Giants Draft News: NY Wants 'Best Player on the Board,' Says HC Pat Shurmur

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2019

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur speaks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 36-35. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The New York Giants are sticking to their plan of taking their highest-graded player at this year's NFL draft, according to head coach Pat Shurmur, per NFL Network's Kimberly Jones:

Kimberly Jones @KimJonesSports

Pat Shurmur on picking 6th: #NYG want “best player on the board at that time. If they do fit a need, that’s ideal.” My take: It’s almost certain in this draft that 6th-best player will be a defensive player. We’ll see...

The Giants took that approach last year, selecting running back Saquon Barkley over quarterback Sam Darnold at No. 2 overall. While Barkley was fantastic in his rookie year, Eli Manning wasn't good at quarterback, leaving many Giants fans pining for a new franchise player at the position.

Manning, 38, threw for 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season, completing 66 percent of his passes. But he earned a grade of just 64.3 from Pro Football Focus, 31st in the NFL, and the Giants limped to a 5-11 record. 

It was the team's second consecutive losing season and fifth in the last six years. It's clear the team needs an upgrade at quarterback, and many fans would be pleased to see the Giants target a player such as Oklahoma's Kyler Murray or Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins if either is on the board at No. 6. 

The Giants could also trade up, as New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said Tuesday he'd be willing to move the No. 3 overall pick in a trade, per Brian Costello of the New York Post:

"We're very open to potentially moving back from three. I wouldn't envision us moving up in the draft. I think you can rule that one out. If we end up staying at three and taking a player, we think there are some very good players at three. But we'd definitely be interested if another team came with an offer that we felt was worthy of moving out of the spot. We would definitely consider that. Not to say we’re committed to doing it, but we'd definitely be very intrigued by that."

If the Giants stay put and stick to their "best player" philosophy, however, it's possible a quarterback won't top the list. B/R's Matt Miller has Haskins at No. 13 and Murray at No. 14, and nine of the players before them are defenders. 

And given that the team traded its top pass-rusher this offseason, Olivier Vernon, it wouldn't be shocking to see the Giants take the best edge player available in a draft loaded with talent there. Giants fans may be ready for a post-Eli world, but there's no guarantee the team will go that route in the first round of this year's draft.