There was plenty of ire directed at Giants general manager Dave Gettleman when he referred to the “Kansas City model’’ as the desired approach he wants to follow. How could the GM compare the Chiefs, a playoff team with Alex Smith, to the Giants, and how could he so casually suggest the Giants can find themselves a quarterback the caliber of Patrick Mahomes?
The message got muddled. All Gettleman was trying to convey is the idea that throwing a rookie into the NFL fire is not desirable. If there is a veteran on hand worth studying and emulating, it if far more beneficial for the young quarterback to sit and learn before trotting him onto the field.
“I said ‘the KC model,’ people have been doing that for years,’’ Gettleman said. “This is just the most recent one. How about the Green Bay model with [Aaron] Rodgers and [Brett] Favre? He sat 2 ¹/₂, 3 years. That is what you would like to do.’’
Gettleman did not mean sitting two or three seasons is the way to go, only that a period of time to assimilate is the way to go at the most important position on the field — a position often played quite differently in college as opposed to the NFL.
This no doubt is the final opportunity for Gettleman to push the start button on his plan. Eli Manning is entering the final year of his contract, and the odds are much higher 2019 will be his final season with the Giants than the likelihood he returns for a 17th season in 2020. If there is no one to mentor, no one to help groom by simply watching how Manning operates and works his craft, the Giants will waste an opportunity that will not come around again.
“I have been around him and I see the way he works,’’ coach Pat Shurmur said. “A guy that has done all the things that Eli has done, if we draft a quarterback and he becomes the future, being around Eli will only help him.’’
Kyle Lauletta, a fourth-round pick last year, returns, but he is not considered the future starter. Nor is journeyman Alex Tanney. None of the quarterbacks in the Class of 2019 appears ready to step in and play immediately, and all would benefit from calling Manning a teammate.
Dwayne Haskins of fired 50 touchdown passes for Ohio State this past season, but he was only a one-year starter and lacks experience.
“I really like Haskins, I think he has some nuance, but he’s about two years away,’’ Greg McElroy, SiriusXM analyst and former Alabama quarterback, told The Post.
Drew Lock of Missouri has considerable physical skills but is inconsistent, and needs his lower-body mechanics broken down and built back up.
Daniel Jones is polished but not ready to make an immediate jump from Duke, where he was not surrounded with NFL-caliber players, to a spot on the field with the Giants.
Will Grier of West Virginia possibly could be an option early in the second round at No. 37, but he needs time to develop.
If a trade with the Cardinals materializes, Josh Rosen, 22, could use an NFL reset after a difficult rookie year in Arizona.
“I certainly believe that Eli does everything the right way behind the scenes,’’ Shurmur said. “I believe that a young quarterback could value that just by seeing it. That is part of Eli’s charm. How well he works and how well he prepares. How professional he is with doing his job.’’
Gettleman said finding a quarterback to “learn at the feet of Eli, it would be a sweet deal.’’ Gettleman makes the final call on all draft decisions, and so if he truly wants to turn the “sweet deal’’ into reality, he has the ability to do so.