Draft experts who closely monitor the National Football League have been coalescing around a prediction regarding how the New York Giants will likely use the 2018 second-overall pick. Both Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. believe that UCLA quaterback Josh Rosen will be brought to the Big Apple.
Rosen, who was a top-rated recruit based on his high school days, has started for the UCLA Bruins for three seasons. He announced at the start of this year that he would not be returning to school for his senior year.
Although he missed most of his sophomore season due to injury, Rosen’s tenure at UCLA has generally been seen as successful. Over 11 games during the 2017 season, Rosen racked up a 147.0 passer rating, 3,756 yards, and 26 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions. However, the Bruins finished the year with a disappointing 6-7 record.
Interestingly, the two ESPN experts forecast Rosen to go to the Giants in the second slot despite the fact that Kiper Jr. believes another quarterback will go before him. Like some other observers, Kiper Jr. predicts that the Cleveland Browns will take USC’s Sam Darnold with the first overall pick.
Selecting Rosen will generate both excitement and controversy among Giants fans.
With incumbent quarterback Eli Manning entering his 15th season at 37 years of age, few would argue that drafting his potential replacement is problematic. However, it is not clear if New York’s front office, coaching staff, players, or fans are in unison regarding when it would be possible for Rosen to take the reigns.
Just this past season, which was an unmitigated disaster for the Giants on all fronts, head coach Ben McAdoo controversially ended Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive games started at the quarterback position. While the two-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player had been playing poorly, many New Yorkers were nevertheless incensed by the decision. Several days later, McAdoo was fired, and Manning returned to the starting spot.
While many did not agree with the decision to replace Manning with Geno Smith, it could be a different story with Rosen depending on how effective he might look during training camp.
New general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur likely have difficult decisions ahead of them. First, they must decide if they will indeed draft Rosen. Then, they have to determine whether the rookie will have an opportunity to compete for the starting spot.