In his post-season press conference, New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman revealed he had a “very honest” conversation with quarterback Eli Manning. The topics discussed in this conversation were never officially revealed as it was private between Manning and Gettleman. However, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post recently reported on what was discussed during that conversation.
According to Schwartz, “The ‘brutally honest’ assessment Gettleman promised will not result in parting with Manning, but it will lead to a high-alert effort to find his successor.”
The Giants’ Plan To Replicate The Chiefs’ And Other Teams’ Successes
Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs took the NFL by storm in 2018. In his second NFL season, his first as a starter, Mahomes threw 50 touchdown passes. Patrick spent his entire 2017 rookie season sitting behind Alex Smith, learning from the veteran, and preparing to take over as a starter in 2018. The Giants are reportedly looking to replicate the Chiefs’ formula and success this year.
The Giants did something similar to this in 2004. After making a draft day trade to acquire Eli Manning, they sat him behind veteran Kurt Warner to start the 2004 NFL season. However, in week 11, the Giants put Warner on the bench and let Manning take over. Manning had a rough 7 games in his rookie season, but he gained valuable experience.
Eli was much more ready to face NFL defenses in his sophomore season. In his second season, Manning finished among the top five quarterbacks in both passing yards and touchdown passes, while leading an offense that finished third in the NFL in scoring with a total of 422 points. It was the most points the Giants scored in a single season since 1963. The Giants won the NFC East with an 11–5 record, and advanced to the postseason as the #4-seed.
Sitting back and learning to begin their first season has proven to be very effective for NFL quarterbacks. In 2018, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson started the season as the second-string quarterback. However, when each of them got their chance to play, they proved to be the best quarterbacks on the roster. Both quarterbacks would attribute much of their success to the help they received from the other quarterbacks on their rosters. Mayfield and Jackson were not perfect and struggled at times, but they will likely progress in their sophomore seasons.
Eli Manning has never had to mentor a quarterback before. However, in 2019, it seems like he will play a major role in grooming the successor:
Gettleman has not divulged the details of the “great conversation’’ he had with Manning after the season. It appears as if Manning was told of the plan to bring in a youngster to take his job down the road. No one is asking Manning to be a quarterbacks coach, but the Giants need to know their veteran will embrace the newcomer. By all indications, Manning is fine with that scenario, as he realizes too much losing has gone on and he cannot play forever.
Gettleman’s Quarterback Draft Search
Paul Schwartz’s report came with this valuable piece of information: “The search for the next franchise quarterback will be undertaken in the draft, not free agency.” The 2019 free agent class of quarterbacks is nothing special. Nick Foles is not a young quarterback that Eli could groom and Teddy Bridgewater is not looked at as a franchise quarterback due to injury history. However, there are plenty of quarterback options in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State fits Dave Gettleman’s mold. It is early in the draft process, but based on what we know about Gettleman, Haskins is likely to be the Giants’ top-ranked quarterback on their big board. With the 6th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Haskins could be an option. “The Giants have yet to determine if Haskins should be taken that high and will study him relentlessly in the coming weeks, trying to pick apart every aspect of his game and personality.”
Other top quarterback prospects include Kyler Murray, Drew Lock, and Daniel Jones. Kyler Murray is supposedly not an option for Gettleman, due to his lack of size and his inexperience in a pro style system. Lock and Jones have typically not been looked at as top ten quarterbacks by most analysts. However, that could change with the NFL Scouting Combine coming up in March. The Giants will definitely be evaluating and meeting with the top quarterback prospects.