Just before the 2017 NFL Draft, we had mentioned that Davis Webb would likely be the more realistic option for the New York Giants. In the third round of the draft, that option became a reality when the Giants selected him with the 87th overall pick.
With Eli Manning at 36 years old and having three years left on his contract, the Giants looked into the future. It is a scary one for many Giants fans not to have their two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback there. In addition, frankly, it is understandable. Franchise quarterbacks like Manning do not exactly come around all the time.
Four years ago, the Giants thought they might have a potential successor when they traded up to get Ryan Nassib. However, he never panned out. Nassib rode the bench. When he did play in the preseason, looked terrible and anything but a successor for Manning.
So now, with Webb in the picture, he will get a firsthand NFL education sitting behind a future Hall of Famer in Manning. Thus, drafting him early does not subject to throwing him into the fire. Players like Deshaun Watson and possibly Mitchell Trubisky could be starters in their rookie season. DeShone Kizer may also start given the Cleveland Browns quarterback situation.
Nevertheless, Davis Webb will get to do what Aaron Rodgers did with the Green Bay Packers behind Brett Favre. To, sit and learn. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with that.
During the draft, fans were getting aggravated because the Giants did not address the offensive line with their early picks. They went tight end with the first round pick in Evan Engram; a position they needed to address. They replaced Johnathan Hankins with Dalvin Tomlinson in the second round, another need.
Therefore, when the 87th pick came around, the Giants decided to skip filling the offensive line and drafted the potential successor for Manning. The Giants did eventually address the offensive line in the final day of the draft. They got Adam Bisnowaty in the sixth round and signed USC’s Chad Wheeler as an undrafted free agent. Both of them not only add depth but also could make pushes to crack the lineup if they play up to their ability.
There is also a chance that the New York Giants can still address the offensive line if teams make June 1 cuts and release veterans for salary cap reasons. Heading into May 1, the Giants have about $8.3 million in salary cap space (as per OvertheCap.com). So if they want to add someone before the start of training camp, they can.
However, the Giants knew they were eventually going to have to look at life after Manning eventually. The good thing is that Manning is still playing at a very high level in his NFL career. In 2016, Manning still threw for over 4,000 yards and 26 touchdowns. Manning also led the Giants to the playoffs at 11-5.
If Manning were struggling, the thought of Davis Webb playing sooner would come up. Remember, the New York Giants tried to trade up to get Mahomes, but the Kansas City Chiefs beat them to the punch. So the Giants are definitely thinking about the future now.
The Giants are in a win-now scenario, so Davis Webb only has to hold a clipboard in 2017. With Manning still at the helm and playing at a high level, Davis Webb is in a great situation.
He gets to enter his career with no pressure on him to play immediately. Davis Webb also gets an NFL education from someone who has thrived in New York for 13 years. Geno Smith was not that fortunate with the New York Jets and he ended up busting. Now he gets to play second or third fiddle behind Manning on the depth chart.
The New York Giants are doing it right for Davis Webb’s career. When his time comes, his transition as a future starting quarterback should be an easier one.