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2018 NFL Draft: Quarterback alternatives after the first round

Let's look at some Day 2 and Day 3 possibilities

NCAA Football: Camping World Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Virginia Tech Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Rosen. Sam Darnold. Baker Mayfield. Josh Allen. Lamar Jackson. Because the New York Giants could well be in the quarterback market with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, we have spent an extraordinary amount of time analyzing these players — and we will continue to do so.

What, though, if the Giants pass on a quarterback in Round 1? Here are some potential Day 2 and Day 3 who could be possibilities as, at least, competition for Davis Webb.

Day 2

Mason Rudolph

Oklahoma State’s Rudolph could sneak into the back end of Round 1. If not, most expect him to be a Round 2 selection.

The conundrum with Rudolph appears to be whether he is likely to be a career backup or a player who can become a quality NFL starter. In his prospect profile, Chris Pflum wrote:

Mason Rudolph is not a perfect prospect. He flashes some intriguing traits and potential, but he also has some concerning warts.

Rudolph’s ability to throw with timing and anticipation ranks among the best in the quarterback pool, and his accuracy and ball placement are generally good as well. Rudolph is among the most productive quarterbacks in the draft, and his ability to put the ball where it needs to be and give his receivers the chance to make a play is a big part of that.

But like the rest of the quarterbacks, he has his issues and concerns. Foremost among them is his arm strength, or rather, his relative lack thereof.

In his 2018 NFL Draft Guide, Dane Brugler of NFL Draft Scout writes:

A four-year starter at Oklahoma State, Rudolph thrived in the Cowboys’ up-tempo, spread passing attack (exclusively shotgun/pistol) that is designed to exploit single coverage and make it tough for defenses to identify personnel – executed plenty of deep passes on his game film. He checks boxes with his size, presence and character for the NFL level, but faces a steep learning curve in his transition to the pro game. The most important question: when the first read is taken away, can he efficiently go through his progressions while feeling the rush to find an open window? Rudolph wasn’t asked to consistently do this in college and was often protected by conservative play-calling – it’s not that he can’t do what is required at the NFL level, but his tape doesn’t show that he can either. Overall, his pro transition requires patience, but Rudolph has the physical traits and intelligence that makes him a worthy developmental option.

Kyle Lauletta

In his profile of Lauletta, Chris drew an interesting comparison:

Every NFL team is always on the lookout for quarterbacks who can be developed into starters. At best, these players can provide continuity at the most important position for a low investment, or become a trade commodity.

That is what NFL teams have in mind when they look at Kyle Lauletta of Richmond. Though he is a senior, he is not yet a finished product, but shows an intriguing upside that suggests he could be a player in the mold of former New England Patriot and current San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Could Lauletta be a developmental gem for a team that chooses to pass on the first-round quarterbacks?

Inside The Pylon says Lauletta “should be a starting quarterback by his third season in the NFL and has the potential to develop into a mid-tier starter by the end of his rookie contract.”

Inside The Pylon QB analyst Mark Schofield wrote recently that Lauletta can handle the vast majority of what he would be asked to do in an NFL offense:

“With NFL offenses running about 90% of their passing game 20 yards or shorter, that should be the threshold to study, right? Can a quarterback make those throws on time, with sufficient velocity and placement? Lauletta meets that threshold. Is the boost to what [Josh] Allen can do over him beyond that distance, which is just about 10% of an NFL offense, that important? If a guy struggles at 90% of the offense, but is elite at 10%, how valuable can he be?”

Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier is bold enough to believe there is a possibility Lauletta ends up outperforming the more highly-regarded quarterbacks in this draft class:

Second-tier prospects don’t succeed by displaying a rocket arm—if they had one, they wouldn’t be second-tier prospects. Instead, they must master the playbook quickly, make sound decisions and accurate throws on the practice field and earn the confidence and respect of teammates.

Lauletta, the son of a backup quarterback turned naval commander, majored in how to lead leaders and put those skills into practice at the Senior Bowl. He’s exactly the kind of quarterback who eventually rises through the ranks to outperform the guys with big arms and big reputations.

Day 3

To be honest, with Davis Webb already on the roster I’m not sure why the Giants would use a Day 3 draft pick on a quarterback. If they did, though, here are a couple of options.

Mike White

NFL Draft Report believes the Western Kentucky signal-caller “could sneak into the back end of Round 3” but is “certain to be the first quarterback selected when the fourth round commences.”

Brugler has White ranked ahead of Rudolph and Lauletta. Brugler writes:

With only one season of starting experience in high school and four different offensive coordinators (and three different head coaches) in his four playing seasons in college, White’s mental toughness and retention habits have been tested and prepared him for life in professional football. Overall, White has clunky feet and needs to stay in-rhythm and balanced when dealing with pressure, but he checks boxes with his size, arm strength and passing instincts to be a NFL back-up and potentially more.

Pro Football Focus says:

White has the arm to win at all levels of the field, but he must be more consistent with his timing and there’s a concern that he can’t make plays outside of structure like other quarterbacks in the draft class. Still, he’s worth a mid-round look as a developmental option who has put much more good than bad on tape.

Luke Falk

Playing in a spread offense at Washington State, Falk threw an incredible 2,054 passes in his collegiate career, racing up more than 14,000 passing yards. He averaged 344 yards passing per game.

NFL Draft Report says Falk “will be more of a depth talent than starting material.” [Prospect Profile]

Pro Football Focus says:

Even at his best, his arm strength is a question mark, as he struggles to consistently drive the ball outside the numbers on out-breaking routes. He has good touch and feel for in the short game, but arm strength and athleticism issues raise enough questions that he can create enough big plays at the next level.