Shurmur On Finding Manning's Successor: 'Sooner Better Than Later'

Matt Citak
March 26, 2019 - 3:37 pm
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The Giants have been one of the most talked about teams in the NFL this offseason.

From the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the team's continued committment to veteran QB Eli Manning, Big Blue has seemingly been at the center of the league's attention.

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters at the NFL Owners' Meetings Tuesday, touching on a variety of topics.

Despite many Giants fans disliking the trade of Beckham to Cleveland, the head coach was unwavering with his support of the deal.

"We certainly talked a lot about it. I'm on board," Shurmur said from Phoenix Tuesday. "I really believe that we have a plan and a way that we want to make our team better, and we feel like this trade is something that will help us do that. 

"I'm not disappointed. It's a business. The narrative is not that we wanted to get rid of Odell. We traded Odell and we got value. There are many things I admire about Odell and I wish him the best."

New York received a first round pick (No. 17), third round pick (No. 95) and safety Jabrill Peppers in exchange for the star wide receiver.

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While many across the country thought the trade heavily favored the Browns, the 53-year-old head coach believes the deal was truly a win-win for both teams.

"I really believe we got good value in return," Shurmur said. "I'm one of those that believe trades can be best for both parties. We sent them an oustanding player and we got good value in return."

The trade gives New York two selections in the first round of next month's NFL Draft, No. 6 and No. 17. 

Plenty of Big Blue fans are clamoring for the team to finally find the heir apparent to Eli Manning at quarterback, and after passing on last year's crop of rookie quarterbacks, the team is in a great position to draft one of the top signal-callers at No. 6.

Not so fast...

Despite finding themselves towards the top of the draft for the second year in a row, Shurmur indicated the Giants may not necessarily look to draft a quarterback with their first pick.

"We obviously discuss everything and we know where our needs are, but we also want to look at the (draft) board," said New York's second-year head coach. "When you are presented with a pick, you want the best player on the board at that time. If they do fill a need, that's ideal." 

Considering the amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball in this year's draft, Shurmur's comments seem to hint at the team passing on a QB at No. 6.

Even if the team is leaning towards taking a pass rusher or another defensive stud with their first pick, the head coach did state that Big Blue will be looking to add a young quarterback soon.

"There is going to be another quarterback playing for the Giants at some point, sooner better than later," Shurmur said. "But we have things we want to get done with our roster. We believe in Eli, and we'll just see where it takes us."

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The Giants have been upfront about their desire to find Manning's eventual replacement, as GM Dave Gettleman talked about the "Kansas City Model" last month as the best way to prepare a young quarterback for the NFL. Gettleman was referencing the Chiefs drafting Patrick Mahomes in the first round while keeping Alex Smith for a year as their starter.

This process would not be new for the Giants, as Manning learned under veteran QB Kurt Warner before eventually taking over the starting role midway through his rookie season.

While New York is not facing the same exact situation now as it did in 2004, Shurmur did admit that a rookie quarterback could learn a lot from sitting behind the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

"I certainly believe that Eli does everything the right way behind the scenes, and I certainly believe that is something a young quarterback can (gain) value from seeing," the head coach said. "That's part of Eli's charm- how well he works, how well he prepares, how professional he is about his job...

"If we add a new player, it's not Eli's job to train him. It's Eli's job to be the best Eli he can be. It's the player's job to recognize that's a great example and take advantage of that."

The 2019 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 25 in Nashville, Tennessee.