Dave Gettleman has a concrete plan to build the New York Giants. It all starts in Las Vegas at the 2020 NFL Draft.
Dave Gettleman held his season-ending press conference on Tuesday. He spent most of the press conference dodging questions about his job security, his reputation and the subject of Pat Shurmur. However, there were two questions about the New York Giants future he was willing to answer.
The first was on Leonard Williams. When asked why he traded for Leonard Williams instead of just waiting to sign him in free agency, Gettleman responded, “The juice was worth the squeeze.”
#Giants GM Dave Gettleman on trading for Leonard Williams instead of waiting for free agency: "The juice was worth the squeeze."
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 31, 2019
This is interesting for a couple of reasons. For one, Williams was a huge disappointment for the Giants. In 2019, Williams had just 0.5 sacks and two tackles for loss. It’s hard to argue that production is worth the 68th selection in the draft on its own, let alone plus at least a fifth-round selection in 2021.
Yet, despite defending his wasting of a draft pick, Gettleman insists that his plan is to build through the draft. According to SNY, Gettleman said, “You address issues with free agency so you can set yourself up for the draft, so you take the best player available.”
The Giants’ draft picks in 2019 were very up and down. Daniel Jones and Dexter Lawrence had very good rookie campaigns. Lawrence was the third highest-rated rookie by PFF in 2019. He proved to be a wrecking ball in the run game, with improving pass rush ability.
Jones was the second-best rookie quarterback this season. He exceeded almost everyone’s expectations. The biggest knock on Jones was that he led the league was 18 fumbles in just 12 games started. Outside of that, he proved to have franchise QB potential.
On the other hand, DeAndre Baker was one of the worst picks in the draft. He graded out as one of the worst cornerbacks in football by PFF. Baker was 71st in passer rating allowed, 72nd in passing yards allowed, and 71st in TDs allowed.
The Giants also found contributors in Oshane Ximines, Ryan Connelly and Julian Love in the 2019 draft. Solid draft classes like these are necessary to build a successful franchise.
The issue for the New York Giants is that they’ll only have two picks in the first two days of the draft. It’s hard to hit a home run in the draft with such limited capital, which is why the Leonard Williams trade makes such little sense.
This is likely Gettleman’s last shot to fix the Giants. If he plans to build through the draft, he better hit on those limited picks he currently owns.