At what point is there cause for concern regarding Davis Webb? I recognize the only way Webb was ever going to start this year would be if the iron man himself got hurt. Having said that, I just can’t shake this feeling that the organization hasn’t seen enough from Davis Webb to feel comfortable putting him on the field.
Now, the Giants clearly entered the 2017 season with no intention of developing Davis Webb. At the time, did any fans really care about Webb’s development? The Giants were coming off a 11 win season and added Brandon Marshall to their offense. Davis Webb was a 2018 problem.
However, the Giants season was over before Halloween. Yet, the Giants still never considered giving Webb a chance to play. He has yet to take any meaningful snaps in practice and has been inactive all season. Even when the organization benched Eli Manning, it was Geno Smith who started with Eli active as the #2 quarterback. Webb continued to crush his role as clipboard holder for the twelfth game in a row.
The Giants lack of trust to start Davis Webb got me thinking. In recent draft history (2010 – 2015), are there any quarterbacks drafted in rounds three or four who received no starts in their rookie year and went on to become a consistent starting quarterback? The short answer, is no.
Quarterbacks Who Started As Rookies
Only rookie stats are shown
2010 – Rd 3 – Colt McCoy – 7 starts – 60.8% – 6:9 TD:INT – 7.1 Y/A
2012 – Rd 3 – Russell Wilson – 16 starts – 64.1% – 26:10 TD:INT – 7.93 Y/A
2012 – Rd 3 – Nick Foles – 6 starts – 60.8% – 6:5 TD:INT – 6.4 Y/A
2012 – Rd 4 – Kirk Cousins – 1 start – 68.8% – 4-3 TD:INT – 9.7 Y/A
2013 Rd 3 – Mike Glennon – 13 starts – 59.4% – 19-9 TD:INT – 6.3 Y/A
Quarterbacks Who Did Not Start As Rookies
2010 – Rd 4 – Mike Kafka
2011 – Rd 3 – Ryan Mallett
2013 – Rd 4 – Matt Barkley
2013 – Rd 4 – Ryan Nassib
2013 – Rd 4 – Tyler Wilson
2013 – Rd 4 – Landry Jones
2014 – Rd 4 – Logan Thomas
2014 – Rd 4 – Tom Savage
2015 – Rd 3 – Garrett Grayson
2015 – Rd 3 – Sean Mannion
2015 – Rd 4 – Bryce Petty
The long answer is obviously complex. The five quarterbacks who started at least one game have either gone on to have successful careers as starters (Wilson, Cousins and Foles for one year) or become fringe starters and valuable back-ups (McCoy and Glennon).
Among the quarterbacks who never started a game as a rookie, none have come close to matching the success of the five quarterbacks who started their rookie season. It’s conceivable that only a lack of opportunity is holding them back, or they could just be truly terrible at one of the hardest positions to play in professional sports. The answer is a likely a blend of both.
It’s hard not to compare these lists and think the ones that did start did so because they impressed their coaching staff enough with their preparation and work from Monday to Saturday. Yes, one of the best things that happened to their careers was that the guy playing in front of them stunk. But, I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that three of them have had success as a starter and one convinced an organization to pay him 18.5 million guaranteed last offseason.
It’s unfair to assume Davis Webb’s career will follow the same path as other quarterbacks taken in the middle of the draft who never started as a rookie. Right now it’s hard to imagine he will convince a team to give him a meaningful chance. I hope I’m wrong and he’s more of a Cousins and less of a Petty.