Giants could look to later rounds for quarterback in NFL Draft


It can be done because it has been done.
Not often, mind you, but not so rarely that it is to be dismissed.
A franchise-type quarterback — or, at least, a legitimate and winning starting quarterback — can be identified and selected after the first handful of picks in a given NFL draft.
4 Michael Penix Jr., throwing a pass during Washington’s Pro Day, could be an option for the Giants in the later rounds. AP
The rush to take one at No. 1 overall, or No. 2 or No. 3 is usually too tempting for a general manager to pass up.
This is why players at this position are overanalyzed and mis-evaluated more egregiously than players at any other position.
It is unwise to believe much of what is uttered from team executives this time of year but Giants general manager Joe Schoen has said it so frequently that it is imprudent to ignore the message.
When it comes to finding a quarterback, he insists, the top of the draft is always fertile ground for shopping but the top of the draft is not the only aisle that has quality on the shelves.
Schoen mentioned the 2017 draft as an example of restraint paying off with positive returns.
Only one quarterback went in the top nine picks that year — Mitchell Trubisky to the Bears at No. 2 overall in what turned out to be an unfortunate selection.
The Chiefs took Patrick Mahomes at No. 10 and the Texans took Deshaun Watson at No. 12. Both teams struck gold there.
A more telling example of mining for jewels deeper in the draft came in 2012.
4 Spencer Rattler, throwing a pass during the NFL Combine, could be a later-round quarterback option for the Giants. USA TODAY Sports
It was readily apparent that Andrew Luck would go to the Colts with the first pick and only injuries kept Luck from achieving enduring stardom and possibly Hall of Fame status.
Robert Griffin III went No. 2 that year to Washington and he was an immediate smash hit, difficult to deal with for opposing defenses with his run-pass skills, but his lithe body gave out on him.
“Even the Andrew Luck draft, some of the best quarterbacks out of that draft are still playing,’’ Schoen said recently at the NFL’s annual league meeting in Orlando. “[Ryan] Tannehill was still starting last year, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins. Those guys went not one, two like Robert Griffin.
“I just think the quarterback position is, I would say, the most important position. A GM said it in our meetings. It’s the most important position in sports. I wouldn’t disagree because of the level of difficulty playing the position. Yeah, it’s very important in the process. Again, it’s an inexact science, and you try to do as much homework as you can to, again, eliminate the margin for error and make the best decision.’’
The Giants were not in the quarterback procurement business in Schoen’s first two years overseeing the draft.
4 Giants general manager Joe Schoen Getty Images
They are not all-in for one this time around but they are sniffing around — perhaps more than merely sniffing around — to add to a room that includes Daniel Jones, Drew Lock and Tommy DeVito.
Holding the No. 6 overall pick, the Giants are not in prime position to sit back and get one of the highest-rated passers, as Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye could be off the board with the first three picks.
J.J. McCarthy is an eye-of-the-beholder prospect and could go in the top 10 or slide down a few spots.
Having traded away one of their two second-round picks to land defensive end Brian Burns in a deal with the Panthers, the Giants are left with only six selections this year.
They do not have much 2024 draft equity to work with if they want to move up to get a quarterback.
4 J.J. McCarthy AP
Using history as a guide, Schoen’s assessment of the 2012 draft tips the hat to smart teams with excellent coaches and the ability to develop talent in finding a quarterback outside of the top five or 10.
That year, Tannehill went No. 8 to the Dolphins and was a starter for the better part of 11 seasons in Miami and Tennessee, compiling a record of 81-70. He is currently looking for his next team.
That draft also unearthed Wilson in the third round to the Seahawks and Cousins in the fourth round to Washington.
Both have been prolific players and will be starters in new places in 2024, Cousins moving on to the Falcons and Wilson hooking on with the Steelers.
Both, as it turns out, were draft steals.
Is there a gem out there outside of the first round this year?
The next quarterback tier — Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), Bo Nix (Oregon), Michael Pratt (Tulane), Spencer Rattler (South Carolina) and Jordan Travis (Florida State) — are players who likely will make it into the second round and, for a few of them, into Day 3 (rounds 4-7) of this draft.
Scoff at them if you wish, but no one is looking down on Brock Purdy of the 49ers, who went 262nd in 2022 — dead last — and is entrenched as a starter for the NFC’s Super Bowl entry a few months ago.


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