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Report: Giants like Darnold but not Rosen

Sam Darnold reportedly won't last past the New York Giants at No. 2. Is that a draft smokescreen or a real scenario?

Two weeks after former UCLA coach Jim Mora suggested that former USC quarterback Sam Darnold would be a better fit for the Browns than former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, the Giants reportedly have decided to follow Mora’s advice.

Matt Lombardo of reports, citing an unnamed NFL talent evaluator, that the Giants would take Darnold if he’s there at No. 2, but that the Giants wouldn’t take Rosen.

“If Darnold is available, they’re taking Darnold,” the unnamed evaluator told Lombardo. “They don’t like Rosen.”

If the Browns take Darnold at No. 1, the Giants would then turn to former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley or former N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb. The Giants reportedly are torn on whether to take Barkley or Chubb, balancing the need for an edge rusher after the trade of Jason Pierre-Paul against their high regard for Barkley.

If accurate, it’s a fascinating peek inside the New York draft board. But like so much of the information that flows from unnamed scouts this time of year, it’s fair to wonder whether someone is trying to push a subtle (or not) agenda. For example, if the Browns would like to explore trading out of the top spot in the draft with a team that wants Darnold, what better way to lure a viable offer than to push the idea that Darnold’s floor is No. 2?

With so much riding on what the Giants do with the pick, the Giants have no reason to leak this information. Unless, of course, someone within the organization wants to avoid drafting a quarterback and hopes to ensure that Darnold will be gone at No. 1, so that the Giants can then choose between Barkley and Chubb.

Indeed, drafting a quarterback with the second overall pick could get very awkward, given the lingering presence of Eli Manning. Appearing last month on PFT Live, Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy suggested that the Giants should choose based on their evaluation, without regard to the question of whether picking a quarterback could set the stage for a clunky transfer of the baton at some point, sooner or later.