Well, apparently the New York Giants didn’t pass on a quarterback at No. 2 overall because they’re in love with Davis Webb.
The biggest waste in the NFL draft might be mid- and late-round quarterbacks, as the Giants proved on Saturday. Last year, the Giants took Cal quarterback Webb in the third round. This year, without ever giving Webb a snap in a regular-season game, they just ignored Webb (who was taken by a different regime that got fired at the end of last season) and took Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta in the fourth round.
Webb was the 87th overall pick of last year’s draft, and that isn’t a throwaway part of the draft. To give some context, the Kansas City Chiefs took 2017 NFL rushing leader Kareem Hunt one pick before Webb was selected. There are good players available at that point in the draft. And most mid-round quarterback picks just get tossed on the discard pile. The most likely scenario in coming years is the Giants giving up a fortune for a top-five pick to take Eli Manning’s replacement, or paying a ton in free agent for that player, because that’s usually how it goes.
Webb and Lauletta will compete to become next in line for the Giants, however. Lauletta played very well on the FCS level, and a lot of experts liked him as an intriguing prospect after the big names at quarterback were off the board. In a vacuum it’s not a bad value pick. If Webb or Lauletta establishes himself as Manning’s successor, both picks will be well worth it. But a lot of mid-round picks are wasted chasing that dream (the Steelers did the same thing, drafting Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round last year and then picking Mason Rudolph in the third this year … a couple years after taking Landry Jones in the fourth round). The hit rate on quarterbacks past the second round is very low.
The Giants do have to think about life after Manning. He’s 37 and has been in decline the past two seasons. That’s why it seemed like the Giants should take a quarterback with the second overall pick. They passed on the quarterbacks to take Saquon Barkley, and we’ll track that decision for years. If Lauletta becomes a good starter, nobody will care that the passed on those quarterbacks at No. 2. The same can be said for Webb.
Maybe if the Giants keep taking mid-round quarterbacks they’ll hit on one, though they’re wasting a lot of valuable picks on the way.
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