Today is the final day or March, which means we are just hours away from entering draft month. Having sent several big-name players packing since taking over as GM, with 12 picks at his disposal and the future of the franchise perhaps hanging in the balance, this is a critical draft for Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants.
Here are some of my thoughts about the draft and the state of the Giants as we creep closer to finding out how Gettleman and the Giants will use the capital created by their various roster decisions.
The Jets could really do the Giants a favor
What kind of player can the Giants get with the sixth overall pick? Let’s work off the notion that the speculation the Giants won’t take a quarterback with that pick is correct, and that their focus will be on adding the best possible defensive player.
The New York Jets might just hold the key to how good a prospect the Giants could land with pick.
Kyler Murray is almost certainly going to the Arizona Cardinals No. 1, and Nick Bosa is expected to land with the San Francisco 49ers at No. 2. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has said he is “definitely” willing to trade the third pick for more assets. Let’s say Maccagnan moves the third pick to a quarterback-needy team (Denver Broncos? Cincinnati Bengals? Miami Dolphins? Washington Redskins?).
That leaves the best defensive lineman and perhaps best overall player in the draft (Quinnen Williams), best edge rusher (Josh Allen) and best linebacker (Devin White) in play with only the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking before the Giants. Throw in defensive linemen Rashan Gary and Ed Oliver and edge Montez Sweat and the Giants would be positioned to land a premier prospect.
So, if you’re convinced the Giants aren’t going quarterback at No. 6 root for Maccagnan to find a trade partner.
Why did I mention the Bengals?
Cincinnati isn’t talked about a whole lot when it comes to teams that might be in the quarterback market. The Bengals, though, have a new offensive-minded head coach in Zac Taylor. They are — probably several years too late — moving on from the Marvin Lewis era. They have a mediocre veteran in Andy Dalton. I’m just reading the tea leaves and wondering why they wouldn’t be in market to trade up for Dwayne Haskins or make a move for Josh Rosen.
Quarterback at 17?
I don’t know if the Giants really want to select a quarterback at 17. If they do, the likely candidate would seem like Daniel Jones of Duke. Some, I know, turn their nose up at that idea. I’m not taking sides, just being realistic about the possibility. There are so many connections, so many similarities between Jones and Eli Manning, and Jones’ recent pro day performance was so buzz-worthy that it’s hard not to think Jones could end up being the guy the Giants target.
Question is, could they sit at 17 and get him?
Let’s suppose Murray goes No. 1 and someone, let’s use the Bengals in our scenario, moves up to No. 3 and nabs Haskins. Among teams who draft ahead of the Giants and are expected to at least consider quarterbacks are the Denver Broncos (No. 10), Miami Dolphins (No. 13) and Washington Redskins (No. 15).
For months now there has been chatter that the Broncos love Drew Lock. Would they grab him despite trading for Joe Flacco?
The Dolphins signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and, if most of the news coming out of Miami is accurate, appear to be pointing toward 2020 for their big quarterback move.
The Redskins? A wild-card. Case Keenum is only signed for a year. Alex Smith may never play again. So, quarterback makes sense. Still, coach Jay Gruden is in the final year of his contract, is under pressure to win now and said recently it would be “hard” to draft someone at No. 15 who wouldn’t play or help the team right away.
Let’s throw in one more monkey-wrench. What if someone like Matt Patricia, second-year coach with the Detroit Lions, decides he wants his own guy?
Long story short, if everything falls according to the most predictable scenarios — only two teams from the Broncos, Bengals, Lions, Dolphins and Redskins take a quarterback — Jones could be sitting there at 17.
If, however, they really want to guarantee getting a top defensive player AND a quarterback, maybe Gettleman needs to leverage that 17th pick and other draft assets to move up. We previously discussed a scenario that would involve the Giants targeting the No. 9 pick owned by the Buffalo Bills. Gettleman and Buffalo GM Brandon Beane were together with the Carolina Panthers, so there is a working relationship there.
The loooooong wait
The Giants have the 37th pick, which is early in Round 2. Their next pick is 95th late in Round 3, a pick they got from the Cleveland Browns in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. That’s a wait of 58 picks. With eight Day 3 picks, I seriously doubt Gettleman will want to wait that long to pick in Round 3. His history with the Panthers was to move around and target players. I fully expect him to use some of those later-round assets and try to do that on Day 2.
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