With the 23rd pick in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected 6’5”, 229-pound quarterback Davis Webb from the University of California.
SCOUTING REPORT: Webb has the tools. He has ideal size and a very strong arm. He can move around the pocket, but he is not a scrambler. Webb throws a nice deep ball and can wing it through tight windows. But he is a project who needs a lot of technique work and more experience in reading defenses given that he comes from collegiate spread offense. He can be streaky with his accuracy and his decision-making has been questioned despite his intelligence. Webb is a very smart, hard working quarterback who loves the game and who is dedicated to getting better.
SY’56’s Take: “His size and easy throwing motion can get you excited, but he has a ways to go in terms of progression and learning. Webb is a couple years away and will have to spend a lot of time correcting elements such as a footwork, lower body mechanics, and reading a defense, among other things. Possible starter down the road, but more likely a backup… Webb is a hot name with some of the people I get to talk with…and others think he won’t ever be a starter. Nobody denies the talent, but he has a ways to go. I’ve watched every game of his from 2016 and he does the same things week in and week out that bother me. He has to completely change his game and while I think it is possible, it’s simply unlikely.”
MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)
Reese: Davis Webb, quarterback, Cal. A third round selection. He was very productive in that offense, like a lot of quarterbacks are. We thought that he had the best arm in the draft this year, really a gifted arm, thrower. 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 – like we said earlier, 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. I will take any questions.
Q: What are the challenges of using a high draft pick on a player that is probably not going to play for a couple of years?
A: Well, you never know when a quarterback is going to help. Obviously, we would like for him to have a couple years to be the caddie and learn the pro game and all the nuances of playing quarterback in these league, but he has all of the tools to play the quarterback, and we think that he has a high ceiling and hopefully he can sit on the sideline, hold a clipboard and learn the game.
Q: When you drafted Ryan Nassib, I think you said that you hope he never plays. Is it different with (Webb)?
A: We hope that Eli continues to play at a high level and this guy can develop. That is what we hope for. You never know what is going to happen, but that is what we hope for.
Q: Did you have a first round grade on Davis Webb?
A: We had a good grade on him. I am not going to talk about which round we had him. We had a good grade on him.
Q: How surprised were you that he was sitting there in the third round?
A: I am not surprised by anything in the draft anymore. It is hard to surprise me in the draft. But we liked him, we had him rated high and we think that he has a top skillset to play this position in the National Football League.
Q: Do you feel like you have an advantage in taking this guy and knowing that he has a chance to develop in the next couple of years?
A: Well, we hope so. 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. 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.
Q: What type of franchise quarterback qualities did you see in Davis Webb?
A: Here is the thing. First of all, he has a big arm. He has one of those wintertime arms, he can throw it in the wind, so again, we thought that he had the best arm talent in the draft this year and this guy is football all the time. You have to be that kind of guy in this league. You can’t half do it up here and play at a high level in the National Football League. This guy is a son of a coach, football all of the time and he has the quarterback profile that we like.
Q: What was the process like with him? Did you see him or meet him?
A: We didn’t bring him in here or anything like that, but we spent some time with him at the combine.
Q: Nobody went to work him out?
A: We did not.
Q: How does this work out for the rest of the roster? You have five quarterbacks now.
A: Well, again, we are just going to create as much competition at every position as we can and that will take care of itself as we move towards training camp and we will see where it goes.
Q: Did you sit with Eli at some point and let him know that you were thinking of bringing in a quarterback to develop?
A: Eli understands the process. Eli is a very smart guy and he understands the process. He knows that he is not going to play forever. He knows that it is our job to prepare for when he has finished his career here, so he understands that. It is nothing that we had to talk to him about.
Q: Did you talk to him after you drafted the quarterback?
A: We didn’t have any conversation with Eli before we drafted, but we draft a quarterback and we are going to let our quarterback know that we are drafting a quarterback, of course.
Q: Is there any concern that you are coming out of the draft without picking an offensive lineman?
A: Well, there are a lot of picks left and we will keep trying to fix the roster and add to the roster as we move through the rest of the draft. We have more picks to take.
Q: When you made the first few picks, did you have to talk about if you had to take Webb at that point?
A: You never know where guys are going to go. We stay true to our board. The big defensive tackle was there and we picked him and this guy was the next guy on our board and we picked him.
MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)
Q: What do you like about him?
