The NFL playoffs are still in process but for most of the NFL draft season is in full swing. There is no clearer indication of that than the fact that ESPN’s draft expert, Mel Kiper Jr., has released his first mock draft of the year.
As we have come to expect over the last year, the mock draft has the New York Giants landing who they hope is their future franchise quarterback. In Kipers’ first simulation, the Giants make Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins the first quarterback off the board.
6. New York Giants - Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)
This is an easy call. The Giants need a quarterback, and Haskins is the best quarterback in the class. The Giants can’t afford to put off the decision for another year, even if they bring back 38-year-old Eli Manning and let the rookie learn behind him. Haskins (6-3, 220) is far from a finished product -- he started only 14 games at Ohio State -- but he has an extremely high ceiling. One thing to watch is whether QB-needy teams get aggressive and try to trade up to get in front of the Giants.
Kiper must be reading Big Blue View, because it wasn’t all that long ago (Dec. 31st), that Mark Schofield laid down a plan for the future of the Giants’ quarterback position. If you missed that post — and you should absolutely go back and read it — the thrust of his argument was “Shut up and draft Haskins, you dopes!”
Mark advocated making whatever moves necessary to acquire the Ohio State QB. And given the Giants’ uncertain future at the position and Haskins’ ability, it makes sense. Personally, Haskins’ age and inexperience gives me pause. I typically believe that the more experience a QB can have before he enters the NFL the better. To me, it’s better to develop on the field than on the bench, and seeing more defenses, being in more live situations, and getting more physical maturity before making the leap to the NFL.
Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson are great and hit the ground running like few QBs ever do, but could they have done so if they hadn’t used every second of eligibility available to them?
However, what’s done is done, and Haskins is the top prospect at a position of both need and with dire consequences for the future of the franchise. Even if it means passing on a talent like Ed Oliver (who is still on the board in this draft), the cap flexibility having a franchise quarterback on a rookie deal would give the Giants is a massive advantage.