When evaluating the quarterbacks in the 2018 draft, Pat Shurmur studied all of the top prospects. After all, the Giants owned the No. 2 overall pick and, though the front office fell in love with Saquon Barkley, the Giants did have 37-year-old Eli Manning and general manager Dave Gettleman understood the need, sooner rather than later, to find a successor.
When all the film study and interviews were done, after the scouting combine and one-on-one sessions were complete, Shurmur liked Josh Allen out of Wyoming best of all, The Post reported at the time. Better than Sam Darnold, better than Josh Rosen, better than Baker Mayfield.
Shurmur and the Giants get to see what they passed up Sunday, as Allen and the Bills, who took the strong-armed quarterback with the No. 7 pick last year, arrive at MetLife Stadium.
“I would never comment on how in the mix anybody was,’’ Shurmur said Wednesday. “I think that’s behind-the-scenes. That doesn’t do anybody any good. But I can comment on what we thought of him. We thought he was a big, strong thrower. A guy that had a chance to be a starter in the NFL, and he has been for them. I think he’s made steady improvements. He’s a very strong-armed guy. He’s helped them win some big games already. Just like any young player, you see where he’ll make mistakes and then correct them.’’
Asked if saying Allen is “a guy that had a chance to be a starter in the NFL’’ set low expectations for Allen, Shurmur said, “I thought he had a chance to be a starter. But I was asked what I thought of him, and that’s what we thought of him. He had a chance to be a starter.’’
The Bills did not start Allen immediately last season, but he did get on the field, starting 11 games. He completed 52.8 percent of his passes, with 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 631 yards and eight touchdowns, showing the big arm, athletic ability and rawness most scouts saw in him.
“It doesn’t bother me,’’ Allen said, when told of Shurmur’s assessment of him. “I wasn’t trying to make everybody like me or fall in love with me. Luckily the Bills had different thoughts and different plans with me, Luckily I ended up here.’’
Allen spent plenty of pre-draft time with the Giants, meeting with Shurmur and offensive coordinator Mike Shula.
“I thought he was a pretty bright mind for a coach,’’ Allen said of Shurmur. “I got to talk to with coach Shula and I really enjoyed coach Shula and what he was about.’’
Allen had some steady and some shaky moments in the season-opening 17-16 victory over the Jets. He threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles, but also passed for one touchdown and ran for another while leading the Bills back from a 16-3 deficit for a road victory.