The Giants should grab their heir apparent to Eli Manning. Manning is a shell of his former self, and New York would be making a terrible decision not to take a potential franchise quarterback when it has a chance. It is reasonable to assume that the Giants followed the Browns' lead and turned down the trade that the Colts took from the Jets. A team would only really turn down a package of picks that size if that was going to cost it a franchise quarterback. Then, the Giants traded away Jason Pierre-Paul. Actions speak louder than words, and I don't think the Giants would trade a good edge rusher if they were trying to reload and win once more with Manning. To me, these actions say the Giants are going to take a quarterback and have him sit behind Manning for a year or two before taking over the offense. I think Dave Gettleman is a no-nonsense kind of guy and will be more comfortable with Darnold than Josh Rosen. Additionally, there has been a lot of media hype that Darnold is the Giants' preferred quarterback. If I change the first pick to Darnold, then I will probably make this pick Saquon Barkley.
Another reason why Darnold or a quarterback makes more sense is the money involved. If the Giants take Saquon Barkley, he immediately becomes the running back with the largest guaranteed money in the NFL, around $30 million. A quarterback on a rookie contract, on the other hand, is a huge cost savings. Eventually, I think New York signs Odell Beckham Jr. to an extension. He's too good to get rid of. If the Giants took Barkley they would have the most guaranteed money in the NFL at running back and wide receiver. They need a long-term trigger man to get the most out of Beckham.
Darnold (6-3, 221) is an accurate passer without an elite skill set, but he has developed good anticipation, feel and timing. Darnold is a rhythm thrower who would fit best in a West Coast system to maximize his ability to throw accurately in the short to intermediate part of the field. He also can throw accurately on the run. Routinely, Darnold can use his feet to buy time while keeping his eyes downfield and delivering accurate passes while under pressure. In every game at USC, Darnold would make some impressive throws that were very rare for a college quarterback.
In 2017, Darnold completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He did have problems with interceptions and fumbles in his final collegiate season. A general manager, who scouted Darnold in person during 2017, told me that they like the "it factor" that Darnold displays. That general manager thinks there's nothing wrong with Darnold's throwing motion or arm strength, and that Darnold has some similarities to Philip Rivers. Darnold completed 67 percent of his passes in 2016 for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
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Rd: 3 Pk: 2
Rd: 3 Pk: 5
Rd: 4 Pk: 8
Rd: 5 Pk: 2