A: He’s a big guy with a live arm. 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.
Q: What happened when he was at Texas Tech?
A: He was coming off of a couple injuries. He started there. Texas Tech had a lot of guys that transferred out of there. A kid went to Virginia Tech, a kid that is at Oklahoma now. Davis kind of beat them out. He was competing against Mahomes. Coming off an injury, Mahomes had a leg up. He just kind of beat him out at that point.
Q: Did you get to see him at his pro day?
A: Yes. Saw him at the Senior Bowl, saw him at the Combine. We’ve been tracking him all year. Our area scouts were really excited about him early in the year because of the transfer and guys that are out west. Really fired up about him from that point on.
Q: What does it say about his resiliency as a player that he could lose his job at a major program at Texas Tech and then go right to another one like Cal?
A: This guy is a football player. Son of a coach, tough guy. Obviously disappointed. I’m sure he’s disappointed right now that he wasn’t a higher pick. That’s what you love in a quarterback. Guys that can bounce back and have fortitude to persevere. That’s what you need. We think he has that.
Q: Is the process of picking a quarterback different than from other positions?
A: It’s more of a lightning rod type of pick as opposed to picking a DT or corner and stuff like that. A quarterback has all these innuendos and questions about why you’re taking him and what you’re going to do with him. It’s the most important position in sports, so of course it’s going to get the most attention.
Q: Did you have any contact besides the Senior Bowl and the Combine?
A: Yes, we met with him in the fall, our area scout met with him. Senior Bowl, we met with him. Combine, we met with him. We kind of kept an eye on him. I’m surprised he was still around at this point. I thought he would go higher.
Q: Why do you think he fell?
A: That’s a good question. I think it was the system that he played in, a little bit of the inaccuracy that he had. Each team evaluates quarterbacks in a different way.
Q: One of the scout criticisms was his deep ball can be a little inaccurate. Is that something that when you have a coach like McAdoo and a couple of years, you feel like you can work out?
A: We’re hoping this guy can develop his skills. You have a guy like this in the situation we have now, we’re hoping he doesn’t have to come in right away and be the guy and get thrown into the fire. He can work on his skills.
Q: Were some of those concerns on why he fell not as much of a concern to you guys?
A: Yes. Obviously, it gives you a little bit of a cushion and some breathing room. You saw what happened in the first round, teams trading up everything to get those guys. We feel we have a fairly equal talent at the bottom of the third compared to some of the guys that went pretty high.
Q: Ben McAdoo hasn’t even met Davis in person. You take that as he trusts the board and scouting. Does that speak to how this process played out?
A: You learn from Philly down there. The Sixers. Trust the process. No, I think we work hand in hand really well together. The coaching staff, scouting staff and ownership. Frankly, I try and put Ben in touch with guys that I think we really have a chance to get. Again, I did not think at this point Davis would be one of those players. I thought he would be gone at this point. He’s watched the tape, the quarterback coach has communicated with Davis, our scouts have been in touch with him and talked to him at various points throughout the year. He’s just one of the guys that wasn’t a priority to Ben to meet because there are only so many guys you can meet with.
Q: So the lack of contact wasn’t because you were playing coy, but that you didn’t think it was realistic?
A: I don’t know. No, a little bit of both. You try and mix it as a little bit of both. You want to do your research and dig but still not be too obvious about what you want to do.
Q: Were you going to take a quarterback in this draft no matter what?
A: No, not necessarily. If there was a guy at the right time and was the right guy, we were going to take him.
Q: Does he draw comparisons to any other QB’s?
MEDIA Q&A WITH HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO: (Video)
Davis Webb, big man with a chip on his shoulder. He’s a gym rat, coach’s son, excited to plug him into quarterback school and hit the ground running.
Q: Ben, where does he slide into your depth chart right now?
A: He’s a young guy, he needs to come in and see how he does, throw him into the mix and let him compete.
Q: What do you like about him? What stands out?
A: I think he’s a big man, he’s a fluid mover, he’s a pocket passer but he’s not necessarily a statue back there. He can move around and has some good rhythm in the body.
Q: Why does he have a chip on his shoulder?
A: He lost a job early in his career, sitting there probably a little bit too long in this draft.
Q: You thought he would be drafted earlier?
A: I thought he would drafted earlier, yes.
Q: 1st round?
