Webb threw for 4,295 yards last season as a graduate transfer from Texas Tech and was an honorable mention All-Pacific 12 performer. According to Reese, the Giants believe he possesses the strongest arm in the draft.
“Obviously, we’d like for him to have a couple of years to be the caddy and learn the pro game,” said Reese. “He has all the tools to play quarterback.”
Reese emphasized that there will be no quarterback controversy, at least not for the foreseeable future. “Eli is our quarterback and we still think he can play at a high level,” Reese said. “But we do know that he is not going to play forever, so we are trying to make the best decision as we move forward for the rest of Eli’s career.”
The Giants expressed surprise that Webb was still available when they chose him with the 87th overall pick. Coach Ben McAdoo said he never met with Webb during the extensive pre-draft process and spoke to him for the first time on Friday.
Webb operated in a spread offense at California, meaning he faces a major adjustment to the pro game. Given the presence of Manning, the Most Valuable Player in each of his two Super Bowl victories with the Giants, the Giants can afford him time to develop, something many other organizations cannot do.
“I’ll try to be a great teammate first and get better week to week because I have a long way to go,” Webb said.
Tomlinson may be called into action sooner, as Reese said he thought Tomlinson was capable of immediately stepping in as a replacement for Johnathan Hankins, who left to join the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent. The Giants will return every starter other than Hankins to a stifling defense that permitted a league-low 25 touchdowns as part of an 11-5 season.
Fifty-five of Tomlinson’s 62 tackles as a senior at Alabama came against the run. Reese prizes that attribute, especially in the run-heavy N.F.C. East. The defending division champion Dallas Cowboys feature a superb offensive line and a punishing ground game.
“If you are going to rush the passer, you have to stop the run,” Reese said.
Reese chose Hankins in the second round in 2013. His other prominent defensive line selections include: tackle Jay Alford, third round, 2007; end Jason Pierre-Paul and tackle Linval Joseph, first and second rounds, 2010; tackle Marvin Austin, second round, 2011; Hankins, second round, 2013; tackle Jayson Bromley, third round, 2014; and end Owa Odighizuwa, fourth round, 2015.
Those players achieved various levels of success, with Pierre-Paul as the standout, having signed a contract extension last month.
Reese indicated he was as impressed with Tomlinson’s interviewing skills as he was by his sure tackling ability on tape. Tomlinson, who could have attended Harvard, has overcome much in his life, including the deaths…