Webb Goes to Giants in Third Round

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By David Bush, Staff Writer
Posted Apr 29, 2017
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2017 BearInsider.com


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NY Giants QB Davis Webb -ISI Photos
Davis Webb had to wait longer than he and most observers thought he would, but the Cal quarterback finally had his name called by the New York Giants in the third round of the NFL draft Friday night.
Webb, who in his one year in Berkeley set school records for pass attempts (620) and completions and was among the national leaders in most passing categories, had boosted his resume even further since the season ended by earning the MVP award at the Senior Bowl, turning in an excellent performance at the NFL Combine and ignoring rainy conditions to make a series of impressive throws at Cal's Pro Day. That led some draft predictors to believe Webb might sneak into the first round Thursday, or if not then certainly be a high pick in the second.

But three quarterbacks, North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky, Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes (Webb's former teammate) and Clemson's DeShaun Watson all went in the first round and Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer in the second. It was even looking as if Webb could slide into the fourth round on Saturday when the Giants made him the 87th overall selection.

Webb, who after his Pro Day display, said he felt he had "first-round talent", nonetheless sounded upbeat about being chosen where he was. "I definitely believed that (getting drafted in the first round) was going to happen, and I think a lot of other people did too," Webb said in a conference call Friday night. "The NFL draft is kind of a weird night, things fell a little differently, but at the same time I landed in a great spot.

"I'm very excited to be drafted by a great organization like the New York Giants. Very thankful to coach (Ben) McAdoo and his entire staff for believing in me and taking me tonight. It was a wait, but at the same time it was a lot of fun....And I am looking forward to getting back to New York and the Giants organization."

Webb said the Giants had expressed interest in him during the "process", that he had met with them at the combine and been in contact since then.
Similar to Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers 12 years ago, Webb is coming into a situation where he won't be expected to step in right away. Rodgers was a backup to Brett Favre at Green Bay and Webb will be able to study at the feet of Eli Manning, another future Hall of Famer.

"What better person to learn from and being in the same quarterback room?" Webb said. "He has an MVP, Hall of Fame-type career, still playing great football each and every play."

Manning is 36 so he is definitely on the final stages of his career. The Giants obviously drafted Webb with an idea of making him Manning's successor, much as the Packers did with Rodgers.

"We thought he had the best arm in the draft this year, a really gifted arm," Giants GM Jerry Reese told the New York media. "For a tall guy (6-5) he's a good athlete. He can buy some time with his legs, so there are a lot of things we liked about him.

"We think that he will have time.... Eli has however much time left, three years left on his contract and however long he plays. We think this guy has a high ceiling and can come in here and develop behind him and learn the pro game and challenge and compete and create completion at the quarterback position."

But not for the starting job. "We hope Eli plays for a long time," Reese said. "Eli is our quarterback. But we know he is not going to play forever."
Besides Manning the Giants have three other quarterbacks on the roster, Geno Smith, Josh Johnson and Keith Wenning. But Webb, the only one drafted by the Giants, has clearly moved into the number two spot on the depth chart.

Webb built up his impressive collegiate numbers first at Texas Tech and then at Cal running a spread offense, that emphasized passing. NFL teams like the Giants run more balanced attacks and the quarterback is directly behind the center most plays. It will be an adjustment.

"I'm not sure, I haven't played in the NFL yet," Webb said when asked about the transition. "So I don't really know yet. At the same time I feel I'm pretty prepared. I've been around a lot of great coaches in my life, high school and college. At the same time I've got a ways to and I am going to work as hard as I can to reach my potential."

Webb transferred to Cal after graduating from Texas Tech, where he lost the starting job to Mahomes. He said he intends to finish his graduate degree at Cal eventually.

"It's a year and a half program and I'm about one third done," he said. "I'm kind of focused on learning a new playbook right now."
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