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Ben McAdoo, Giants graded Davis Webb higher than third round

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants found their potential successor to quarterback Eli Manning in the third round on Friday night. It was almost sooner.

The Giants had California’s Davis Webb with better than a third-round grade. That’s why they pulled the trigger. The value was too good to pass up for a quarterback with his physical talent and mental makeup.

“We had him graded fairly high,” coach Ben McAdoo said after the selection.

McAdoo declined to note if Webb was the highest-graded player on the board when the Giants selected in the previous round. They took Alabama defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson with the first of their Day 2 picks.

“That’s a long way back,” McAdoo deadpanned about Webb’s place on their board in the second round.

McAdoo is also believed to have pushed for Webb in the second round. He was especially high on his new quarterback of the future.

When it was time for the second round on Friday, McAdoo mentioned Webb as a possible option with the 55th overall pick. Ultimately, the Giants decided there was a better option -- Tomlinson. But when the third round approached, McAdoo was more adamant with Webb still on the board at the 87th overall pick in the third round.

This is saying something. McAdoo had never met Webb before. His evaluation admittedly was based on film study.

McAdoo, the former Packers quarterback coach who worked with Aaron Rodgers (another Cal product) in Green Bay, must have been impressed with what he saw on tape, because Webb is now his newest project. He's also a significant piece for the Giants' future.

Some other Giants draft buzz:

-- Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was being monitored closely in the second round. If by some miracle he had slipped to the 55th pick, there was a good chance he would have been the selection. Just imagine Cook in an offense with speedy tight end Evan Engram and wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard. The Giants and Manning would’ve had some serious weapons.

But the second round was much like the first. The Giants had the 23rd pick and had to wait as quality players were plucked off the board. Cook, who slipped into the second day because of some shoulder and off-the-field concerns, was the ninth player selected in Round 2. The Minnesota Vikings traded up for the explosive and talented back.

The Giants added Clemson running back Wayne Gallman in the fourth round.

-- There is a new draft value chart some teams have admitted using. It’s believed to align closely to this. If the Giants wanted to grab tight end O.J. Howard in the first round they likely would’ve had to trade with the Tennessee Titans for the 18th overall pick. This new chart -- much like the old one -- says it would’ve cost them approximately their first and third-round pick. So Engram and Webb for Howard, unless Engram and a third-round pick from next year would’ve been enough to entice the Titans. Only time will tell which was the right move.

-- Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham was on the board when the Giants picked in the first and second rounds. They passed both times in part because of what some speculated was his combine interview. That left some in the Giants organization unimpressed. Cunningham was a player who attracted interest early in the pre-draft process. General manager Jerry Reese even attended his Pro Day.

-- Two players the Giants were believed to have eyes on in the later rounds were offensive tackles Will Holden and Roderick Johnson. They were selected 157th and 160th overall, respectively, in the fifth round. They would’ve been Giants options at pick No. 167.

-- The Giants took defensive end Avery Moss with that fifth-round pick. Moss had an incident at Nebraska on his resume where he pleaded guilty to an indecent exposure charge and was banned from the campus. He resurfaced at Youngstown State with ex-Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini.

Pelini was instrumental in erasing any concerns about Moss.

“Without a doubt,” vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross said. “One of our scouts, Steve Devine, has a very close relationship with [Pelini]. You have to rely on your scouts and trust the people that they talk to and trust throughout the process.”

The Giants trusted Pelini and their research enough to make Moss their selection. They believed it was an incident, not an issue.