2019 NFL Draft: Could the New York Giants trade up for Kyler Murray?

The New York Giants need a quarterback for the future and Kyler Murray is an intriguing fit to their offense. Here’s why Murray in New York would make sense.

As of today, the New York Giants have officially confirmed their intention to keep quarterback Eli Manning on the roster. At 4 pm Monday, New York paid Manning a $5 million roster bonus. That puts Manning on track to be the top earner in career income in National Football League history after 2019, per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. Yes, he will even surpass his future Hall of Fame brother.

This significant payment was six days after the Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr to the Cleveland Browns for the 17th overall pick, the 95th overall pick, and safety Jabrill Peppers. With how fantastic a talent Beckham is, Giants fans have not been happy with the trade. So what could be motivating such a decision by Dave Gettleman?

Allow me to take a shot at Gettleman’s potential plan. Maybe Kyler Murray will be New York’s first selection this coming April.

Well, possibly. Don’t agree? Let me connect the dots.

Gettleman shows his hand

If there’s anything we know about Gettleman, it is that he telegraphs his draft ahead of time. Early last year, Gettleman was adamant that Saquon Barkley was the best player in the draft. So good, he said, that even his “mother could have scouted” Barkley. Gettleman went as far as defending the value of the running back position to an offense.

Eventually, what did he do with that second overall pick last season? He picked Barkley. Gettleman even stated he prioritized getting “hog mollies” for his offensive line and an upgrade to the pass rush. The next three picks were just that in Will Hernandez, Lorenzo Carter and BJ Hill. This year, he maintains quarterback is a priority.

Shurmur likes Murray

So far, New York reportedly thinks Haskins “doesn’t fit” their team, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini. Haskins impressed New York in a meeting during the combine, and they met with Haskins for dinner Tuesday night. They sent a large contingent to his pro day as well, but it does seem that Murray better fits Shurmur’s standards.

Shurmur has watched every snap of Murray’s college tape. Shurmur was adamant that quarterbacks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so height isn’t a limiting factor for him. He wants a QB with mobility to manipulate the pocket.

Both he, offensive coordinator Mike Shula, and vice president of player personnel Chris Mara were in attendance at Murray’s pro day on Oklahoma’s campus. Shurmur and Shula were seen speaking to Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley. Also, Chris Pettit, New York’s Director of College Scouting, was seen meeting face to face with Murray at the same event. New York fans famously know Pettit as the scout that shook Barkley’s hand at last year’s live broadcasted combine.

Add in that Gettleman also watched Murray in person during Oklahoma’s season, and the connection is evident via their interest.

The Beckham trade provides insurance to move up

Old school thinking is apparent in the Giants trade of Beckham. But moving him was rooted in finding a deal to build the future roster. Notice Gettleman went with a deal that moved Beckham out of the conference and to a team New York does not face in 2019. Adding that additional first round pick, a third rounder they did not possess before, and a young safety in Peppers allows the team to build a foundation. While I’m not trying to defend the trade, the move was rooted in building identity and culture. Obtaining another pick in the first round gives them enough currency to move up and ensure selecting Murray potentially, which seems possible given the hype surrounding his draft stock.

Some other tidbits that connect Murray to New York include Gettleman wanting to continue focusing on the run game. This involves an offense that moves Manning into a play action system that leans heavily on Barkley. While they pursued it some last year, Gettleman wants to “win while building”, so they’ll lean on Barkley and let Manning work like his first years in the league. This is especially needed without Beckham and the potential addition of Murray. Again, Shurmur wants a quarterback that can move the pocket and use his legs to extend plays. Jordan Raanan, on the same podcast episode with Russini, speculates that what adds to this lack of interest in Haskins is his lack of mobility.

Team structure seems familiar

Recently, the team signed veteran receiver Golden Tate, who is a quality blocking receiver outside. Tate started his career with the Seattle Seahawks, who also had focused running attack and a quarterback that measured on the shorter side. Russell Wilson is the most frequent pro comparison for Kyler Murray too, and what better way to ensure that a short, yet talented, QB learns the ropes than to mimic the early trajectory of Wilson. Following Wilson’s career allows Murray to use his athleticism as an asset in a backfield that features arguably the NFL’s most talented running back. Not to mention, run-pass options have been all the rage in the last few years. Murray with Barkley would be tremendous for RPO additions to the offense, and the NFL is a copycat league. The Giants couldn’t pull that off with the aging Manning.

Are the top five draft teams really in need of a quarterback?

Connecting the Giants to Murray might seem like a conspiracy theory, but the pick makes sense.  Besides, when you look at the draft, there isn’t a team before them with a realistic reason for picking a QB that doesn’t jeopardize team chemistry or waste draft capital.

Arizona is the frequent suitor of Murray in 2019 NFL mock drafts. But why would general manager Steve Keim draft a QB number one overall, after selecting one in the top ten last season? It’s just a foolish move that indicates a desire to get fans excited, but not for winning. Barring a trade for Josh Rosen, it seems like a smokescreen to entice teams to trade up in the 2019 NFL Draft. The San Francisco 49ers don’t need a quarterback with Jimmy Garoppolo, and the New York Jets have Sam Darnold.

At the fourth pick, the Oakland Raiders stand firm with their first of three first-round picks. However, wouldn’t it make sense to dedicate those three picks to fill the many holes on the roster? Why would they trade for top talent Antonio Brown, who was begging for respect and chemistry with his former QB, to change the situation under center completely? Brown is all over Carr’s social media, so their bond is growing stronger each week. Why disrupt that? Why remove a QB that’s giving Brown what he wants in a leader? Once you realize that Tampa has Jameis Winston, that leaves the Giants sitting pretty with the sixth pick. Moreover, again, with that 17th pick later in the round, they could easily package the picks and move up.

Theories aren’t foolproof but picking Murray isn’t impossible

Sure, there’s a lot of serendipitous things that have to take place, but there have been stranger things that have happened, with even more unknown connections leading to big NFL decisions. Each of the teams before the Giants could select Murray. However, none of them have a glaring need to choose him. Why use premium selections to fill an imaginary void?

Ultimately, who knows what happens come April, and the Giants brass has attended Ohio State’s pro day, reportedly coming away impressed by Haskins with a substantial contingent spending time with him. At the very least, however, they seem keen on Murray. Hey, fans can dream, right? Fans will continue dreaming until a successor is found to replace Manning.

For a complete 2019 NFL Mock Draft by PFN, click here.

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

Related Articles