Draft season, and by extension mock draft season, is in full swing. Mock drafts can quickly get silly, but they can be a way of looking at a variety of things.
First, and most obvious, is the prospects themselves. How they rate against each other, and how their stock changes over the course of the draft process. Mock drafts are also a way of looking at the 32 teams and their various roster needs or deficiencies from the previous year. They can also be used to evaluate the state of franchises and what the various front offices might (or should) be thinking about going forward.
In his second mock draft, former scout and current draft expert for the NFL Network Daniel Jeremiah did just that for the New York Giants.
Rather than address their needs on the offense, like tackle, guard, tight end, wide receiver, or running back, or take advantage of the draft’s glut of talented edge rushers or defensive backs, Jeremiah looks to the future for the Giants.
23rd Overall - Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
The Giants need to start thinking about Eli Manning’s eventual replacement.
Raptor’s Take: I get it, and in fact I would be surprised if the Giants DIDN’T select a quarterback at some point in the draft. In fact, Jerry Reese acknowledged that the Giants are already thinking about finding a successor to Manning.
“We always think about every position, but Eli is 36," Reese said, after the Giants’ loss to the Green Bay Packers. "We have started to think about who's the next quarterback, who's in line. So we'll look into that as we move through the offseason."
“Of course. Everybody has a job. Eli has a job to do and everyone around him has a job to do. 36, I don’t think that is ancient for a quarterback. I think he is probably on the back nine, but I don’t think that is ancient for a quarterback, and he is taking care of himself really well, and I thought he finished the season strong.”
However, is the first round the time to make that pick?
First rounders are expected to be contributors early in their careers, and Manning isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While the thought of potentially having your franchise QB on his rookie deal when he assumes the job after (roughly) three years of preparing is an attractive one. However, can the Giants really afford to be without a first-round pick for those years while Eli plays out his contract and Trubisky prepares?
The player himself is a talented one. He has all the arm talent and athleticism you can ask for in a pocket passer, and looks like a future franchise quarterback despite just one year of starting experience. Many evaluators rate Trubisky as the top quarterback in the draft, though Jeremiah has the Buffalo Bills drafting Clemson’s DeShaun Watson as the first, and only other, first-round quarterback.
Personally, I would look for a quarterback in the middle or later rounds of the draft, such as Cal’s Davis Webb or Virginia Tech’s Jerod Evans, and develop them as the team’s third quarterback.
As a side note, Jeremiah has the Cleveland Browns (arguably the most QB-needy team in the league) drafting Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett first overall and Alabama tight end O.J. Howard 12th overall.