The Giants have selected Cal QB Davis Webb in Round 3:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – It's very likely that no one in the NFL is better suited to coach Davis Webb than Ben McAdoo.
On Friday night, the Giants selected Webb in the third round of the NFL Draft, the 87th overall selection, which is later than he would have preferred to go. Webb played last season at the University of California, and will begin his NFL career learning behind a Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Eli Manning.
In 2006, McAdoo joined the Green Bay Packers as an assistant coach. He soon bonded with Aaron Rodgers – another quarterback from Cal who fell in the draft (famously, to No. 24 in the first round), and started his career backing up a premier, title-winning veteran (Brett Favre).
This is not to suggest that Webb will become another Aaron Rodgers, or one day succeed Manning, who is 36. But he is a quarterback the Giants are excited to have.
"Davis Webb, big man with a chip on his shoulder," McAdoo said. "He's a gym rat, coach's son, excited to plug him into quarterback school and hit the ground running.
"He lost a job early in his (college) career, sitting there probably a little bit too long in this draft … I thought he would drafted earlier, yes."
"We thought that he had the best arm in the draft this year, really a gifted arm, thrower," general manager Jerry Reese said. "For a tall guy, he is a good athlete. He can be off schedule and buy some time with his legs, so there are a lot of things that we liked about him. We think that he will have time. Eli has however much time that he has left, two or three years left in his contract or however long he plays. We think that this guy has a high ceiling that can come in here and develop behind him and learn the pro game and challenge and compete, and create competition at the quarterback position."
Reese believes Manning has plenty of good football ahead of him and that the young quarterback will benefit from having the chance to develop and learn from Manning.
"That is what the whole premise is – that this guy can sit behind Eli for a couple of years, two or three years or however long it takes," Reese said. "Let me get this straight, guys. We hope that Eli plays for a long time for us. Eli is our quarterback and we still think that he can play at a high level, but we do know that he is not going to play forever, so we are trying to make the best decision as we move forward for the rest of Eli's career."
That's fine with Webb, who proved to be a company man in his introductory conference call.
"I don't know what my role is on the team yet," Webb said. "Obviously, Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP, so he is one of the best and a Hall of Fame quarterback. So I am just excited to be in the same quarterback room as him and we will see what happens. I am just trying to be a great teammate first, be prepared from a week-to-week standpoint as a quarterback because I have a long way to go."
Webb also sidestepped a question about whether he was disappointed to wait so long before being selected.
"Yeah, the NFL Draft is a little weird," he said. "You really can't predict it, so anything can happen. But I am just glad that I ended up at such a great organization and so many great players on the Giants team and obviously great coaches. I am just looking forward to being a great teammate and being a prepared quarterback."
That, he has always been. His father, Matt, is the head coach at Centennial High School in Frisco, Texas. Davis played at nearby Prosper High School. He began his college career at Texas Tech, where he earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sports science, but lost the quarterback job to Pat Mahomes – who was selected 10th overall by the Kanas City Chiefs, who traded up to get him. So Webb left Texas Tech and played last season as a graduate transfer at the University of California.
In his 35-game college career, he completed 841 of 1,367 passes (62.3%) for 9,852 yards, 83 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. In 12 games last season, he had career-high totals of 620 passes, 382 completions, 4,295 yards and 37 touchdown passes.
"He's a big guy with a live arm," said Marc Ross, the Giants' vice president of player evaluation. "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."
"He was the highest player on our board," McAdoo said. "We had a high grade on him, we felt that there was good value for the pick and we're confident that he's going to come in and develop."
The formula worked for Aaron Rodgers. Maybe one of his successors will follow a similar career path.