back go for more than 1,000 yards.
What the Giants do with the #2 pick will have reverberations on draft day, and in the weeks — and months — to come. That’s why they’re the most interesting team to watch between now and late April. Get your kids/adults mouth guards now.