Giants Need a Quarterback

Andrew Hahn

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The NFL season doesn’t officially end until February 3 with the playing of Super Bowl LIII. However, for many Giants fans, the season was over in October when the team started with a 1-7 record. Despite a great year by their rookie sensation Saquon Barkley, some Giants fans may question the team’s decision to use a second overall pick on a running back rather than trying to find a replacement for the aging Eli Manning.

In the 2019 NFL draft, the Giants have the 6th overall pick thanks to finishing the season 5-11. The five teams ahead of the Giants (Cardinals, 49ers, Jets, Raiders, and Buccaneers) do not appear to need a quarterback, but if the Giants want a top quarterback, they cannot wait for the 6th pick. There is always a chance that one of the five teams may decide to change their quarterbacks. More likely, another team that’s lower in the draft order may make a trade to move up ahead of the Giants. So the question is whether the Giants should trade up themselves to land a quarterback.

No one really knows what Eli’s future with the Giants will be or whether the Giants will pick up a quarterback early in the 2019 draft. But if they decide to try to find a replacement, two names should intrigue all Giants fans: Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray. Although other QB’s, including Drew Lock of Missouri and Daniel Jones of Duke, have been mentioned as possible 1st round picks, Haskins and Murray have received more attention.

Dwayne Haskins appears to have the necessary credentials to qualify as the top quarterback in the draft. His numbers are impressive, leading the nation in 2018 with 4831 passing yards and 50 TD’s while throwing only 8 interceptions. He is also a good size for a QB, being 6’3” and 220 lbs. The only criticisms may be his lack of mobility and experience, having played only one full season in college. Most experts believe that he will not fall to the 6th pick, and Giants need to trade up if they want a chance at the Ohio State’s star QB.

Kyler Murray declared for the NFL draft on Sunday after a stellar season at Oklahoma that earned him the Heisman Trophy. He finished the season with 4361 yards passing, 42 TD passes, and 7 interceptions. Although his passing numbers may be slightly less impressive than that of Haskins, Murray is a much more prolific runner, racking up 1001 rushing yards and 12 rushing TD’s. But the first Asian-American Heisman Trophy winner (Murray’s maternal grandmother is Korean) does have some negatives.

Unlike Haskins, Murray does not have the typical size of an NFL QB. He is listed at 5’ 11”, but it has been rumored that he is more like 5’10” or even 5’9”. Another issue is that he may choose not to play football, even if he is drafted. Oakland A’s picked him with the 9th overall pick in the MLB draft, and Murray has yet to decide which sport he will pursue. Some speculate that if Murray is chosen high in the NFL draft, he will choose football over baseball. Therefore, if the Giants want Murray, they can’t wait for him to fall in the draft, because he may cash in on his $4.66 million signing bonus from the A’s rather than pursue an uncertain future in the NFL.

Baker Mayfield’s successful season as the Cleveland Brown’s rookie QB may have increased Murray’s value. Both QB’s played for Oklahoma, won the Heisman Trophy, and are mobile QBs without a typical NFL QB body. In fact, the 2016 Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson, is another atypical QB who also had a good season as a rookie this year. But some may bring up the two previous mobile Heisman Trophy winners, Robert Griffin III (2011) and Johnny Manziel (2012), who have been busts.

In any case, the Giants need to seriously consider Haskins and Murray, because Eli Manning is not getting any younger (or better). Or they can stink it up another season with the hopes of landing one of the prized QBs available in the 2020 draft, including Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Jake Fromm (Georgia) and Justin Herbert (Oregon).

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