The Giants have been one of the most heavily scrutinized teams leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft. Many observers thought they were going to take a quarterback with the second-overall pick, but they passed on signal-callers like Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen to take Saquon Barkley. After Eli Manning had another disappointing season, it seemed like his time as New York’s quarterback was coming to an end, and that the Giants would almost certainly take on early this year. Instead, the Giants have more or less doubled down. They’ve already declared Manning will be the starter in 2019, and they’re reportedly even open to him starting in 2020 and beyond. As the draft got closer, the idea of the Giants passing on a quarterback began to pick up more and more steam.
But now we’re finally getting some pushback on that, and momentum appears to be heading the other way with the draft less than a week away. “Several smart people around the NFL are convinced” the Giants will use the sixth-overall pick on a passer, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network hears (Twitter link). We heard yesterday that the Giants are doing their homework on West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, who could be a target on Day 2. Overall, the Giants have done a pretty good job keeping us all in the dark about their intentions, and we won’t know for sure what they’re doing until draft day.
Here’s more draft buzz from around the league with just six days until the draft kicks off:
- “One of Broncos final pre-draft visits was with Notre Dame DE Jerry Tillery,” a source told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link). Many analysts are very high on Tillery’s upside, and he’s currently projected by most to go sometime in the second round. Tillery played defensive tackle at Notre Dame, and could fit nicely as an end in Denver’s 3-4 defense. Last year with the Fighting Irish, Tillery had 8.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. With Von Miller and Bradley Chubb already in place, the Broncos would have a very talented pass-rush if they added someone like Tillery.
- The “odds remain in favor of the Dolphins addressing their defensive line with their first-round choice,” writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. A lot of Dolphins fans have been hoping Miami would take a quarterback with the 13th pick, but the team appears set to punt on the position for now and take a bigger swing at it in 2020. The Dolphins appear set to roll with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter for the duration of the 2019 season, and as much as they want to deny it, are tanking.
- Darnell Savage Jr., the Maryland safety, has been shooting up draft boards. Savage has had a meteoric rise, and could go as high as the late first round. He’s been busy recently, visiting with the “Cardinals, Bucs, Steelers, Colts, Seahawks, Lions, Titans, Falcons, Chargers, Rams, Patriots, Panthers, Browns, Eagles and Steelers,” according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). Last season, Savage had 52 tackles, including 5.5 for a loss, and had four interceptions.
- If he had left after his junior season, Stanford running back Bryce Love likely would’ve been an early draft pick. The 2017 Heisman runner-up opted to return to school for his senior year, and ended up tearing his ACL last season. Love’s stock took a hit, and it could be tumbling even further. Teams are very concerned that his knee, the same one where the ACL was torn, remains very stiff, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Love attended the combine’s recent medical re-check, and some teams are apparently concerned he might not get back to 100 percent. Pelissero does note that the stiffness is an issue that can be treated, and it could require another surgery. Here’s to hoping Love makes a full recovery.