The Giants Would Be Smart To Start Grooming Eli's Replacement
The New York Giants are certainly in no immediate need to find a quarterback to replace Eli Manning. Despite the underwhelming and inconsistent 2013 season that Manning had, it was mostly uncharacteristic of the ability that we all know Manning has, and there’s no real fear going into 2014 that he won’t bounce back.
But despite the fact that Manning’s job is as secure as secure can be for at least the foreseeable future, it doesn’t mean that the Giants shouldn’t begin thinking about the future of the quarterback position five or six years down the road. Giants GM Jerry Reese surprised a lot of people around the league when he traded up to draft Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib in last year’s draft, and many saw it as the Giants beginning to sketch out their plans for a future without their franchise signal-caller.
While we haven’t seen much of what Nassib can bring to the team so far with very limited time on the field to this point, and we’re not entirely sure of what the Giants have planned for him going forward, the idea of the Giants providing themselves for some insurance at the quarterback position is a wise strategy.
We saw what happened in Green Bay as the Brett Favre era began to wind down. The Packers selected Aaron Rodgers in the first round and surprised pretty much everyone, but kept him on the sidelines for four seasons while Favre took the Packers to the NFC title game. The season following that loss to the Giants, Favre retired (for the first time) and Rodgers was finally ripe for competing at the NFL level — and he’s done pretty well for himself so far.
Now, I’m not saying that Nassib will end up becoming the next Rodgers, and no one has suggested he will. However, the idea of beginning to groom a young quarterback over the next few seasons, learning the tricks of the trade behind a veteran like Eli Manning, can pay off big time for the Giants later on down the road. After all, Manning is now 33 years old, and it’s certainly safe to say that he’s now in the latter half of his career. His brother is continuing to set records as he closes in on 40, but there’s only one Peyton Manning, and there’s no way to know yet if that kind of longevity runs in the family.
The Giants have addressed a litany of needs so far this offseason, and while they still have some positions that need to be strengthened in the upcoming draft, the team certainly has more freedom now to perhaps take a few risks and maybe select a quality quarterback for some value in the later rounds if one happens to fall into their lap. Reese has been known to draft according to the best available players on his board, regardless of position, so a move like that is not out of the realm of possibility.