New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has run eight NFL drafts, five with the Carolina Panthers and three with the Giants. It’s not news to Giants fans that Gettleman has never traded down in the draft.
Still, that doesn’t make it impossible. My chat for Friday’s ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast with former New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum only reaffirmed my belief that the upcoming draft could provide Gettleman and the Giants a chance to do just that — move down, acquire some assets, take more swings at the plate in what is a difficult year to evaluate draft prospects.
With that in mind, my intent heading into this week’s mock draft was to trade down and see what happened. I used the Pro Football Network draft simulator and tried to stick to the board as it was presented to me. I also ended up turning what I had intended to be a four-round mock draft for the Giants into a three-rounder.
Here is how it all unfolded.
Round 1 (No. 11) — TRADE!!
When this pick arrived Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and Miami edge Gregory Rousseau were all still on the board. With the four top receivers already off the board, you can make an argument for selecting any of these five players here.
As I said, though, I wanted to present a scenario with a trade down. The Pro Football Network simulator offered me two choices:
- Picks 19 and 40 from the Denver Broncos in exchange for Nos. 11 and 116.
- Pick No. 14, and 2022 second- and seventh-round picks from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for No. 11.
In a simulation it’s no fun to trade for future assets, so I’m taking the offer from Denver to move down eight spots. That leaves me with pick No. 19 in Round. and picks 40 and 42 in Round 2. Let’s see what what happens.
Round 1 (No. 19) — Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
First, look at all of the choices in the “other players considered” list. I could probably have added a couple of other players, as well. The fact that there are so many viable choices is one of the reasons for trading down. Shoot, Nick Falato took Azeez Ojulari at No. 11 in his mock draft a while back. Honestly, I think there are a lot of guys available at No. 19 who could help the Giants. There is probably a decent argument for every player on the list below.
I know Toney (6-foot, 193 pounds) isn’t a big-bodied outside guy. If, though, you can select Jaylen Waddle at 11, as many mock drafts do for the Giants, you can certainly select Toney at No. 19. In my view, Toney is the most electric playmaker left on the board. Is he the best fit for a Jason Garrett offense? That’s a different debate, and I think there would be vast disagreement about that.
Other players considered: Jaycee Horn (CB, South Carolina), Alijah Vera-Tucker (OL, USC), Rashod Bateman (WR, Minnesota), Azeez Ojulari (EDGE, Georgia), Joseph Ossai (EDGE, Texas)
Round 2 (No. 40) — TRADE!!
I was not expecting to make a second trade. But, hey, I’m playing the role of Dave Gettleman here. I made one trade, liked it, got all giddy and decided to do it again.
The Miami Dolphins offered me picks 50 and 81 for pick No. 40. The Carolina Panthers offered pick No. 73 and a 2022 second-rounder. I’m taking the Miami offer.
Round 2 (No. 42) — Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
In all honesty, I’m not in love with the choices presented right here by the Pro Football Network draft board.
Wide receiver Terrace Marshall would be an interesting choice for me here if I hadn’t taken Toney in Round 1. I just can’t double up on receivers. Knowing what Patrick Graham likes in his cornerbacks (with length being at the top of the list) I wonder if the small-ish Asante Samuel Jr. would even be a consideration.
My choice really came down to Collins or Browning, based on the board I was presented with. I think Collins might end up as an NFL edge. I would be curious to see what Graham would do with him.
Other players considered: Baron Browning (LB, Ohio State), Terrace Marshall (WR, LSU), Asante Samuel Jr. (CB, Florida State)
Round 2 (No. 50) — Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
This is the second-round pick I got from the Dolphins for moving back from No. 40. Interestingly, I face a similar choice to what I might have had at No. 40.
There are four cornerbacks — Campbell, Samuel, Greg Newsome of Northwestern, Aaron Robinson of UCF, available here. Edge Carlos Basham of Wake Forest is in range here. So, too, is massive Alabama guard Deonta Brown.
I will go with Campbell, the highest-ranked player on the PFN board at this point. He seems to fit the physical profile at 6-2, 185 pounds and some believe he will sneak into the end of the first round. Feels like good value at a position where the Giants could use the help.
Round 3 (No. 76) — Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Oh, man! This is a hard choice. My draft crush Quincy Roche, the EDGE from Miami, is in range here. Can’t ... do ... it. Must paint scenarios and choose a different player/position. Western Michigan wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge, a player Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy believes should be selected much earlier than this, is sitting on the board. So is another intriguing receiver in UCLA’s Demetric Felton.
Yet, with Eichenberg, Walker Little of Stanford and Jackson Carman of Clemson there are three offensive tackles among the top 10 remaining players on this board. Feels like a good spot to add some offensive line depth and competition.
I’m really tempted by Little, but he hasn’t played since the middle of the 2019 season after suffering a knee injury and then opting out of 2020. I’m tempted by Carman, too, because he’s a guy I believe could convert fairly easily inside to guard if needed.
I’m going with Eichenberg, though. I mean, how many times can Dave Gettleman pass on a Notre Dame offensive lineman?
Round 3 (No. 81) — Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
This is the second pick I got from the Dolphins for moving down from No. 40 to the 50th pick. Many of the same players — Eskridge, Roche, Felton. Carman, Little — are available five picks after my last choice.
Per this board, choosing Tryon is reaching just a bit. Per player rankings, he’s the 17th-highest ranked player remaining on this board. This, though, is my nod to draft analyst Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan. Hunt, who also contributes videos to the Big Blue view YouTube channel, is an independent thinker not swayed by how others perceive prospects. He’s out there on what I affectionately call “Hunt Island,” believing that Tryon is the best edge rusher in the class and would be worthy of being selected way back at No. 11.
So, I will snag him here as what Hunt would see as an amazing value pick and let you guys discuss the merits of that move.
Did I come up with the best possible haul using the picks I was able to accumulate? I tried, but everyone will have a different opinion. Each one of those picks is debatable, because each one presented more than one viable choice.
That, to be honest, is one of the reasons trading down and adding picks in this draft feels attractive. In any draft there are maybe 15-25 ‘pure’ first-rounds picks, guys every GM would agree should be selected in Round 1. Beyond that, you get debate. I happen to think the back half of Round 1 pretty much all the way through the second day of this draft features many players of roughly equal talent at positions like receiver, cornerback, edge and offensive line. Which, gee whiz, just happen to be spots where the Giants could use help.
So, it seems like a good idea to get as many of those players as possible. Some will hit, some won’t. Picking five players instead of three gives you a better chance of coming away with three quality players.