The process leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft is in full swing, which not only means that we will be dissecting prospects from every angle imaginable, but also that we are inundated by mock drafts on a daily basis.
Because of the sheer volume, we try to limit ourselves to just passing along the “Big Name” mock drafts, from people and outlets with contacts throughout the NFL.
One of the biggest names is ESPN’s Mel Kiper, who released his “Mock Draft 1.0” (insider) Thursday morning.
Here’s who he has the New York Giants selecting second overall:
*Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Rosen is the top pure passer in this class. He looked better than Darnold when UCLA and USC played late in the season. Rosen, however, has dealt with injuries the past two seasons, and there have already been rumblings that he doesn’t want to end up in Cleveland. There are some red flags. But some team is going to draft him high -- he has rare arm talent and has been much more secure with the ball than Darnold and Allen. The Giants could move into life after Eli Manning with a new franchise quarterback.
Raptor’s Take: You have to give Mel credit for originality. He has Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen going first overall to the Cleveland Browns. Kiper bases that projection on Allen’s measurements and obvious physical talent — I have my issues with that, but we’re focused on the Giants, not the Browns, and there’s plenty of time to talk about Allen later.
Personally, my stance now is that if the Giants draft Rosen, it is because they are absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt SURE that he is the right quarterback for them.
I say that because both Bill Parcells and Dave Gettleman spoke at length about the importance of not just having a quarterback, but making sure you are taking the RIGHT quarterback. Not just from a physical, X’s and O’s standpoint, but also from an intangible standpoint.
Gettleman spoke of picking the wrong signal caller and winding up in “Quarterback Hell”, that is not good enough to win, but not bad enough to be picking highly — and too afraid to cut their losses and move up for a quarterback.
I’m not there with Rosen. Ed has spoken about questions he has heard about Rosen’s personality and attitude. I have heard similar concerns from multiple sources as well, but my concerns have more to do with his injury history and arm strength.
To forestall the objections I know are coming to that last concern, Rosen’s completion percentage on catchable passes dropped from 76 percent on mid-range passes (11-20 yards) to an average of 33 percent on deep passes (20+ yards). Considering he played in southern California, I have to be concerned how that translates to November, December, and January in the Meadowlands.
Despite all the statements that the Giants HAVE to take a quarterback with the second pick, it is no sure thing. If they don’t feel that the right QB is there, there is no law saying they must pick one that isn’t right for them or that they can’t move back.
However, it is also entirely possible that the Giants will be comfortable with Rosen, and he will be the pick.
Sam Darnold (USC) went fifth overall to the Denver Broncos, while Baker Mayfield went 13th overall to the Washington Redskins. Lamar Jackson was not in the first round, but Kiper later conceded that a team could trade back into the the end first round for him.