With the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine over and the process leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft in a brief lull as free agency heats up, it’s a good time for mock drafts. The Combine has reshuffled draft boards and free agency has yet to (officially) shuffle team needs.
But some things haven’t changed.
In his latest mock draft for ESPN, Todd McShay still gives the New York Giants their quarterback for the future (they would hope), and despite Kyler Murray’s rise, it is a familiar face.
6. New York Giants
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Another mock, another Haskins-to-the-Giants projection. It just makes sense. New York needs to secure its future at the position while it has this high pick, and Haskins has some great anticipation and feel in the pocket. Give him a year of learning from Eli Manning, not unlike what Kansas City did with Patrick Mahomes and Alex Smith, and then let him start unleashing deep balls to Odell Beckham Jr.
Raptor’s Thoughts: McShay’s right, it does make sense. I’m still not convinced it even has a chance of happening, but it makes sense in a mock draft where we apply positional value and control variables by not allowing trades.
But here’s the wild card: Dave Gettleman has said on the record after bypassing quarterback in 2018 that he believes the notion of positional value is a “crock.” If Gettleman has shown one thing in his time as a general manager between the Carolina Panthers and Giants, it’s that he believes in his board above all else. He has painted himself into something of a corner by bypassing the quarterback position to take Saquon Barkley, and in doing so enters what should be Eli Manning’s final year without a quarterback for 2020 (or beyond). So, going by that, the Giants pretty much have to take Haskins if he is available.
However, Gettleman is a GM who believes in his beliefs, and at the foundation of those beliefs is that you win by “running the ball and playing great defense.” So, if a player like Josh Allen slips out of the top 5, or Montez Sweat or Brian Burns have worked their way past Haskins and into the top 5 of Gettleman’s board, history suggests that he will punt on quarterback again.
That’s leaving aside the very real possibility that a team doesn’t trade up for Haskins if Murray goes first overall. For instance, while the Jacksonville Jaguars are, apparently, working to sign Nick Foles, but they could want their own “heir/successor” plan — or simply don’t feel completely comfortable putting all their eggs in Nick Foles’ basket. There’s also the matter of their own dire cap situation, and trading on their expensive defensive talent could be how they free some of that money up while getting some return.
So while Haskins would probably be a good, smart pick, it might not happen. Giants’ fans should at least consider the possibility that he won’t be there to be picked, and might not even be the pick if he is available.