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Weighing pros and cons of potential Giants QB targets in NFL Draft

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants appear to be poised to take a quarterback early in this year’s NFL draft, now that they’re finally getting serious about finding Eli Manning’s successor. Taking one with the sixth overall pick is definitely in play. They could draft one early in the second round, too.

Here’s a look at some of their possible choices:

Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

Pros: He had a monster season for the Buckeyes (70 percent completion rate, 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns, only eight interceptions). He’s got good size (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) and a big arm. Rated by many to be the top quarterback in this draft.

Cons: He was only a one-year starter, and despite the gaudy stats, was inconsistent at times. Historically, quarterbacks from Urban Meyer’s offensive system struggle in the NFL.

Early projection: Possible Top 10 pick

Drew Lock, Missouri

Pros: He’s been compared to Patrick Mahomes for his athletic ability, strong arm, and ability to make every throw. Good size (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) and accuracy. Also known for his quiet leadership – somewhat like Manning, according to one scout.

Cons: He’s been compared to Jay Cutler for having a big arm, but making some questionable decisions. He’s had some trouble with forcing throws into coverage.

Early projection: Possible Top 10 pick.

Daniel Jones, Duke

Pros: He’s a big (6-foot-5, 220 pounds), lanky guy and strong pocket passer with a decent ability to run. He’s smart and well-prepared for the NFL thanks to Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe, who also coached both the Manning brothers. He ended his career with a huge game in the Independence Bowl, and then was the MVP of the Senior Bowl.

Cons: He did not have great numbers at Duke. His sophomore season (2017) was especially shaky. He’s had fumble and injury issues that can be concerning. Giants also have a history with big Duke quarterbacks (Dave Brown) that their fans would like to forget.

Early projection: Likely first-rounder, possibly in the top half.

Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Pros: A tremendous athlete with a strong arm who can really throw on the run. He was brilliant during his Heisman Trophy-winning season, completing 69 percent of his passes for 4,361 yards with 42 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He also ran for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns, making him the dual-threat quarterback everyone seems to want.

Cons: He’s listed at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, and some think he’s really around 5-foot-8. He’s not the prototypical pocket passer, which means some teams will have to change their entire offense to fit his style. Also, he’s got a first-round contract waiting for him in baseball. Will he fully commit to football? Will he promise to do that before the draft?

Early projection: A bit of a wild-card. Could go in the first-round. Some think he’ll slip to the second.

Will Grier, West Virginia

Pros: He had a good season for the Mountaineers and has a good, accurate arm. His size is right (6-foot-2, 221 pounds), gets rid of the ball quickly, and generally makes good decisions.

Cons: His arm is average, at best. He also did not have a good performance at all during Senior Bowl week. And he has some baggage. His college career started at Florida, but he was suspended there for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug (he claimed it was an over-the-counter supplement). One scout labelled him “high maintenance.”

Early projection: A Day 2 pick. How high will depend on his combine and Pro Day performances.

Ryan Finley, NC State

Pros: A very accurate passer throughout his career, Finley makes smart, quick decisions and has good touch. Has enough mobility to avoid a pass rush. Good size (6-foot-4, 208 pounds ).

Cons: More solid than spectacular – not a dazzling play-maker. Not a dual-threat quarterback at all. Would rather stay in the pocket. His arm strength is OK, not great.

Early projection: More of a third-round pick. If he sneaks into the second round, it won’t be at the top.

Jarett Stidham, Auburn

Pros: He’s got an accurate arm and he put up big numbers for Baylor in 2015 as well as his first season at Auburn in 2017. Many think he’s the smartest quarterback in the draft. He’s considered a very good leader and incredibly tough player. Makes generally good decisions to protect the football.

Cons: An underwhelming season for the Tigers dropped his numbers from the year before and his stock took a hit, too. Doesn’t have a particularly strong arm. His performance at the Senior Bowl was as underwhelming as his season.

Early projection: Late Day 2, unless some GM falls in love with his potential and takes him in the second round.

Clayton Thorson, Northwestern

Pros: He’s a tough quarterback who started 53 straight games. At 6-foot-4, 227 pounds, he’s big enough and he’s got the ability to run, though the stats didn’t really show it. He’s generally accurate. He also performed despite some terrible surrounding casts.

Cons: He’s one year removed from a torn ACL, and he missed the Senior Bowl due to a high ankle sprain. He is streaky and has had some very disappointing games in big spots.

Early projection: Probably a third-rounder due in part to the recent injuries, but a good combine and Pro Day could vault him up.

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