With the NFL draft quickly approaching and the New York Giants sitting only behind the Cleveland Browns with the No. 2 overall pick, we have heard a pretty similar message from experts and fans alike.
The Giants need to draft their quarterback of the future with the second overall pick!
They need to find their future quarterback for the next 15 years!
It’s too early to draft a running back or a guard!
Yes, finding and having a franchise quarterback is essential for a team’s long term success. In fact, from 2007 to 2017, the four teams with the highest regular season winning percentages are the New England Patriots (Tom Brady), Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers), Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger) and Indianapolis Colts (Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck).
Knowing this, it would be crazy for the Giants to pass on drafting a quarterback with the # 2 overall pick, right?
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Let’s dive into the numbers to help us answer that question. Since 2000, there have been 22 quarterbacks selected in the top 5 in the NFL draft.
Eight of those quarterbacks can be considered busts: (David Carr, Joey Harrington, Vince Young,Jamarcus Russell, Mark Sanchez, Blake Bortles, Sam Bradford, RG3). Nine have had successful careers (Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Michael Vick, Carson Palmer and Alex Smith).
The jury is still out on the last five because it is simply too early to tell (Mitchell Trubisky, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz).
Lets dive a little deeper into those numbers. The overall playoff record of those 22 quarterbacks is an underwhelming 34 and 43. Only 4 of the 22 quarterbacks have led their teams to a Super Bowl and only one of those quarterbacks has won a Super Bowl.
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Of course that quarterback was Eli Manning, and he did it twice! Knowing all of this information, it would be reckless to say that the Giants must select a quarterback second overall, and there are two important reasons for that.
The first reason is that drafting a franchise quarterback is not an exact science, and if you choose the wrong guy, especially in the top 5, it can set you back for years. The second, you may already have him on the roster.
To speak to my second point, we will look at some statistics. Now, before I proceed, I would like to point out that I understand that college statistics are not the end all be all in determining NFL success. But this will be a fun exercise nonetheless.
I have chosen four quarterbacks who have played their last collegiate season within the last three years. The statistics come from their last full season in college and they all played in the same conference. To take the bias out of this, I will not initially name the player with the statistics. We will simply call them players A, B, C, and D.
Player A had a completion percentage of 63.1% and threw for 4,143 yards which came to 295.9 yards per game. He had 26 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions and his team finished with an 11-3 record. They averaged 32.6 points per game and gave up 26.1 points per game. They defeated two top 25 teams throughout the year. During his last year, he played with two potential NFL wide receivers and one potential NFL running back.
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Player B had a completion percentage of 62% and threw for 3756 yards which came to 288.9 yards per game. He threw for 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and his team finished with a 6-7 record. His team scored 32.5 points per game and gave up 36.6 points per game. They did not beat any ranked teams. During his last year he played with one potential NFL wide receiver.
Player C had a completion percentage of 61.6% and threw for 4295 yards which came to 357.9 yards per game. He threw for 37 passing touchdowns and 12 interceptions and his team finished with a 5-7 record. They averaged 37.1 points per game and gave up 42.6 points per game. They defeated two top 25 teams during the year. During his last year he played with one future NFL wide receiver.
Player D had a completion percentage of 64.5% and threw for 4714 yards which came to 362.6 yards per game. He threw for 43 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and his team finished with an 8-5 record. His team scored 37.9 points per game and gave up 30.7 points per game. They did not beat any ranked teams. During his last year he played with four future NFL wide receivers and one future NFL tight end.
Now, pick your quarterback! Not so easy, right? You can easily make the case for each of these quarterbacks being the best of the bunch. To be fair, there is not a substantial statistical difference between the four of them. Which may speak to the fact that your future quarterback is already on the roster.
The quarterbacks are as followed:
A- Sam Darnold
B- Josh Rosen
C- Davis Webb
The Giants should fight the notion that they need to draft a quarterback second overall. Davis Webb has as much potential as any quarterback in the draft and he has had the advantage of learning from Eli Manning for an entire season. Throughout his first year in the NFL, Webb has earned nothing but rave reviews from his coaches and teammates.
He has been described as competitive, hard working, and a great leader. Marquis Bundy, who has spent the entire year on the Giants practice squad, went as far to say that he has the “X factor”. In my opinion, Davis Webb is our future quarterback and I truly believe he will be successful.
Now that I think about it, I remember another former Cal quarterback that sat behind a future hall of famer for a couple years. He ended up doing pretty well for himself (Aaron Rodgers).