It really was meant to be an open discussion to see what the fans thought about the subject and really just to start thinking about it long-term. Of course, we are blessed to have a quarterback like Eli Manning, and based on his durability, there should be no reason that anyone other than Eli will be Big Blue’s starter behind center for at least the next five–plus years.
In the post, I wrote:
It’s tough to imagine a Giants’ team led by someone other than Manning, but that reality will come to fruition at some point, and the Giants must be prepared with a plan.
Big Blue can look at this issue in one of three ways.
The team can either draft and develop a quarterback over a few years, draft a quarterback the year Manning decides to retire or sign or trade for a quarterback when Manning hangs up the spikes.
Drafting Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib in the fourth round looks like a steal based on his talent, but the timing of it is still very strange. I really didn’t think this would be the year the Giants would draft a quarterback.
Even Giants’ general manager Jerry Reese said he hopes Nassib never plays. And frankly, that doesn’t mean just in the 2013 season.
If Nassib starts for the Giants any time before 2018, that means something has happened to Manning. It’s of course essential to have a capable back-up, and David Carr can fit that role in the short-term.
Sure, Aaron Rodgers sat for three years behind Brett Favre in Green Bay, but Favre was on the tail end of his career, not in his prime like Eli. Plus the Packers used a first-round pick on Rodgers, not a fourth rounder like Nassib.
I have to say, I like the Giants’ strategy of drafting the best available player on their board. Injuries are part of the game in the NFL, so having talented reserves to fill-in is essential to a team’s success.
But for a team that still has many other needs than at quarterback, I find it curious that the team used a draft pick – albeit a fourth rounder – on Nassib. That pick could have been used to draft a linebacker or maybe another defensive back just to continue adding depth.
In a perfect world, the Giants will clinch the NFC East early next season, and Tom Coughlin will give Nassib a chance to play. Nassib will turn in a Matt Flynn-type performance from Week 17 of 2011 (480 passing yards, six touchdowns) so that he gets onto another team’s radar as a possible trade target.
The Giants could then net a draft pick in at least the second or third round, all while Manning is still leading the team.
From a draft strategy, I understand the move in drafting Nassib, but I do find it interesting how a team will draft a player and then hope he never sees the field for them. But that’s why the draft is such a science.
Nassib may never help the Giants on the field, but he could help Big Blue eventually improve its team through adding another player.
“Improving the team” should be the goal of each year’s draft, and the Giants hope that will be the case with the selection of Nassib – even if it’s the player acquired for Nassib that makes the difference.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.