“We think Eli has some good years left to play for us,” he said, “and we are trying to put good people around him as well. Hopefully, the offense can pick up the pace more than last year.”
The scouting of football players has given rise to a new language. It’s barely intelligible.
Manning is under contract for the next three years. He has been remarkably durable at a position with a high casualty rate. He has started in 211 consecutive games, the third-longest N.F.L. career streak. Brett Favre holds the record with 321 games in a row. Manning’s older brother Peyton started 227 consecutive games.
The Giants are eager to identify a potential successor to Manning fairly soon because they have not forgotten the difficult years that followed Phil Simms’s retirement after the 1993 season. Dave Brown, Kent Graham and Danny Kanell all proved to be incapable of filling the critical position.
That experience, when combined with Reese’s predraft comment, has led many prognosticators to believe the team might select a quarterback either on Friday night, when the second and third rounds of the draft are conducted, or on Saturday, when the draft concludes with Rounds 4 through 7. A strong case could be made for a late-round pick because the coaching staff would have the luxury of time to mold a raw prospect.
Although Manning’s passer rating dipped to 86.0 last season after a career-high 93.6 the year before, the Giants attribute that primarily to shortcomings in his supporting cast. They invested two first-round picks on offensive linemen in the last four years, adding Justin Pugh (2013) and Ereck Flowers (2015). Flowers has not developed at left tackle as well as was hoped and could face a position change.
The Giants signed D.J. Fluker, who can play guard or tackle, this off-season with the hope that he can fulfill his potential. He was considered a disappointment after the San Diego Chargers chose him 11th overall in 2013. Reese is expected to do more in the draft to bolster what has been a troublesome unit.
Tight end remains a priority despite the signing of Rhett Ellison, an excellent blocker. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and the newly signed Brandon Marshall would benefit from a tight end who is a significant pass-catching threat.
The Giants have seven selections, one in each round, and typically emphasize the value they attach to a player on their draft board above need. They are expected to stick with the 23rd selection since Reese has never traded up or down in the opening round.