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How would the Giants be different if Louis Riddick were GM?

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ESPN analyst tells us on Adam Schefter podcast

NFL Combine - Day 3
Dwayne Haskins
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When the New York Giants hired Dave Gettleman as general manager, the only other person who received an interview was ESPN analyst Louis Riddick. Two offseasons later, you may wonder how things would be different for the Giants had they hired Riddick rather than the more familiar Gettleman.

Adam Schefter put that question to Riddick directly this week when Riddick joined Schefter’s podcast. It is fair to question Riddick’s objectivity when he is asked about the Giants, but this turned into a fascinating discussion both of how things might be different for the Giants with Riddick in charge and what goes into making the types of decisions the Giants have made the past two offseasons.

A quick summary:

  • Yes, he would have drafted Saquon Barkley at No. 2 a year ago. He said he knew Giants’ ownership wanted Barkley and “I understood it and I wouldn’t have had a problem with it.”
  • He said he “could have lived” with Eli Manning at quarterback for a year.

Riddick said he “understood philosophically what they were trying to do” with those decisions.

  • Riddick indicated he likely would not have hired Pat Shurmur as head coach. He said “everybody knows” what coaches he would like to work with. Read — Josh McDaniels.
  • He would have signed Odell Beckham Jr. to the long-term extension the Giants gave him, but would have “made sure we had that relationship” to ensure Beckham would stay with the Giants. He said flat out that “no, I wouldn’t have” traded Beckham.

My aside here, quickly, is that I do believe the Giants tried to build that relationship with Beckham. It just didn’t work.

  • Riddick “absolutely” would have wanted to keep Landon Collins.

Now for the 2019 draft.

  • Riddick said he would have “made it a priority” to get a quarterback in this draft. He just would have selected a different one.

“As far as quarterback is concerned, yeah I would have made it a priority to try and draft a quarterback. I just wouldn’t have drafted this one [Jones],” Riddick said. “Everybody knows how I feel about Dwayne Haskins. Been around him. Was at his Pro Day. Watched all his tape. Know his coaches. Know what kinds of things they asked him to do up there at Ohio State.

“He was coached by a guy, I think Ryan Day is brilliant. So I would have went that route with it.”

Schefter and Jones also talked about Gettleman’s hotly-disputed claim that he “knew” there were two teams that would have grabbed Jones before the Giants selected again at No. 17.

“One of the primary jobs on draft day of the decision maker is to read the market and to know the market and to try to figure out where does the value really lie. What price should I pay for this player in terms of what pick should I select him?,” Riddick said. “Sometimes you don’t have the greatest intel. Sometimes you think you know because your scouts are out there on the road and they talk to their buddies, and a lot of scouts just can’t help themselves, man, they just can’t stop talking.

“Next thing you know somebody jumps you for a player.”

Riddick continued with this:

“Maybe Dave just didn’t have a real good feel for whether Daniel would be there or not. Maybe ultimately he didn’t care. Maybe Dave felt in the end I’m gonna be right and this guy’s gonna be worthy of the sixth pick overall.”

Gettleman is, of course, under fire for the decision. Much of that self-inflicted because of his awkward efforts to explain why he did what he did.

Riddick’s advice?

“He’s just gonna have to keep his head down and hope that this team continues to develop the way he envisions it developing. For him his work is done,” Riddick said.

“Really the most important part is what is Pat Shurmur gonna do with this now?”