A: We had him graded fairly high.
Q: Ben, Jerry said you guys called Eli and told him what you guys were doing. Obviously that’s not something you do with other positions. How closely will you monitor how the players react to this?
A: Not at all.
Q: What was Eli’s reaction?
A: I didn’t talk to Eli.
Q: Do you feel like the offense that you run might be a friendlier transition for someone coming out of an offense like Texas Tech or Cal?
A: I think every case is different. You take it on a case-by-case basis and we find out when we get them in the building.
Q: Was there a point where you were sold on him? [inaudible]
A: Again, we liked the way he works, we like the way he leads, he’s a positive player, did a nice job at the Senior Bowl, that helped his cause.
Q: Does his performances remind you of another quarterback?
A: There are a couple guys out there, but I don’t want to do that to him.
Q: For you personally, your only one-on-one time with him when you were in the room with him was at the combine?
A: My evaluation was based on film study.
Q: Does he fit into the offense in the way that Eli does? Obviously not experience wise, but is he a different kind of athlete?
A: Pocket passer. Again, he’s a fluid mover back there. He can move in the pocket and extend plays. He can do some creating. Like I said, he’s not a statue back there.
Q: You have not met him before?
A: I have not met him.
Q: Is there extra gravity brought on by taking a quarterback, especially given the importance of the position?
A: That’s a dramatic question, I’m not sure what you’re asking.
Q: This is an important decision, I would assume, as a head coach and a franchise, potentially bringing in the quarterback of the future.
A: He was the highest player on our board, 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.
Q: Usually when you take a guy in the 3rd round, you expect him to play somewhere, special teams, start, rotation, you don’t expect this guy to play at all.
A: He’s not going to be covering kicks for us.
Q: How do you weigh that? You get a guy in the third round and say look he might sit for two years.
A: Well, you have to trust. There’s a lot of work that goes into it, whether it’s scouts, Marc Ross, the coaches evaluate, the coordinators evaluate, Jerry and I evaluate. You have to trust the process.
Q: This is a guy you said you thought would be gone at this point. As the Draft is unfolding, are you thinking in the back of your mind, hoping that he’s going to last?
A: Hoping doesn’t work, I tried it. It doesn’t work real well, so you just let it play out, take it pick by pick and when you have someone sitting up there that you graded up there and they’re the highest guy on the board, you’re confident that you did your homework and it’s going to pay off.
Q: What character traits have you been able to identify with him that make him the potential franchise quarterback?
A: You can see he’s a persistent guy, he’s a hard worker, the game is important to him. Like I said off the bat, he’s a gym rat, he’s a coach’s son and grew up in the game and that helps. He’s going to have to have thick skin like they all do. Let’s get him here and let’s get him a playbook and a helmet.
Q: He was the highest player on your board in the 3rd round?
A: When we made our pick he was the highest player.
Q: Was he close to being the highest rated player in the second round?
A: That’s a long way back.
Q: Did you have a set idea as to what milestones you want him to reach at a certain point or do you let him develop organically?
A: Reps are tough to come by, that’s a big part of the offseason and the way things are with the new CBA. Reps are tough to come by, but they call it development for a reason. It takes different guys different speeds to get you to where you want him to go. We just need to get him in and throw as much at him as quickly as possible and see how he handles it.
Q: You said you haven’t met him in person, was that by design?
A: No, there’s only so much ground you can cover.
Q: How big a benefit do you think it is for a quarterback to come into the league and sit for a couple years?
A: I think it’s huge. I think it’s tough to come into the league and be a number two. I don’t think there are very many guys, even in this draft, that can come in and be a number two quarterback. I think it’s challenging, it’s asking an awful lot. It’s a different game and it’s a challenge. It’s a benefit to be able to sit behind especially a veteran quarterback and learn. It goes a long way.
Q: You think for developmental purposes it’s better for a quarterback to get in the game right away or sit?
A: Case by case, it’s different. Every guy is different, but I do think it helps.
Q: You say you never met him, but did you talk to him tonight?
Q: What was that conversation like?
A: He’s pretty excited.
A: Pretty excited.
Q: Do you have to strike a balance? I mean people are going to want to see this guy play at some point and you still have Eli. Is that going to be [inaudible]
A: Doesn’t matter.
MEDIA Q&A WITH DAVIS WEBB:
Q: What was your reaction when you got the call that you were coming to the Giants?
