New York Giants: Buyer’s remorse already with Davis Webb?

Nov 12, 2016; Pullman, WA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb (7) drops back for a pass against the Washington State Cougars during the second half at Martin Stadium. The Cougars won 56-21. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2016; Pullman, WA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb (7) drops back for a pass against the Washington State Cougars during the second half at Martin Stadium. The Cougars won 56-21. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports /

If one didn’t know better, you’d think the New York Giants are experiencing buyer’s remorse regarding the drafting of quarterback Davis Webb.

Throughout the months, weeks and days leading up to April 28, the New York Giants selecting a quarterback during the 2017 NFL Draft was always a logical move. Eli Manning has been the league’s most dependable starter since taking over for Kurt Warner during the 2004 campaign, but Manning turned 36 years old this past January. It was reasonable that the Giants would take a flier on a potential future replacement for the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

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Opinions on California quarterback Davis Webb vary per scout, analyst and fan. After all, Webb was not advertised as a first-round talent. The 22-year old is a project, one the Giants grabbed with the 87th overall pick in this year’s draft. Just as when the New England Patriots used a second-round pick to take Jimmy Garoppolo back in 2014, those running the Giants were thinking past the upcoming season when they acquired a 6-5 to-be rookie who has a big arm, but who needs plenty of work.

Webb should not see the field for a single down, not even to take a knee on the final play of a blowout, once the regular season begins. The Giants signed former New York Jet Geno Smith earlier this offseason, and Smith will likely battle with Josh Johnson over the backup quarterback role. Webb, meanwhile, will stand on sidelines and wear headsets during meaningful contests. In reality, things will have gone horribly wrong for the Giants if the New York offense needs Webb’s services before 2019.

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While it’s still early in the Webb era that may never actually begin, it almost appears as if the Giants regret sparking any conversations about the quarterback’s relationship with the club in the first place. New York head coach Ben McAdoo was the first person within the organization to raise eyes regarding the Webb pick when, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, he stated the following:

"“I’m sure the young guy is going to have some questions for him, but it’s not Eli’s job to get anybody ready to play this season and it’s not Eli’s job to go out and develop another quarterback. That’s not his job description. His job is to prepare and perform.’’"

Strangest of all about McAdoo’s words is that no knowledgeable fan expects Webb to be ready to roll four months from now. There’s no competition. It’s not even Eli’s job to lose. Manning will be the starter for the Giants, so long as he is healthy and able to throw a football versus the Dallas Cowboys on the first Sunday night of the campaign.

That doesn’t mean Manning cannot help tutor Webb as the rookie gets his feet wet in the NFL. The two are going to share a QB room. They’ll watch the same film and work with the same playbook. Manning was never going to be grooming a replacement in 2017, just as he didn’t when the Giants selected Ryan Nassib in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Why even hint there could be any animosity among the quarterbacks on the depth chart?

As Dan Duggan of explained in a piece published on May 10, Giants co-owner John Mara also recently spoke about Webb’s current and potential future role with the club:

"“I think it’s a little premature to be anointing this guy as the heir apparent to Eli,” Mara said on The Rich Eisen Show. “He hasn’t set foot on the field yet. But he’s got a lot of talent and we’re looking forward to seeing what we got when he gets here. As Bill Parcells used to say, let’s not get his bust ready for Canton just yet.”"

Mara continued:

"“He’s a talented guy, but let’s let him get on the field and let’s let him play in the preseason and develop,” Mara said. “If he’s the successor, that’s great. If not, then we’ll find somebody else.”"

That’s low praise, particularly from a front-office executive of an organization known for offering non-answers to media members during interviews and press conferences. Why not just say you’re concentrating only on the 2017 New York roster that should compete for a Super Bowl title, instead of already suggesting you may move on from Webb at some point down the road? Why not tease that you could, in a few years, have to deal with the wonderful problem of possessing two talented QBs on the roster, similar to what happened when the Green Bay Packers ultimately chose Aaron Rodgers over Brett Favre?

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There’s no public outcry for the Giants to start Webb. No New York sports talk radio hosts are discussing the subject this spring. Why then do the Giants seem unsure about a third-round draft pick that’s eliciting zero hot takes two weeks after the fact?