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Kiper — When it comes to Daniel Jones, only Dave Gettleman’s opinion matters

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ESPN analyst says Giants’ GM was right to do what he believed in

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone has an opinion about Dave Gettleman’s decision to use the New York Giants’ sixth pick in the draft on quarterback Daniel Jones. Gettleman was right! Gettleman was wrong! Gettleman got snookered! Gettleman is lying to cover up the reality that he could have gotten Jones with the 17th pick!

So, let’s toss another opinion onto the pile. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, appearing on the Michael Kay Show this week, said that if Gettleman believed Jones was the guy he wanted — which he obviously did — then picking him at No. 6 was the right move.

“There’s only one person that matters. Dave Gettleman matters, because he’s making the pick,” Kiper said. “My opinion is that you cannot, there’s no way if you feel Jones is a top, elite quarterback that you can wait until 17 to take him.”

Gettleman has been criticized over his remarks about three series at the Senior Bowl convincing him, insisting that he knows two teams would have selected Jones ahead of 17 had he waited and for not — in the minds of some — maximizing the value of the Giants’ picks at Nos. 6 and 17.

Kiper’s advice to the Giants’ GM? Stop trying to justify your decision.

“For him I think it was a good move because he believes in this kid,” Kiper said. “I would say to Dave ‘you don’t have to explain anything. You don’t have to talk about what teams would have taken him. You took the guy you deem a franchise quarterback at 6. End of story.’ “

Kiper said he would have selected Sam Darnold or Josh Allen instead of Saquon Barkley a year ago, and that he personally had a higher grade this year on Dwayne Haskins. Based on the Giants’ evaluation, though, Kiper said Gettleman did what he had to do.

“When you feel a quarterback is going to be great and you need one desperately as the heir apparent to Eli like they do you gotta take him at 6,” Kiper said. “What are you gonna do, wait until next year and hope they were picking in the top 10? You can’t have that attitude. You gotta hope that we can turn this thing around and start winning games.”

Kiper said he feels Jones can be “a very good starter” and that “there’s a lot of Eli Manning and Peyton Manning” in him.

The ESPN analyst said judging Jones by his statistics at Duke is not fair.

“Duke doesn’t have the talent around the quarterback to judge him. I think it’s a lot of unfair criticism from some reports I’ve heard,” Kiper said. “Go back and watch him. The dropped passes and the pressure he was under, the offensive line was outmanned by a lot of defensive fronts yet he hung in there. He’s a super tough kid.”

Kiper acknowledged that Jones’ career will be judged against that of Dwayne Haskins, as well as Darnold, Allen and Josh Rosen — quarterbacks the Giants passed on last year.

“Forget stats. Forget completion percentage and all that stuff people want to get into. Who wins football games? Who leads their team to the playoffs and Super Bowls? That’s how we determine who the great quarterbacks are. I don’t want an average quarterback. I want a great quarterback. I want to win Super Bowls. I’m not in it to be 8-8, 9-7, 10-6. I want to win Super Bowls,” Kiper said.

“That’s the way you’ve got to approach it. Dave Gettleman approached it that way. He feels that Daniel Jones can be that kind of quarterback. We’ll see. You can argue all you want about it, but we’ll see.”