New York Giants: Risk drafting a quarterback or draft a can’t-miss stud?

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Penn State running back Saquon Barkley looks on during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Penn State running back Saquon Barkley looks on during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman needs to make sure he doesn’t miss with the No. 2 overall pick.

The New York Giants hold the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and new general manager Dave Gettleman needs to make sure he doesn’t miss. Despite going 3-13 in 2017, the Giants are just one season removed from going to the playoffs. A successful draft could make them contenders in a recently revolving NFC East.

When a team holds the No. 2 overall pick, they should be guaranteed a talented player and an immediate contributor. That slot has produced its fair share of busts, however, including Ryan Leaf, Charles Rogers, Robert Griffin III, and Greg Robinson over the past 20 years.

Two of those four busts are quarterbacks and that’s no coincidence. Quarterback is the hardest position to evaluate for NFL scouts because there is such a vast difference from the college game to the pros.

If Gettleman wants to risk his first draft pick as Giants GM being a bust, there are plenty of quarterbacks for him to choose from. The Cleveland Browns seem to be between Sam Darnold and Josh Allen as the No. 1 overall pick. That leaves Big Blue with one of those two along with Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield to pick from. All four quarterback prospects have traits that scouts like but none are considered slam-dunk talents.

Darnold is an accurate passer who can make all the throws with good pocket presence. However, he has an elongated throwing motion, could improve his footwork, and turned the ball over way too much in college.

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Allen has a rocket arm and great size for an NFL quarterback. However, he never completed more than 56 percent of his passes in college and his accuracy diminishes even further when on the move.

Rosen can make all the throws with a tight spiral and great footwork. He has great mechanics, great touch, and excels when blitzed. However, he had injury issues in college and scouts are concerned with his attitude, love for football, and ability to get along with teammates.

Mayfield is ultra competitive, rallies his teammates, can make all the throws, has great accuracy, and can extend plays with his mobility. However, he lacks the ideal height for an NFL quarterback, has shaky footwork, and has character concerns on and off the field.

None of these quarterback prospects are getting rave reviews from every scout. Each one has a handful of scouts in their corner preaching for them to be the first quarterback taken, but each one also has a handful of scouts saying teams should avoid them altogether. Gettleman and the New York Giants surely have their own opinion on each quarterback prospect, but can they be confident that their opinion is correct? Drafting any of the top four quarterbacks comes with substantial risk.

Want to avoid risk as much as possible? Well, there is a trio of prospects in this year’s class who all seem to be surefire studs. That trio consists of Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb, and Quenton Nelson.

Have you heard scouts warning teams about the potential for any of those three being busts? If you have, I’d like to see the report because all three seem to be consensus home runs.

Barkley can do it all. He can run inside and outside of the tackles, catch the ball out of the backfield, and return kicks. He’s also a high character guy with leadership skills. The New York Giants agree as they view Barkley as a “near perfect prospect” and “a better player than Ezekiel Elliott”, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.

Chubb is also the complete package. He can rush the passer, stop the run, and does both with a super high motor and great leadership skills. According to NFL Network’s James Palmer, Von Miller called Chubb a combination of himself and Khalil Mack. The top two NFL pass rushers put together? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Nelson may be a guard, but he’s deserving of the second overall pick. The positional value may not be there but that’s the only thing missing for Nelson. Nelson is an exceptional run blocker, one of the best we’ve seen in years, as well as a solid pass blocker. He’s drawn comparisons to fellow Notre Dame alum Zack Martin and could be an All-Pro as a rookie.

The New York Giants could draft Barkley, Chubb, or Nelson and immediately plug them into a starting role. Aside from the obvious injury risk (which can’t be avoided with any prospect), these three all look like can’t-miss prospects.

Next: New York Giants 5-Round Mock Draft

Gettleman could draft Eli Manning’s successor at quarterback, but he runs a significant risk of his first draft pick being a bust and setting the organization back a few years. Draft one of the three can’t-miss prospects, and Big Blue could be back in the playoffs in no time. Your call, Dave.