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NFL Draft: Giants didn’t believe Davis Webb would be available

New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese answers

New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese answers questions from the media at the Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Davis Webb may be the Giants’ quarterback of the future, but he certainly was not their quarterback of the recent past. Coach Ben McAdoo never even met him, the team never brought him in for a workout, and there was little hope that he would even be available when the Giants found themselves on the clock in the third round of the draft on Friday night.

So what, exactly, did the Giants like about him, studying him from a distance?

“First of all, he has a big arm,” general manager Jerry Reese said of the first potential franchise quarterback he has ever drafted. “He has one of those wintertime arms; he can throw it in the wind. We thought that he had the best arm talent in the draft this year and this guy is football all the time. You have to be that kind of guy in this league. You can’t half do it up here and play at a high level in the National Football League. This guy is a son of a coach, football all of the time, and he has the quarterback profile that we like.”

“He’s a big guy with a live arm,” Giants vice president of player evaluations Marc Ross said. “Son of the coach with the top intangibles. Went to Cal and took leadership of the whole group. He ran meetings. Really strong personality, a leader. A football junkie. He’s a surprisingly good athlete for his size. Just has a lot of upside to develop.”

Webb played one season at Cal as a graduate transfer from Texas Tech after he lost his job there to Patrick Mahomes, another quarterback on the Giants’ radar who went to the Chiefs in the first round. In three seasons at Texas Tech, he played in 23 games and threw 46 touchdown passes with 16 interceptions. In his one season at Cal, he threw for 37 touchdowns with 12 interceptions.

McAdoo called him a “pocket passer” — with a caveat.

“He’s a fluid mover back there,” he said. “He can move in the pocket and extend plays. He can do some creating. Like I said, he’s not a statue back there.”

“For a tall guy, he is a good athlete,” Reese said. “He can be off schedule and buy some time with his legs, so there are a lot of things that we liked about him.”

There were plenty of scouts who were not as high on Webb as the Giants seem to be. That’s why he was there when the Giants selected on Friday night. But while the Giants wouldn’t say they had a first-round grade on Webb (they did not), they feel as if he is comparable to any of the other quarterbacks taken ahead of him.

“We feel we have a fairly equal talent at the bottom of the third compared to some of the guys that went pretty high,” Ross said.

Ross explained that the team’s assumption that Webb would be gone by the time they got to this point — and maybe even when they made their second-round pick — was why they never brought Webb in for a meeting or a workout.

“Frankly, I try and put Ben in touch with guys that I think we really have a chance to get,” Ross said. “I did not think at this point Davis would be one of those players. I thought he would be gone at this point. [McAdoo has] watched the tape, the quarterback coach has communicated with Davis, our scouts have been in touch with him and talked to him at various points throughout the year. He’s just one of the guys that wasn’t a priority to Ben to meet because there are only so many guys you can meet with.”

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