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Mel Kiper: League shutdown complicates Giants ability to trade down in NFL Draft

Lack of medical evaluations, in-person meetings might cause teams to forego move up for Tua Tagovailoa

NFL Combine - Day 3
Tua Tagovailoa
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Trade down!

Again ... and again ... and again you hear or read the opinion that perhaps the best thing the New York Giants can do with their first pick in the 2020 NFL, No. 4 overall, would be use it to trade down and acquire more draft assets. Jim Nagy, Senior Bowl executive director and a former NFL scout, expressed that view on Wednesday’s ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast.

During a Wednesday conference call that followed up the release of his latest mock draft, in which he gave Isaiah Simmons to the Giants, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said there might be a problem with executing that draft strategy.

Finding a trade partner could prove more difficult because of the current league shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We don’t know yet,” Kiper said in response to a question asked by yours truly. “The medical on Tua [Tagovailoa] is going to be difficult, obviously, with the current situation. This is a year where you would need all the medical you can get, all the meetings you can get, all the things you need in terms of due diligence on Tua and you’re not going to have that opportunity. Is a team going to trade up without that type of information? We’ll see.”

Tagovailoa of course, suffered a gruesome season-ending hip injury last fall. Kiper said the only players he sees anyone trading into the top five selections for would be Tagovailoa or Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.

“I don’t see another player to move up to get other than quarterback at that particular point,” Kiper said.

Kiper mentioned trade possibilities ranging from the Miami Dolphins (No. 5) to Las Vegas Raiders (No. 12). Giants GM Dave Gettleman has never traded down in the seven drafts he has run as a general manager. Many, though, believe that talent-wise the upcoming draft sets up as the perfect opportunity for him to do so.

If, that is, anyone really wants to come and get that pick from the Giants.

“Right now it’s a lot of question marks because of the lack of information from the medical standpoint. I saw a little bit of Tua yesterday, a 10-second clip, but that’s going to make it tough,” Kiper said. “Do you want to give up draft choices for a quarterback who not only has the question with the lower extremity injuries but also has the durability concern even moving forward?”