Sitting at No. 11 in the 2021 NFL Draft with the potential that there may be teams wanting to move up for a quarterback or another desired player, there is lots of discussion regarding the New York Giants. Would general manager Dave Gettleman, who has not traded down in the eight NFL drafts he has run with the Giants and Carolina Panthers, move down?
if Gettleman and the Giants do that, how far down would be appropriate? That is the subject of this week’s Big Blue View Round Table.
Question: “Dave Gettleman always says he is leery of dropping down too far in a trade-back scenario. If the Giants trade back from No. 11 this year, how far down the board would you be willing to go?”
I’m afraid that I’d have to give something of a non-answer here, mostly because I wouldn’t know what the draft board would look like. There has been speculation that perhaps as many as five quarterbacks could go in the first 10 picks. If that happens, the odds are pretty good that a “blue chip” player will be sitting there for the Giants at 11th overall. In that case, I think I would probably need good value to move off the pick, and I would probably be looking no later than the Las Vegas Raiders at 17th overall. The Raiders could certainly use an offensive lineman like Rashawn Slater or Christian Darrisaw, and I would be happy to relieve them of one of their third-round picks (plus more if I could get it).
However, it’s also possible that we could see three — or less likely, only two — quarterbacks go in the first 10 picks. In that case, the players who could interest the Giants might well be gone. However, if the top linemen and skill position players are gone, then there will likely be two or three quarterbacks available. In that case, I would be talking to the Chicago Bears at 20, Pittsburgh Steelers at 24, or even the New Orleans Saints at 28th overall. While that is a big jump down for the Giants, the talent level should remain pretty even after the first tier of players. They could still get a linebacker like Zaven Collins, a receiver like Rashod Bateman, an EDGE like Azeez Ojulari, or an offensive lineman like Alijah Vera-Tucker or Tevin Jenkins. Meanwhile, the teams mentioned face pretty dire quarterback situations and could pay handsomely to jump the Washington Football Team, New England Patriots, and Minnesota Vikings for a shot at Trey Lance or Mac Jones. That could potentially net the Giants Day 2 picks this year as well as multiple high future picks.
Gettleman is right that you need to weigh the value of a bird in the hand against multiple birds in the bush. A highly-regarded prospect sitting there is tough to turn down, and you don’t know what will happen. The player you’re betting on getting at a later pick could be scooped up before it’s your turn again. On the other hand, no draft pick is a sure thing, and the best way to maximize your chances of success is to take as many swings as you can. There could be a fairly broad range of prospects available with similar rankings after the first dozen or so picks. That could make for a similarly broad range of trading partners as long as you can agree on a deal that offers value for moving out of the “blue chip” range.
If the Giants trade back from the 11th pick this year, I’d be willing to listen to anything. I’d even listen to a scenario in which the Giants are left with no first-round pick this year, but with a package of picks in future draft(s). Two first-rounders in future drafts wouldn’t completely be out of the range of possibilities.
As Ed Valentine notes below, the realistic offers that generally come in are at No. 15 (New England Patriots), No. 16 (Arizona Cardinals), No. 17 (Las Vegas Raiders), and No. 20 (Chicago Bears). I’d be more than willing to take any of those - if the haul in return is worth it.
The reason I hold this stance is twofold: one, the Giants already gambled big time to get their quarterback a few years ago. If he progresses as we expect him to progress, 2021 would probably be the last year in a window of opportunity affording the Giants to act conservatively in the draft. If there’s a time to act less aggressive, I think it’s now.
Secondly, I’m a big value guy and I can never turn down a good deal. Of course, one must balance future value with real-world opportunity, and make a common-sense decision. Imagining a scenario where the Giants potentially land two first-round picks in future drafts (or a 1 and a 2) in exchange for the 11th pick would be consideration-worthy.
That could amount to a loaded 2022 draft class in the first two rounds.
If I were the GM of the Giants, my phone would always be open to other NFL GMs. I’d listen to everything.
That said, given the strength of this year’s class at wide receiver, tackle, and EDGE, I would prefer using the 11th pick. If you have the chance to land one of Micah Parsons, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, Rashawn Slater, or (maybe, if the stars align) Kyle Pitts, you make the pick.
While I have previously held a belief that the Giants should trade back from 11, I have had doubts about it in recent weeks. Given the team’s offseason seems to be gearing towards immediate success to end their streak of losing seasons, why would the Giants want to move away from the talented players? I came to this conclusion after recently re-watching a video of Mike Tomlin telling Chase Young, “I never wanna lose enough games to get a guy like you.”
The Giants appear to be set against picking this high again for the foreseeable future, so why not use this opportunity to grab someone who can be an impact player right now and for the future? Whether that would be a receiver like DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle, an interior o-lineman like Rashawn Slater or Alijah Vera-Tucker, a linebacker like Micah Parsons or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, etc., this is a team that needs talent. They can get that at 11, so there isn’t a reason to move.
