Giants watching quarterbacks -- but not because they want one

In this Dec. 31, 2013, file photo, Texas In this Dec. 31, 2013, file photo, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel warms up before the start of the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Duke in Atlanta. Photo Credit: AP / John Bazemore

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The Giants will be keeping a close eye on Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles when the NFL draft begins tomorrow night. Not because they want to select them, it's so they can predict what other positions will be available by the time their turn comes up with the 12th pick.

The desirability of the headlining quarterbacks could have a tremendous impact on who -- and even if or when -- the Giants make their first-round choice.

Consider that with only 11 teams selecting before them the way the draft order is lined up now, if three quarterbacks are taken in the first 10 picks then there would be a glut of potential superstars waiting for the Giants. Would that force the Giants to rethink their apparent desire to continue the rebuilding of their offensive line? Maybe Texas A & M wide receiver Mike Evans or UCLA pass-rusher Anthony Barr. Perhaps they can trade up just a few spots and land Texas A & M tackle Jake Matthews.

But wait! What if no other teams want QBs early in the first round? That means players such as Evans and Barr could be gone. So too could other players the Giants have been eyeing such as tight end Eric Ebron or linemen Taylor Lewan and Zack Martin. What then?

One possibility would be to trade down and take someone such as safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. And there likely would be some teams interested in making that deal.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay predicted that the key to the Giants' selection could take place by the time the fourth pick is made tomorrow night. If the Browns pass on Manziel with that fourth pick, McShay believes that there wouldn't be another team willing to select him until the Rams at 13. That's one pick behind the Giants. In other words, the Giants would ostensibly be able to auction off the rights to Johnny Football to the highest bidder. Perhaps even . . . the Cowboys.

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Imagine that. One final sack of Tony Romo by the Giants, assuming the Giants would make the deal at the expense of bringing another dynamic quarterback into the division.

Jerry Reese probably knows if they would, but he'll let things play out before announcing any decisions.

"I have no idea what's going on in other people's draft rooms or draft boards right now," the Giants general manager said. "You have no clue. We have a chart up of what we think people's needs are, but that doesn't mean that they'll take the quarterbacks early. Who knows what will happen?"

It's ambiguous enough that Reese was asking his own questions and then answering them with more questions.

"Are the quarterbacks good enough to take them that early in the draft?" Reese said last week of the all-important top 11 picks. "Who knows?"

One thing seems certain. Before they take a snap in the NFL, quarterbacks Manziel, Bridgewater and Bortles will have an effect on the Giants whether they are high first-rounders or leftovers going stale in the green room at Radio City.

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