There are plenty who believe that the Giants would be foolish to pass up one of the top QBs in this year’s draft to select Saquon Barkley, regardless of how good Barkley is. But Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com wonders if the presence of Davis Webb, whom the Giants selected in the third round of last year’s draft, is impacting New York’s decision-making. Webb has impressed with his work ethic and preparation, and while it is unclear how highly the new regime values Webb, it could be that the Giants feel better about their short- and long-term QB situation than those outside the organization (plus, Webb still has a major supporter within the front office in president of player evaluation Chris Mara). Therefore, maybe it would not be much of a surprise to see Big Blue pull the trigger on a non-QB with their No. 2 overall pick.
Now for a roundup of more draft-related rumors, starting with another note on the Giants:
- The Giants could also trade their No. 2 overall pick to a team who really does want to snag one of this year’s top QB prospects, but as Raanan notes, New York is going to ask for a major haul in exchange for that selection — including multiple first-round picks — and clubs that want to move up may be better served in making a deal with the Broncos or Colts (who hold the Nos. 5 and 6 overall picks, respectively). Raanan points out that Denver and Indianapolis have been talking to teams about the possibility of moving down, which hurts the Giants’ leverage.
- The Eagles do not have many holes that need to be filled for the 2018 season, but there are plenty of questions they need to answer for 2019 and beyond, so as Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer points out, the team may be drafting for future needs this week. For instance, the Eagles know they currently have a few young players on expiring contracts that will be in line for richer deals soon — most notably Carson Wentz — so they will need to find talent that can contribute on a rookie contract for a few years. Running back, offensive line, and safety are three positions that are at least somewhat unsettled beyond 2018, so Berman suggests the Eagles could target those positions this week.
- In his latest mailbag, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com takes a look at two of the pass rushers that have been frequently connected to the Lions — Boston College’s Harold Landry and UTEP’s Marcus Davenport — and opines that Davenport would be the better fit. However, as we learned yesterday, Detroit could be looking to trade down from its No. 20 overall pick, and Rothstein notes that remains a possibility.
- It’s unclear whether the Dolphins will be targeting a QB with their No. 11 overall pick — or if they will trade up to land a signal-caller — but Florida Football Insiders offers its view as to why Miami should pick Louisville QB Lamar Jackson with its first-round selection.
- Speaking of Jackson, NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock (article via Edward Lewis of NFL.com) believes the former Heisman Trophy winner will not only be a first-round pick, but that he could go in the top-10 (he also believes a team could trade up into that territory to land him). But if Jackson is not selected in the first 20 picks, Mayock says the Saints and Patriots would be two clubs that could target him, as they have the offensive minds to harness Jackson’s talent.
- With more available data than ever before, a “handful of teams,” including the Rams, are using analytics to help them locate hidden gems and special teams contributors/reserve types on Day 3 of the draft, as Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes. Volin writes, “[i]n addition to comparing 40 times and broad jumps, teams find different ways to track a player’s health, his productivity at various positions and alignments, his performance in the fourth quarter, and so on.” So while old-school scouting and face-to-face meetings are still the most important tools with respect to early-round picks, potential late-round selections are increasingly being scouted with advanced metrics.