Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur wouldn’t use the word “love,” but from their remarks on Saturday it was pretty obvious they fell in love with Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta at the Senior Bowl. That’s why they selected him Saturday in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
“It’s interesting. There is a rule of thumb about All Star games – they can’t hurt you, they can only help you and watching him during the week and watching him play in the game, the cliff note answer is yes. He was impressive and he made some strong throws into tight windows, anticipated things and for me, that’s what really peaked my curiosity,” Gettleman said on Saturday. “I heard all the stuff about him from the scouts, but after watching that Senior Bowl, I said, ‘We’ve got to dig into him. You guys have to dig into him. There is something here. We just have to figure out what it is.’ “
Shurmur pointed out that the Senior Bowl is the first time coaches really have an opportunity to see the upcoming draft prospects.
“We found out there was a lot there that we liked,” Shurmur said of Lauletta.
When Round 4 came around, the common belief was the Giants would like to bolster the offensive line with a tackle or the secondary with a cornerback. Instead, they chose Lauletta.
“He was just too good of a value to pass up there. He’s got all the stuff – he’s tough, he’s not shy in the pocket, he’s got pocket presence, patience and feel, which, again, those are instinctive things that you can’t teach. He throws a really nice ball, he’s accurate, he’s got a sense of anticipation and timing and the other part is he’s a runner. He’s got legitimate escape dimensions and we’re really pleased about that,” Gettleman said. “He was just too good of a value there for us. We’re really thrilled to get him there. I really expected him to be long gone.”
The GM acknowledged that the Lauletta pick is a long-term one:
“You want a good quarterback culture in the room and I think it’s going to be really healthy. This kid is driven just like Davis is driven and just like Eli is driven and you can’t put a price tag on that,” he said. “Were we thinking long-term? Yeah, you have to because if you’re not thinking long-term, you always give into that situation where a guy retires or you cut him and you have nobody in line to replace him. You’ve put yourself in a very uncomfortable situation.”
To that, Shurmur added:
“We want to develop a good and a solid quarterback culture here. This is a guy that’s a winner. I think there are people that say he doesn’t have enough arm strength. I disagree. I think he’s got all the traits, all the things you’re looking for in a quarterback – he’s tall enough, he’s got good mobility and really arm strength is about fourth on the list. You have to be a good decision-maker, you have to have a sense of timing and you have to throw an accurate ball, which he does. He does all those three things well and he uses his feet to get the ball where he needs to get it and that’s really what I was impressed by – he’s got a good set of legs, he’s tall enough, he’s a winner, he’s got moxie.”
Shurmur added that the pick was “about Kyle and less about Davis and Eli.”
“I think once again to your point, I think it’s good to have three quarterbacks. I think this league and our game is about good quarterback play and I think it’s about development of the quarterbacks. So the longer they’re around you, the longer they can develop in your system,” Shurmur said. “We wanted to go to camp with three and we’ll probably add another one – four quarterbacks -- and go through camp that way and then just see where it goes. “There is competition in the room – Kyle is going to be smart enough to learn everything he can from Eli and Davis and they’ll all try to be as good as they can be and then whoever becomes the starter, the other two guys can help him during the week, so that they can perform at a high level.”