The No. 2 pick just got a whole lot more valuable for the New York Giants with Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen declaring for the NFL draft. That noise you heard might have even been general manager Dave Gettleman popping some champagne.
It might seem premature, but having them both in the draft is a major boon. Gettleman might not have his quarterback of the future yet -- who says he'll even select one early in this draft -- but he at the very least now has leverage. The No. 2 pick is serious draft currency.
The Giants have the second overall pick in a draft that has at least two highly regarded franchise quarterbacks (and likely more).
Rosen is the UCLA product with the size, arm and picturesque motion. There isn’t a throw he can’t make.
Darnold is the athletic playmaker from USC with the size, arm and, maybe most important, the ideal demeanor to be a star quarterback at the NFL level. There doesn’t appear to be anything with his mental makeup that concerns scouts.
Darnold and Rosen are supremely talented. They're young and prescient, too. Neither is old enough to drink legally. The two also are almost universally considered the top quarterback prospects. ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have Rosen as the top-rated draft-eligible quarterback. Darnold is their No. 2.
Gettleman and the Giants officially were placed in a major position of power Wednesday when both players declared. That's because quarterbacks are king when it comes to the NFL draft. Teams line up and do whatever possible to land a QB if they think he's capable of leading the franchise for the next decade or more.
The Giants can either select a top quarterback or offer the pick to the highest bidder desperate enough to land its top quarterback. The No. 2 pick has significant value on the open market.
The Cleveland Browns, who have the No. 1 pick this year, basically collected two first-round picks, a second-round pick and a third-rounder from the Philadelphia Eagles before the 2016 draft. The Eagles wanted Carson Wentz. He was their guy. They were going to get him regardless of the cost. They paid a hefty price to move from No. 8 to No. 2. But that is the cost of a quarterback.
Therein lies the dilemma for the Giants. If they believe there is a Wentz on the board, they have to pull the trigger. They don’t want to miss out on a franchise-changing quarterback with Eli Manning turning 37 on the same day Darnold and Rosen declared for the draft. If they don’t see a Wentz on the board, they can trade out and laugh all the way to the bank with the draft currency that will come their way from a team that does view Darnold or Rosen as that type of prospect.
One thing is certain: Gettleman won’t be shy if he sees his quarterback, even if Manning remains with the team and last year's third-round pick, Davis Webb, lurks.
“I’ll address that right now," Gettleman said last week about the possibility of taking a quarterback with the No. 2 pick. “Let me tell you something: I don’t care what position it is; you can never have too many great players at one position.”
This is a pretty good spot to be sitting in. Gettleman and the Giants should be profusely thanking the Indianapolis Colts for allowing this to happen with their victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday. It handed the Giants this position of power with the No. 2 pick.
The Colts would have had the second selection if they had lost and the Giants had won Sunday. The Giants beat the Redskins 18-10.
Instead, newly hired Gettleman now yields much of the power. The top two is the place to be if you’re an NFL team interested in a prototypical franchise quarterback who stands more than 6 feet tall. (Note: Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield doesn't fit that criterion.)
The Giants' position is even stronger, considering there is already a belief that Rosen wants to play in New York and would like to avoid the Browns. Again, more leverage for Gettleman and the Giants to get their guy if it’s Rosen.
It's early, but so far, everything seems to be coming up Gettleman. No matter what he decides, the Giants are in a solid position to make out well with the No. 2 pick in the draft or the riches it can yield. Darnold and Rosen being in the draft made that happen.