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Did Dave Gettleman really covet Justin Herbert in 2019?

Draft analyst Tony Pauline claims Herbert is the QB the Giants’ GM really wanted

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The quarterback New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman really wanted in the 2019 NFL Draft was Justin Herbert, according to well-informed NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline.

In answer to a mailbag question about Gettleman’s future with the Giants, Pauline wrote:

Watching Justin Herbert do so well has got to be killing Gettleman — that was the quarterback he wanted in 2019, but Herbert went back to Oregon for his senior season.

Gettleman and other members of the Giants’ scouting department did watch Herbert in person during the 2018 season prior to the quarterback’s decision to return to school. The Giants watched Herbert play at least six times in 2018. The only time Gettleman saw Daniel Jones in person was at the Senior Bowl.

Herbert, of course, was taken sixth overall by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2020 NFL Draft. He has been extremely impressive in four games, despite the Chargers not winning any of those games.

Pauline also addressed Gettleman’s future with the Giants. While a vocal faction of the fan base believes Gettleman has to be replaced, Pauline thinks the GM stays on after this season:

Considering Dave Gettleman hired a first-year head coach, I doubt he gets fired. The Giants are not impulsive like the Jets and usually don’t do things backward.

And while Daniel Jones has not played great, he’s not killing the Giants, either, and has shown a lot of good signs. There’s no reason to start over with a new quarterback.

Fact is except for the game against the 49ers, the Giants have been in every game this season. Those initial four losses have been against quality opponents and the outcomes of three of the games hinged on just a few plays. Moving towards the middle of the season, I think they really need to get Matt Peart more work to find out if he’s the answer at right tackle, then attack the defense in free agency and the draft.

This is something Dan Hatman of The Scouting Academy addressed with me a few weeks ago on an episode of the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast. Hatman said it comes down to whether or not ownership considers the hiring of Joe Judge as a restart, or whether they look at it as a continuation of the work Gettleman started a couple of years ago. Hatman wondered if perhaps the hiring of Judge meant the Giants were “resetting the clock” with a 24-36 month window to right the ship.

Here’s the full episode.