Former University of Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta, who majored in leadership studies and marketing, soon begins his postgraduate education. He’ll study under Eli Manning.
Manning, 37, has been the New York Giants’ quarterback since 2005. Lauletta, 23, joins the Giants’ organization after being picked on Saturday in the fourth round of the NFL draft. The Giants’ rookie camp begins May 11, with OTAs (organized team workouts) starting later in the month.
Manning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP and will again be New York’s quarterback in 2018, barring unforeseen developments. Lauletta and Davis Webb, 23 and the Giants’ third-round pick in 2017, will be backups. As of now, one of the two would appear to be the Giants’ QB following Manning, a potential Hall of Famer.
“I’m just excited to meet (Manning) and start to build that relationship,” Lauletta said. “I’ve grown up watching him play and watched him win Super Bowls. To be a part of the Giants’ organization and learn from a guy like that, it’s special, and it’s a dream come true. And I’m going to take advantage of every opportunity I get, and just kind of soak it all in and learn as much as I can.
“He has all of those qualities you want in a quarterback. He’s composed. He’s a good leader. His teammates get behind him. You just watch his skill set. He’s accurate. He throws the ball on time. He knows what he’s doing. I think a lot of his skills are things that I have, and that’s why I think (the Giants are) are a good fit.”
The Giants went 3-13 last season. Webb did not play in a game.
“Picking Kyle has less to do about Eli and Davis and more to do about Kyle,” first-year Giants coach Pat Shurmur said following the draft. “We liked the player and we wanted to add him to our team and then just let them compete.”
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman called Lauletta “too good of a value to pass up there” early in the fourth round. Gettleman said he heard from another GM that his team strongly considered taking Lauletta in the second round before picking another player to fill a pressing roster need.
“He’s got all the stuff — he’s tough, he’s not shy in the pocket, he’s got pocket presence, patience and feel, which, again, those are instinctive things that you can’t teach,” Gettleman said of Lauletta. “He throws a really nice ball, he’s accurate, he’s got a sense of anticipation and timing and the other part is he’s a runner. He’s got legitimate escape dimensions and we’re really pleased about that.
“We’re really thrilled to get him there. I really expected him to be long gone.”
Lauletta noted that the Giants have one of the NFL’s top receivers in Odell Beckham, Jr., and they added versatile running back Saquon Barkley with the second selection in the draft.
“They obviously didn’t have the year they wanted to last year, but I definitely think the Giants have a bright future,” said Lauletta, a 6-foot-3 222-pounder from Exton, Pa.
“This is professional football here, so obviously the competition is the best of the best. But I think I have what it takes. I’m confident in myself. I’m so excited to get to work, to get to know my teammates, get to know the coaches.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve really felt like I’ve been on a team. It’s going to be a great feeling to get in to New York and just meet everybody and just get started.”