SPORTS

Giant look at QB prospects

NY Daily NewsSETH WALDER NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes is a project Giants may have time for.
AP
GIANTS fans who heard Jerry Reese's comments on Monday and then watched the national championship game later that night might have been dreaming of a certain Clemson quarterback one day taking over for Eli Manning.
Keep dreaming. Reese acknowledged Tuesday that with Manning now 36 years old, the Giants have begun thinking about the successor at starting quarterback. With that in mind, let's take a look at the potential options for Big Blue in this year's draft -- starting with why it's probably unlikely Big Blue would spring for one of this draft's top QBs.
TOP TALENTS: Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, UNC QB Mitch Trubisky, Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer.
These guys are all long shots for the Giants due to several factors.
For starters, they likely would require first-round pick. While teams have used a first-rounder while they still have a franchise QB playing before (see: Rodgers, Aaron), it represents a significant opportunity cost given that that pick can be used on someone else that could help the team immediately.
The Giants may be looking for Manning's successor, but they are still bound to Manning. Even if his decline continues in 2017, the Giants are slated to pay Manning over $22 million in 2018 (and still would have a $12 million cap charge if they cut him before that year), per OverTheCap.com. That these guys even last to the Giants at No. 23 overall is another major question mark. Depending on which one they would prefer, Big Blue could easily have to trade up to land one of these top quarterbacks, making the proposition even crazier.
If you're wagering on this one, bank on the Giants spending their first-round pick on someone that can help their current quarterback in 2017.
Now, let's look at some more realistic options:
Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes
The Giants have the luxury of searching the draft for a quarterback but not needing the signal-caller to be pressed into action right away. That means it's a little easier for them to select someone who needs time to develop. Mahomes fits that profile. He's put up big numbers at Texas Tech (77 TDs along with 25 interceptions over the last two years) but they come with the major caveat that he played in the Red Raiders' pass heavy system. Jets fans may recall drooling over Jace Amaro's numbers a couple years ago only to see them fail to translate to the pro level. That doesn't mean that Mahomes can't work out. Scouts say he has the arm strength and physical abilities needed, per NFL.com, so perhaps with some time behind Manning he could succeed at the next level.
At the moment it looks like Mahomes will be selected somewhere between the second and fourth rounds.
Miami QB Brad Kaaya
Kaaya is a three-year starter that was considered one of the top quarterback prospects heading into the year and led the Hurricanes to a 9-4 record. However, he didn't keep up with the top quarterbacks listed above and is in a tier below them. If the Giants end up taking Kaaya, it would probably be in middle rounds. Draftniks say Kaaya never really lived up to his hype and lacks the consistency and upside to be a top-notch prospect.
Anything is possible, but someone like Kaaya probably makes a little less sense than, say, Mahomes because his ceiling may not be high as as others. And if you can afford to wait for a QB to develop, it probably makes sense to aim for high potential.
Cal QB Davis Webb
Webb took over for Jared Goff at Cal, though that might not seem like nearly as a good of a precedent now compared to a year ago. Webb put up relatively strong numbers last season, completing 61.6% of his passes along with 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, though those are down from what Goff did the year before. Webb isn't nearly the quarterback prospect that Goff was, so he should be available in the middle rounds. One thing working in his favor: An NFL executive told NFL.com in October that Webb has a stronger arm that Goff.
Webb spent most of his college career at Texas Tech before transferring to Cal. Because of the air-it-out systems used at both schools, Webb faces similar scheme questions to Mahomes.
Wyoming QB Josh Allen
Allen is undecided about entering the draft or remaining at Wyoming. If he does come out, there will be plenty of unknowns about him because he's only started for one season for the Cowboys. But the reason he's on this list is that as a raw talent that could use development, it makes sense for a team that would be in no rush to play him to take him. Obviously, the Giants fit that bill.
Allen stands at 6-5 and threw for 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season. "He's a big ol' kid with a big arm, and he's pretty athletic too," an AFC executive told MMQB in December. "We gotta learn more about him, but the tools are there."
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