A: I was ecstatic. I was very fortunate to be selected by such a great organization and great coaches and Coach McAdoo and I am just very thankful for the Giants organization picking me up today and I am ready to get to work.
Q: Ben (McAdoo) said that he was surprised that you were on the board this late. Were you surprised by that, too?
A: Yeah, the NFL Draft is a little weird. 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.
Q: They have obviously made it clear that Eli Manning is the starter here. They view you as someone who can potentially take the reins. Is that a role that you are comfortable with?
A: I don’t know what my role is on the team yet. 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.
Q: What was this process like for you in the last two days?
A: It was all over the place. My emotions were very high and very low, but again, I have had so many great people help me out the past couple days and past 22 years of my life to always stay even-keeled and control what you can control and commit to those controllables and that is what I did tonight and yesterday. It was out of my control and I was just looking forward to seeing who would pick me up and obviously the great organization New York Giants and there are so many good players of the team, so I am just excited and looking forward to heading up to New York very soon.
Q: What is your relationship like with Patrick Mahomes?
A: Yeah, Patrick Mahomes and I are very close friends. Obviously we were together at Texas Tech and we have kind of stayed in touch ever since then. So it was cool to go through the draft process with him and I am looking forward to seeing how he does in Kansas City with the Chiefs organization and obviously I will be rooting for him.
Q: Do you come into this process setting milestones for yourself or do you plan to develop organically?
A: I am not sure. I am a very goal oriented type person, but at the same time, I don’t know what my role is yet. I am just a third round draft pick tonight and I am looking forward to being a great teammate first and being a hard worker because those are the two things that I can control and I look forward to doing those two things first.
Q: You mentioned there are a lot of things you can get better on. Is there anything particular that you identified as something you want to work on right away?
A: Yeah, I have brand new coaches so I am excited to see what we can continue to develop and get better at. Obviously I think that one thing I need to work on is being more efficient mechanically. Coming from a spread type system in college and going to the NFL, obviously every college quarterback needs to develop into an NFL type quarterback, so I am just looking forward to that development and working hard at it.
Q: Is there any disappointment that you are not coming to a team where you are going to compete for a starting job right away?
A: Not at all. I am just excited to be a part of a great organization. I commit to the controllables, and the Giants thought enough of me to pick me tonight and I am just very thankful for the opportunity and I am looking forward to meeting teammates and getting in the playbook and being in the weight room and just develop relationships and be a great quarterback.
Q: When was the last time you were in New York?
A: It was a couple weeks ago. I visited the Jets, so that was the last time that I was in the area.
Q: What do you see as your greatest strengths as a quarterback?
A: I am not sure. I think that I have a couple things that I do a good job at, but at the same time there are so many rooms for improvement in my game. I think that I am a great leader – I was voted a captain at two different schools, so I would say that my leadership qualities are strong. I was a coach’s kid and the only two things that I focus on are being a great teammate and being a hard worker and I think everything else will play itself out.
Q: Was your father a quarterbacks coach?
A: Yes, he was. He is a head coach at Frisco Centennial down in Dallas.
Q: Are you home in Texas right now?
A: Yes, I was home for draft night in Prosper, Texas and I had my family over and a few close friends and we were all very excited when the New York Giants called my name tonight.
Q: You are going to have the luxury of time with the Giants. Do you view that as beneficial to you?
A: I don’t really know what that question entails. Again, I am very happy right now just to be selected to the NFL. I think that every kid wants this dream to happen, so right now I am thankful for the opportunity and I am looking forward to getting to work and being a good teammate.
Q: When did you get a sense tonight that the Giants were going to take you?
A: Again, I didn’t know which team would take me because there are 32 good ones out there. The New York Giants happened to select me tonight and I am very fired up for them and I am excited to be up there in New York very soon and get to work and learn the new playbook and try to develop into the quarterback that I think I can be.
Q: How much did the Giants come onto your radar during this process?
A: They were definitely on the radar. There were a lot of teams out there, but I am just very happy that the Giants selected me tonight and I am looking forward to getting up there.
Q: Did you talk to Coach McAdoo earlier and if so, what did he have to say?
A: Just welcomed me to the team and the organization. I am very blessed by that. I am very thankful to Coach McAdoo and the entire staff and I am looking forward to getting up there.