With that in mind, I think it would be wise for Gettleman to move back into Round 1 to grab an EDGE player. I’m wary of taking any of the EDGEs in this class at that 11th spot, but in the 20-30 range I would pull the trigger on whoever the top-rated available EDGE is for the right cache of future picks. Picks, mind you, that won’t be very high if the team is as successful as they are planning to be next season. Gettleman has done that before (see 2019 with DeAndre Baker) and if he feels his seat warming up and wants to win now, he very well might do it again.
Long story short: I’m not budging from that 11th spot (unless the potential return haul makes you question the sanity of the GM who made the offer).
When it comes to trading back, we know that Dave Gettleman is not a fan. In eight drafts as a general manager, he has never traded back. There is a first time for everything though, and the Giants have some intriguing trade-back options, particularly with the Patriots at No. 15. Second-year head coach Joe Judge was of course working under Bill Belichick before coming to New York and Belichick is no stranger to shaking up the draft board.
I think that especially if a quarterback does somehow slip out of the top 10, the value of the No. 11 pick increases substantially. This could translate to more picks for the Giants in this year’s draft or an additional pick next year (both of which are intriguing options). The Bears at No. 20 will also likely be in the market for a quarterback and could be a potential trade partner, but I think the value of the pick goes down after that.
Whether or not the Giants decide to trade though depends on what they want at No. 11. It’s no secret that New York needs an edge rusher. But the Giants could trade back and still get a very capable edge rusher in the second round. If an edge is the Giants’ priority and a quarterback remains available, then a trade back makes sense.
But there is also a chance that one of the top receivers, Jalen Waddle or DeVonta Smith, falls to No. 11. I’ve made my argument in my mock draft and in other roundtables for why I think the Giants need to take Waddle or Smith if one is available. For this reason, and because of Gettleman’s history, I remain skeptical about a trade back and would not be surprised if the streak continues for another year.
It all depends on the value of return for me, but if I had to pick I’m going to say the Bears at 20 or the Titans at 22 seems like good trade down destinations. If the Giants do trade down, they can still potentially land their desired EDGE rusher while recouping draft selection on Day 2 or early on Day 3. This could be important due to the depth in this draft, specifically along the offensive line and at wide receiver.
USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker is another target for the Giants if they slide down the board a bit. That is, of course, if the Giants aren’t comfortable in the current first-round EDGE conversation. It’s not rocket science to notice that the Giants are in the EDGE market. Two of their returning starters are recovering from injury and they reportedly made an aggressive push at Leonard Floyd, but the pass rusher decided to return to the Los Angeles Rams. My top targets would be Miami’s Jaelan Phillips, Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari, with a bit of distance till Kwity Pate from Michigan. I’m also very intrigued by Jayson Oweh from Penn State, as both Pat Flaherty and Coach Chaos (Sean Spencer) should have some insight into his overall character on and off the field.
At pick 20 or 22, there’s still going to be plenty of talent on the board - talent that can still really help the Giants in the upcoming season. I would feel comfortable dropping nine spots. According to the “Draft Pick Trade Value Chart,” the 11th selection is worth 1,250 points and the 20th pick is worth 850 points - that’s a difference of 400 points. Chicago’s second-round pick at 52 is worth 380 points. So the Giants, according to this chart which isn’t gospel, would be looking at adding the 52nd pick and either their sixth-round pick at 164 or two of their three seventh-rounders at the end of the draft.
However, the Bears only have seven picks and four of them are in the sixth and seventh rounds. If the Giants drop to the Titans at 22 (worth 780 points) there’s a difference of 470 points. Tennessee holds eight picks in the draft, not including compensatory selections. New York could acquire 53 (370 points) from the Titans and the 100th (100 points) pick to make the difference up perfectly, according to the chart. Either way, acquiring more selections is a wise move for Dave Gettleman and company, but there’s a risk to doing so if talents like Northwestern OL Rashawn Slater, Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, or Alabama wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith are still on the board.
I have run hundreds of mock draft simulations using a variety of simulators over the past couple of months. When trades are allowed, the viable offers that generally come in are at No. 15 (New England Patriots), No. 16 (Arizona Cardinals), No. 17 (Las Vegas Raiders), and No. 20 (Chicago Bears).
The Bears at No. 20, provided they are willing to pony up a 2022 first-round pick, is pretty much as far down the board as I would be willing to move. Would the Bears do that? If they are coming to 11 for a quarterback, I think they would. The traditional trade chart shows a 400-point difference between picks 11 and 20. Chicago’s pick at 52 is worth 380 points. to be honest, I would take that if the Bears would give it up, but I think I would prefer the 2022 first-rounder.
Anyway, if you drop to 20 there will still be several desirable edge rushers there. Azeez Ojulari, my personal favorite for the Giants among the edge rushers in this class, is the No. 21 overall prospect on the NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board. That uses hundreds of mock drafts and dozens of big boards to come up with a ranking. Miami edge rusher Jaelen Phillips is No. 20.
Want an offensive lineman? USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker is the consensus No. 18 prospect. A cornerback? Greg Newsome is No. 23. A wide receiver? Rashod Bateman is No. 24. Linebacker Zaven Collins is No. 29.
Beyond 20, in my view, you risk limiting your choices too much. So, for me, 20 is the floor. I don’t necessarily want to go even that far, but for an extra future first-round pick I might be willing to do that.