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NFL Draft results: Why the Giants made Davis Webb heir to Eli Manning

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Reese: Webb “had the best arm in the draft this year”

Washington v California
Davis Webb
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

What convinced the New York Giants to use the 87th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Davis Webb, hopefully turning him into their quarterback of the future. Let’s let Jerry Reese, Ben McAdoo and Marc Ross explain.

General manager Jerry Reese

“He (Webb) was very productive in that offense, like a lot of quarterbacks are. We thought that he had the best arm in the draft this year, really a gifted arm, thrower. For a tall guy, he is a good athlete. He can be off schedule and buy some time with his legs, so there are a lot of things that we liked about him. We think that he will have time – like we said earlier, Eli has however much time that he has left, two or three years left in his contract or however long he plays. We think that this guy has a high ceiling that can come in here and develop behind him and learn the pro game and challenge and compete and create competition at the quarterback position.”

On using a high draft pick on a player who may not play for a couple of years ...

“Well, you never know when a quarterback is going to help. Obviously, we would like for him to have a couple years to be the caddie and learn the pro game and all the nuances of playing quarterback in these league, but he has all of the tools to play the quarterback, and we think that he has a high ceiling and hopefully he can sit on the sideline, hold a clipboard and learn the game.

“We hope that Eli continues to play at a high level and this guy can develop. That is what we hope for. You never know what is going to happen, but that is what we hope for.”

On Webb still being available with the 87th pick ...

“I am not surprised by anything in the draft anymore. It is hard to surprise me in the draft. But we liked him, we had him rated high and we think that he has a top skill set to play this position in the National Football League.”

On why the Giants think Webb can be a franchise quarterback ...

“Here is the thing. First of all, he has a big arm. He has one of those wintertime arms, he can throw it in the wind, so again, we thought that he had the best arm talent in the draft this year and this guy is football all the time. You have to be that kind of guy in this league. You can’t half do it up here and play at a high level in the National Football League. This guy is a son of a coach, football all of the time and he has the quarterback profile that we like.”

Head coach Ben McAdoo

On what he likes about Webb ...

“I think he’s a big man, he’s a fluid mover, he’s a pocket passer but he’s not necessarily a statue back there. He can move around and has some good rhythm in the body.”

On taking a player who might not play for a couple of years with a high draft pick ...

“Well, you have to trust. There’s a lot of work that goes into it, whether it’s scouts, [Vice President of Player Evaluation] Marc Ross, the coaches evaluate, the coordinators evaluate, Jerry and I evaluate. You have to trust the process.”

On whether he was hoping Webb would be there for the Giants in third round ...

“Hoping doesn’t work, I tried it. It doesn’t work real well, so you just let it play out, take it pick by pick and when you have someone sitting up there that you graded up there and they’re the highest guy on the board, you’re confident that you did your homework and it’s going to pay off.”

On whether the Giants will set milestones for Webb’s development ...

“Reps are tough to come by, that’s a big part of the offseason and the way things are with the new CBA. Reps are tough to come by, but they call it development for a reason. It takes different guys different speeds to get you to where you want him to go. We just need to get him in and throw as much at him as quickly as possible and see how he handles it.”

On whether it is helpful for a rookie QB to be able to sit and learn ...

“I think it’s huge. I think it’s tough to come into the league and be a number two. I don’t think there are very many guys, even in this draft, that can come in and be a number two quarterback. I think it’s challenging, it’s asking an awful lot. It’s a different game and it’s a challenge. It’s a benefit to be able to sit behind especially a veteran quarterback and learn. It goes a long way.”

VP of Player Evaluation Marc Ross

On what the Giants like about Webb ...

“He’s a big guy with a live arm. Son of the coach with the top intangibles. Went to Cal and took leadership of the whole group. He ran meetings. Really strong personality, a leader. A football junkie. He’s a surprisingly good athlete for his size. Just has a lot of upside to develop.”

On the difference between picking a quarterback and a player at any other position ...

“It’s more of a lightning rod type of pick as opposed to picking a DT or corner and stuff like that. A quarterback has all these innuendos and questions about why you’re taking him and what you’re going to do with him. It’s the most important position in sports, so of course it’s going to get the most attention.”

On Ben McAdoo not having met Webb in person yet ...

“Frankly, I try and put Ben in touch with guys that I think we really have a chance to get. Again, I did not think at this point Davis would be one of those players. I thought he would be gone at this point. He’s watched the tape, the quarterback coach has communicated with Davis, our scouts have been in touch with him and talked to him at various points throughout the year. He’s just one of the guys that wasn’t a priority to Ben to meet because there are only so many guys you can meet with.”