The widespread assumption around the league is that the Browns will pick a quarterback first overall.
But because no one’s quite clear what the Giants will do, it’s hard to get a clean read on the rest of the draft or the order quarterbacks might come off the board. While they have a quarterback they trust for the moment in Eli Manning, the opportunity to add an heir might be something they can’t pass up.
Mara was quick to add that’s not necessarily an indication of intent.
“Believe me when I tell you I don’t know if we’re taking a quarterback or not,” Mara said. “We’re very early on in the process. You could give me eight different scenarios and I would tell you that [each] is a possibility.”
If they stay put at No. 2, the Giants could add a player such as Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and give Manning a backfield threat to complement Odell Beckham. Or since General Manager Dave Gettleman missed on free agent guard Andrew Norwell, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson’s a possibility. Or because so many teams want a quarterback and the Jets have already traded up to third to make sure they get a better grade of player, the Giants could also be in the market for a deal (Buffalo had already called, even before the Jets traded up with the Colts).
“The way I look at that, if we wanted to do that is: Tell me who we’re going to get with these other picks and compare it with the person we could have gotten with the second pick and then let’s see which scenario is going to make us better,” Mara said of a possible trade. “It’s an opportunity for us to get a lot better.
“To be able to pick at the top of each of these rounds and particularly with the amount of quality at the top of this draft, it gives us a chance to do something . . . They’re all important picks, but the No. 2 pick in the draft is an important pick that can have a huge effect on the future of this franchise. So you have to make the right decision.”
And if that decision is sitting tight and adding a quarterback who will start the clock ticking on Manning, that doesn’t sound like anything Mara is opposed to.