Dwayne Haskins is the quarterback prospect most closely linked to the Giants in this year’s NFL draft. They have the No. 6 pick, and Haskins might be sitting there for them at that spot. Or the Giants might have to move up a slot or two to get Haskins, if they deem he is worth trading up to secure.
There is also a scenario brewing that could link Josh Rosen to the Giants, if all the rumblings are correct and the Cardinals are gearing up to select Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick. That would make Rosen expendable and within reach for the Giants in a deal.
Haskins, out of Ohio State, or Rosen, out of UCLA, with one difficult season under his belt in Arizona?
With Rosen, the Giants would be able to hold onto their first-round pick and get immediate help on defense. They also would add a quarterback who struggled on a terrible Cardinals offense and would only have Rosen under contractual control for three years, as opposed to five years with Haskins.
In his most recent mock draft, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has Haskins going to the Giants at No. 6. Interestingly, McShay has a near-identical rating for Haskins this year as he did for Rosen last year. McShay would stack Haskins up as the fifth quarterback in the class of 2018, behind Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Rosen and Baker Mayfield and ahead of Lamar Jackson.
“Now, with Haskins, typically I would have him fifth, behind the top four of last year and it would be close with Rosen,” McShay said Wednesday on a conference call. “The only thing with Rosen is the durability aspect. Rosen as a pocket passer is even more advanced, I think, than Haskins is, and Haskins is pretty advanced in terms of his touch, his anticipation, his timing and being able to see the field, especially for a guy who only had 14 starts.”
Rosen, operating behind an offensive line in Arizona that was worse than what the Giants put on the field the first half of last season, started 13 games as a rookie for the Cardinals. He took a beating while completing 55.2 percent of his passes, with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He is only 22 years old and, if added to the Giants’ roster, would benefit from a rewind, as far as learning behind Eli Manning until the time came to get him back on the field.
Haskins set Big Ten records for passing touchdowns and passing yardage in his one season as a starter for the Buckeyes. Like Rosen, he is a pocket passer with a big arm and lacking in the desired running ability. With Haskins, the Giants could follow the “Kansas City model” general manager Dave Gettleman stated as worthy of duplicating. The Chiefs sat Patrick Mahomes behind veteran Alex Smith for almost an entire season before handing him the reins in Year No. 2.
“If the Giants do bring [Haskins] in, I think the plan would be: Don’t start him right away, he’s only had 14 starts,” McShay said. “Let him be around Eli, let him see how Eli prepares for a game, what kind of homework he does, what are the things he brings from the film room and the meeting room to practice every day and practice to the game. How does he prepare for opponents in terms of what he’s looking for and studying? How does he approach the day to day? I think it would be a great experience for Haskins to be around Eli. I don’t know if he would or wouldn’t be a great mentor, kind of like Alex Smith was for Mahomes, but even if he was resistant to it and just wasn’t helpful, even if Haskins could just see how he prepares and watches him, that would be a benefit, too.
“Now, if Eli gets injured, if Eli is not playing well, then at some point do you insert Haskins? Yeah. You draft a quarterback in the first round, he’s gonna wind up starting some games in Year 1. I think that would be the case. I would probably guess Haskins wound end up being the backup initially and then they would go on from there.”