Giants head coach Pat Shurmur was clear Wednesday at the NFL Combine about the future of Eli Manning.
“I think Eli can help us win games,” Shurmur said. “He proved when we started — when the players around him started playing better, that he can play at a very high level and help us win games. So, yeah at this point I want Eli back. He’s back.”
Shurmur added that the team understands Manning is getting toward the end of his career, noting that Manning is close to 40 years old, and also weighed in on the thought of finding the quarterback of the future in the 2019 NFL Draft.
“I think we’re always trying to — and again, there’s all these narratives — the next franchise quarterback, you know, replace this guy, do all this. We’re trying to make our team better, and we certainly — it’s no mystery, Eli is closer to 40 than he is 20. That’s no mystery. And certainly we’re gonna do the very best we can to get the best players — especially the one that’s playing quarterback.”
And Shurmur liked the idea of having a young quarterback of the future sitting and learning from Manning for one season.
“A young player would benefit greatly from that,” he said.
– SNY (@SNYtv) February 27, 2019
The Giants, who have the No. 6 pick in the Draft, have often been linked to Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins, though SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano predicted in his Mock Draft 2.0 that the Giants would take OL Quinnen Williams at No. 6.
Shurmur also weighed in on QB Kyler Murray, saying his small stature (he’s 5’9″) would not lead to the Giants ruling him out as a potential pick.
When it comes to Manning, Shurmur isn’t wrong that he played better once the offensive line started giving him some time to throw and some other players — including Evan Engram — started to play better.
However, Manning struggled in three of the final five games of the season, with his completion percentage under 60 percent in losses to the Cowboys and Titans, and during a win over the Bears.
With the Giants looking to contend in 2019, the question of Manning’s future has been answered. The next question is whether the Giants are trying to find his replacement in the Draft in April.