The Friday 5: Combine Edition

It’s time for another edition of the Friday 5 with Big Blue View’s Ed Valentine. This week’s edition focuses on the NFL combine. You can read my responses to the questions on Big Blue View.

What are your biggest takeaways from the combine so far?

Ed says: I’m thinking back to the Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur remarks from Wednesday, and all of the things that both said about the quarterback position. Shurmur indicated they know what they want, and they know when they see it. What I’m not sure of is whether they believe HAVE actually seen it on tape.

Oh, and Saquon Barkley is a star. Just judging from the throng at his press conference and the way he handled it he’s a mega-star wherever he lands.

Do you buy Dave Gettleman’s statement that they’ve come to the combine not knowing what they’re going to do with the No. 2 pick?

Ed says: Absolutely … to a point. Let’s not kid ourselves here, they have a pretty good idea what their options are. The ones I see are as follows:

Take the quarterback they love and believe they can develop, take Saquon Barkley, address the OL or LB spots with Quenton Nelson or Tremaine Edmunds, or trade down.

I buy that they don’t know which way they will go, but I have to believe they have an idea what the options are. I suppose you could add trading UP to No. 1 if they come out of the combine believing there is one guy in this draft they have to have.

Out of those options, though, I don’t think Gettleman knows which road he will go down.

What, if anything, has surprised you about the news to come from the combine?

Ed says: Giants-wise, maybe that Gettleman and Shurmur seem comfortable with giving Eli Apple another chance. Not that doing so would be completely unexpected. Performance-wise, maybe that monstrous right tackle Orlando Brown only managed 14 bench press reps.

In non-combine news, the free agency rumor mill has begun to spin. What of the few whispers, has caught your attention?

Ed says: Couple of things. I was surprised by the report that D.J. Fluker is likely to leave the Giants. We will see if that turns out to be true. The report that the Giants might be interested in Carolina placekicker Graham Gano makes a lot of sense. Don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that one myself.

Give me your prediction regarding the quarterback spot. Do they draft one this year or do they stick with Davis Webb?

Ed says: I think it’s like this. There are obvious exceptions, but the overwhelming majority of top-tier quarterbacks in the NFL are first-round picks, and probably early first-round picks. Saquon Barkley will probably be a great player.

Quenton Nelson might be an All-Pro guard. Tremaine Edwards might be the best linebacker the Giants have had since the glory days of LT, Carl Banks and Harry Carson. A big-time quarterback, though, is worth more than any of them.

The Giants are saying nice things about Davis Webb right now. Maybe, just maybe, they even mean them. Really, though, what else are they going to say? They aren’t going to come out and say his tape stinks, we have to draft a quarterback in the first round. That’s not smart business.

I don’t believe the Giants feel like they absolutely, positively HAVE TO take a quarterback or the franchise will be in ruins. I do believe that if they feel strongly there are one or two guys in this draft class who are franchise quarterbacks and one is available to them they won’t pass up the opportunity to select that person.

That said, if there is only one guy they love (let’s say it is Sam Darnold) and the Browns take Darnold at No. 1 I think Gettleman and Shurmur would be fine moving on and figuring out the long term future at quarterback later. They won’t take a quarterback just to take a quarterback.