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Phil Simms: 2014 QB draft class 'not going to be unbelievable'


The New York Giants are one of three winless NFL teams, but they're the only one with a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

Newsday, a newspaper based on Long Island, asked four former NFL quarterbacks, all of whom played in at least one Super Bowl, if the Giants needed to find a new quarterback in the NFL Draft. All four said no. Emphatically no.

Phil Simms, who won a Super Bowl with the Giants, isn't even convinced the college quarterbacks expected to enter the draft in May are that good.

"This unbelievable quarterback class that is coming out -- it is not going to be unbelievable," Simms told the newspaper. "We'll find out when the time comes, but I don't see any knock-down, absolutely sure, big-time NFL quarterbacks so far from this upcoming draft."

Depending on which underclassmen surrender their college eligibility and enter the draft, the 2014 class could be a record-setting one for quarterbacks, with a number approaching double digits receiving first- and second-round grades. Louisville junior Teddy Bridgewater is seen by most analysts as the most NFL-ready of the group. Oregon's Marcus Mariota, a third-year sophomore, has some support, as well, though he still has two years of college eligibility left and has given no indication of his leanings.

NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for three different NFL teams, believes as many as five or six quarterbacks will get first-round grades and sees another five as second-round types. The most quarterbacks ever taken in the first round is six in 1983, with three of those enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The general consensus is that Jacksonville and Tampa Bay -- the NFL's other winless teams -- will snap up quarterbacks in the first round, regardless of where they pick. Arizona, Cleveland and Minnesota also are seen as teams likely to target a signal-caller, with Houston, Oakland, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Tennessee as possibilities, too.

But the Giants are different. Their starter is Eli Manning, 32, who has guided the team to two Super Bowl victories and whose contract runs through 2015. As with the other winless teams, the Giants have myriad issues. But is quarterback really one of them? Not according to the four ex-quarterbacks-turned-analysts.

"Last time I checked, Teddy Bridgewater did not win two Super Bowls."

-- Dan Marino

Simms acknowledged that it has been "a rough year" for Manning. But he also said "there is no doubt in my mind that I would stay with Eli Manning. And so will the Giants because you know what you have."

Former Miami Dolphins star Dan Marino also was outspoken: "Last time I checked, Teddy Bridgewater did not win two Super Bowls. ... There is no way I'm taking a young quarterback when I've got a guy like Eli Manning."

Rich Gannon, who guided Oakland to a Super Bowl appearance in 2003, said the Giants would have to be "insane to even consider" a quarterback change.

And Steve Beuerlein, a backup on a Dallas team that won Super Bowl XXVII, said that while this season for Manning "has been pathetic," there's also "no way you can discount what he has done to this point. ... He'll start playing better, and Eli will prove he's the guy there."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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