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Brian Daboll evaluates quarterbacks 'from every draft, from top to bottom'


ORLANDO, Fla. – Among the long list of reasons why Brian Daboll is enamored with football is one task he performs largely out of the spotlight.

"I love evaluating quarterbacks," Daboll said today. "I love meeting with the quarterbacks. It's an awesome position to work with, and it's a really fun position to evaluate."

Daboll can continue to pursue that assignment for the next month. The NFL draft begins on April 25, and several excellent and high-profile quarterbacks are expected to be selected high in the first round. USC's Caleb Williams, LSU's Jayden Daniels – the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner – and North Carolina's Drake Maye could be the first three players selected. Michigan's J.J. McCarthy seems to be rising up some draft boards.

The Giants, who have incumbent Daniel Jones rehabilitating a surgically repaired torn ACL and recently signed veteran Drew Lock, have the sixth pick in the first round. Team president John Mara yesterday said if general manager Joe Schoen and Daboll, "fall in love with a quarterback and believe that it's worth pick number six and we're moving up, I certainly would support that."

Daboll would consider that scenario.

"We're going to try to draft the best player that we can draft at six or higher or lower," Daboll said during a news conference at the NFL owners meeting. "There's a lot of work that needs to be done. With that process, the draft process, I think Joe handles that process excellent. It's a collaboration, and there are position coaches going out to see workouts and coordinators going out. There's a lot of give-and-take. I have all the confidence in the world in Joe and his staff and the decision we make, we all lock arms. Whoever that guy is, that's our guy."

For now, the Giants' guy remains Jones. Schoen said yesterday Jones has begun "running on land." The Giants hope he will participate in training camp and be ready for the start of the season.

Jones threw only two touchdown passes in the six games he played last season. Daboll was asked if Jones' injury history or his performance has changed the coach's "outlook" on him.

"No," Daboll said. "None of us did well enough last year, and that starts with me, and I said this last year, too – one year has nothing to do with the next year. One year we went to the playoffs, and the next year we didn't. That really has nothing to do with the next year either. It's all about starting over and having an entire new team, new coaching staff, new team, new support staff, and getting ready and building a foundation for the 2024 season."

That could include adding a quarterback with the sixth pick in the draft – ironically, exactly where the Giants secured Jones five years ago. Daboll will make his customary deep dive into the quarterbacks to compile as much information as he can about them.

"I would say every year, either that I've been a coordinator or a head coach, I evaluate quarterbacks from every draft, from top to bottom," he said. "You never know when they're going to be available. It's such a premium position since the draft a few years ago versus a draft the other year. There's really been, since 2000, 13 quarterbacks that have won a Super Bowl. That's it. Seven of them were Tom (Brady), and three of them were Pat (Mahomes), and two of them were Eli (Manning), and two were Peyton (Manning), and two of them were Ben (Roethlisberger), and I think (eight) others have won it the other times.

"It's a premium position, obviously. It takes a long time to evaluate. You have to put a lot of work into it. You just don't watch a cut-up of – it's an all-encompassing process. I've done that every year…I've coached quarterbacks, been a coordinator, been a head coach. This will be no different, but it is time-consuming. I love doing it because, again, two years from now or three years from now, whenever it may be, who knows if those quarterbacks are going to be out there. The last few years it seems like there's a bunch of them."

Some teams immediately insert newly drafted quarterbacks into the starting lineup. Other franchises let them learn behind a veteran for at least a season. Mahomes played one game his rookie season. The Green Bay Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers when they still had Hall of Famer Brett Favre and Jordan Love while Rodgers was still in his prime. Rodgers played in seven games his first three seasons and Love in 10 in his first two years before they became starters.

Is that the best way to optimize the potential of a young quarterback?

"I think it just depends where you are at and who you have," Daboll said "Obviously, if you can have two quarterbacks or three quarterbacks in 30 years or whatever it is, it certainly seems ideal to me. You have Brett and you have Aaron. Sign me up for that if you can have three quarterbacks in 30 years."

Daboll declined to discuss specifics about the quarterbacks available in next month's draft.

"I've had an opportunity to meet a fair amount of players, not just quarterbacks, but defensive players, offensive players," he said. "I've been impressed with the people that we've met, whether it be at the combine or whether it's visits here. We've got a lot of work to do on people. We'll be at some pro days here shortly. A lot of work that needs to be done."

View photos of the newest members of the Giants touring the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the first time.

Daboll discussed several other subjects in his first public comments of the offseason.

*On acquiring outstanding pass rusher Brian Burns in a trade with the Carolina Panthers:

"A great person," Daboll said. "Productive player. Young player. I'm happy that Joe ended up getting that deal done. I know Shane is as well and Charlie (Bullen), our new outside linebacker coach. Had a chance to meet Burns when he came up and signed, and he's a good man. It will be good to get him in and get him working and introduced to our program and our values and things that we believe in. I credit really Joe. Joe did an outstanding job."

*On whether he needs to tone down his sometimes-fiery sideline demeanor:

"Every year there's a self-evaluation process that goes on, whether I was a position coach, coordinator, or in this case a head coach," Daboll said. "I'm a very passionate person but yeah, there's times I wish I had handled things a little bit differently, certainly. So you continue to grow, you continue to evolve and that's what I try to do every year."

*On what else he is examining when evaluating himself:

"You look at scheduling processes, training camp, how you practice in OTAs, the structure of the meetings, leadership stuff, stuff you do every year," Daboll said. "I did it after the first year. I'll do it after this year. I did it after I was a receiver coach, coordinator. I think that's really important. You have to grow in this business and learn from some of your mistakes and how to build on some of the things you think you did well and do it with an open mind.

"It's all-encompassing. This is a position that's a little bit different than when you're a coordinator. Now you're a head coach. I lean on a lot of guys on the staff, and we have good relationships with the players. There are a lot of things that you look at in the offseason to self-improve, to help the team improve whether it's the offense, defense or special teams. That's what I try to do."

*On new running back Devin Singletary and the perception he is replacing Saquon Barkley.

"Motor is a pro," Daboll said, using Singletary's nickname. They previously worked together in Buffalo. "He knows he only has to be Motor. He's smart. He's tough. I thought he was productive. I think he's been productive since he's played. Really excellent teammate. We're happy to have him. I got to see him the other day when he came in. It was good to see him. I know he's ready to work."

*On where recently signed offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor will play if Evan Neal remains at right tackle:

"I would say we have not even had a chance to sit down with any of the players," Daboll said. "Role-specific or where guys are going to be, we're a little bit away from that. The first people that we would kind of talk to are the players collectively when everybody is in the room. When they get back, we'll sit down and have discussions. You know how it goes with the offensive line. You play a variety of roles. He's got some flexibility. (Guard) Jon (Runyan Jr.) has it on both sides. We'll get to that point. We're not there yet relative to this is what it's going to be, or this is – we still have a way to go."

*On whether he feels more pressure to win after the six-win 2023 season:

"I would say that John (Mara) and I talk almost daily, as does Joe." Daboll said. "We have really good communication. I would say that I'm very passionate, passionate about winning, passionate about our organization, passionate about our team. When we lose, I'm very passionate. My focus is always what can I do better, how can I be a better coach, how can I be a better leader? I don't necessarily focus on that. From being a coach for 28 years and 24 in the National Football League there are not many situations I haven't seen or encountered. I try to do the best job I can. I try to improve, focus on the things I can focus on to be the best version of myself to help the team, help the players, help the coaches, and do everything I can do to help us win. That's the joy I get out of it is winning football games. That's why we all do this."

View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2024 cycle.


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