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Giants takeaways from Dave Gettleman’s pre-NFL Draft media availability

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So, are the Giants drafting Saquon Barkley?

Dave Gettleman
Photo by Ed Valentine

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman fielded a wide variety of questions on Thursday, a week from the 2018 NFL Draft. Many of them were angled toward getting him in some way to indicate what the Giants will do with the No. 2 overall pick.

Here are some takeaways from Gettleman’s remarks.

So, the Giants totally have to take a quarterback at No. 2. Right?

“Hogwash,” was Gettleman’s response to that question.

If it’s not a QB it has to be Saquon Barkley. Right?

The Penn State running back is so talented he is “one of those guys my mother could have scouted,” said Gettleman.

Does he agree Barkley is a “generational” player?

“He’s a tremendous talent, I’m not gonna lie. He’s a tremendous talent.”

Gettleman said “the devaluing of a running back is really a myth. You have a great running back he immediately makes your quarterback better, your offensive line better and your passing game better.”

The Giants know what they will do, but won’t tell us yet. Right?

Well, maybe. But, the GM is doing a good job of playing it coy.

“You can’t close your mind to it. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “We’ll know when we know. I’m not making any decisions before the draft.”

Gettleman knows the Giants can’t screw this up.

“When you’re picking this high and you make a mistake ... when you miss on a quarterback you’ve really hurt the franchise for probably five years. It’s a five-year mistake,” he said.

“Yeah, it’s a big decision but as long as you’ve done your homework and you’ve turned all the rocks over you’ll come to the right answer.”

Something for everyone — or no one — in quarterback class

“There’s all different flavors. With the second pick I’m sitting at Ben & Jerry’s and I’ve got a lot of flavors to look at. They’re different,” Gettleman said. “It’s a heckuva group to watch. It’s fun.”

The GM did add that “if you can’t make plays from the pocket you can’t win.”

What does he want in a quarterback?

“That’s what you’re looking for in a quarterback — does he make everybody around him better?”

Scouting is scouting. Right?

Well. no. Gettleman brought a new methodology to the scouting department. The existing scouting department had to learn a new way of looking at players they had already spent months studying.

“Everybody’s done a great job adjusting to the different philosophy and methodology,” Gettleman said.

“What I’ve tried to get everybody to understand is you’ve gotta grade the critical factors. You’ve gotta grade instincts, competitiveness, strength, explosion, athletic ability and you’ve gotta grade your play speed. I don’t care what a guy runs on a watch in his underwear. I don’t care. It’s how fast he can play on the field, how does he carry his pads? That’s what’s important.”

Davis Webb’s mini-camp can change the Giants plans. Right?

Well ... maybe not.

Gettleman said watching the second-year QB next is “going to be fun for us. It’ll be a neat opportunity to see him play.”

Gettleman said Webb has “followed Eli around like a little puppy dog since he walked in the door.”

The GM added that “everything” affects the draft board.

The Giants are sending out a massive smokescreen about their plans. Right?

“Let me tell you something,” Gettleman said. “When I was a little kid every time I lied I got caught. When I was 7 years old my father kicked my butt and I haven’t lied since then.”

Draft picks have to fill needs. Right?

Well ...

“You have to stay with the value,” Gettleman said. “You have to stay with your board, you have to stay with value. You can get too cute.

“You know what you want. Go do it. Don’t be shy. If you get too cute you’re going to lose, you’re going to come out on the wrong end. You can never have too many good players at one position.”

Eli Manning has “years” left. Right?

“There’s no ability to predict that,” Gettleman said. “Eli takes great care of his body, he’s very fit. I’ve watched the film, he still has plenty of arm. Who knows?”

Is the draft about 2018 or the future?

Well ... both.

“As the GM I walk a tightrope. I’ve gotta look at the short term and I’ve gotta look at the long term. That’s the tight rope I walk, and I have to take all that into consideration.”

Trading down is the best move. Right?

Gettleman said “you have to be open to everything. You’ve gotta listen.”

“Sometimes you have to look at it this way — we’re all in school, do we want to get an A and four C’s, or do we want an A-, a couple of B+s and a couple of Bs? Winning requires depth. If you don’t have depth ... I’ve seen teams that had great defenses that folded in the fourth quarter because they had no depth. You’ve got guys on the field for 95, 98 percent of the playing time. You can’t win that way, guys wear down. ... there’s obviously different ways of looking at it ... you put yourself in a position to accumulate picks to bring in solid players there’s nothing wrong with that.”