The New York Giants will not be selecting a quarterback in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Yet, Sunday's quarterback workouts and interviews at the 2014 NFL Combine could have a tremendous influence on the Giants' 2014 NFL Draft.
Why so? Because at No. 12 in the first round of a draft most analysts see as rich in talent -- remember NFL Network's Mike Mayock calling it "the deepest and best draft class I've seen in probably 10 years" -- the Giants sit at what could be a critical pivot point in the draft.
Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Blake Bortles of UCF are the three top quarterbacks in the class. Some analysts also love Derek Carr of Fresno State. What order they go in and which guys will go before the Giants pick at 12 depends on who you ask.
If the Giants want to sit at No. 12 and take the best player there (who fits their needs, of course) then the more quarterbacks taken in the first 11 picks the better. That increases the pool of players the Giants get to pick from, making it more likely guys like Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan or wide receiver Mike Evans of Texas A&M will still be on the board.
Should a couple of those quarterbacks still be on the board at No. 12 that might also be outstanding news for the Giants. That could increase the possibility that a quarterback-needy team will get antsy to move up for whoever remains, thus enabling the Giants to trade down and stockpile extra picks in this deep draft.
GM Jerry Reese indicated Saturday that he is open to trading down. Of course, take that with a grain of salt. Reese never shows his hand, always saying he is open to moving up or down and nearly-always offering some version of the idea that the Giants want to "keep all of our options open."
My oft-stated preference is that trading down in the draft is nearly always better than trading up. That is especially true in a draft that is expected to be several rounds in deep in starting-caliber NFL talent. Here is what I wrote in the 'Big Blue View Rules for Draft Success':
There are very few times when any player is worth trading up for, thus causing a team to mortgage valuable draft picks. You need depth in the NFL, and you can't accumulate it by trading away your draft choices -- which is what you have to do to move up. Generally, it is better to move down and accumulate more draft choices than to move up and wind up with less. Your mistakes hurt less when you have more choices, you can take risks on occasion and -- if the situation is right -- you can actually use some of those 'extra' picks to move up when you feel it is warranted.
Walter Football has a good summary of the on-field work done by quarterbacks on Sunday.
Ultimately, the point is this -- don't ignore what is going on with the quarterbacks even though the Giants won't take one. Their fortunes will impact who the Giants do end up with.