ESNY’s New York Giants draft roundtable focuses on bold predictions. General manager Dave Gettleman usually keeps things interesting.
When the New York Giants draft this weekend, general manager Dave Gettleman will be front and center. Entering the 2020 season, Gettleman knows he’s running out of time to turn this team again. When the 2020 NFL Draft finally arrives, expect the GM to surprise us one way or another.
There’s some consensus on how the Giants will use their No. 4 pick, but the team’s strategy for day two and three of the draft are still up in the air. ESNY’s New York Giants draft roundtable continues with bold predictions.
The New York Giants will trade back into the late first round
If the draft unfolds as it’s projected, quarterback Joe Burrow is going to the Bengals, Chase Young will land with the Redskins, and the Lions are taking Jeffrey Okudah. When the Giants are on the clock, they’ll provide a boost to the defense with Isaiah Simmons, but that means they’ll still need offensive line help. Look for Gettleman to trade back into the first round.
He won’t admit this publicly, but 2020 is a make-or-break year for Gettleman. It’s hard to envision him coming back if the Giants have another double-digit loss season. He knows the importance of protecting his prize possession in Daniel Jones and that’s why he’ll use the Giants’ second-round pick (36th overall) along with one or possibly two of their mid-round picks to move back into the late first round.
The players that Gettleman will look to draft at the end of the first round are Houston tackle Josh Jones, USC tackle Austin Jackson, or Michigan center Cesar Ruiz. This will mark the second year in a row Gettleman has traded back into the late first round to find a Week 1 starter.
Dave Gettleman will do basically everything he’s supposed to do in this draft…except in Thursday night’s opening round.
He’ll select a pass rusher and center in one of the earlier rounds (two or three), he’ll pick at least one defensive back for depth later on, and he’ll snag a big wideout to use near the goal line, which would be a nice complement to Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton.
But he won’t select an offensive tackle in the first round.
I have a strong feeling Gettleman will stick with what he currently has at right tackle, and that’s Nick Gates and Cam Fleming. The latter signed a one-year deal with Big Blue this offseason.
He will also be unsuccessful in trading back. The Giants have a legitimate opportunity to swap picks with the Chargers at No. 6, load up on more draft ammo, and still select who they have their eyes on in the first round.
This is why reports stating the Giants are looking into Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert are leaking. New York is trying to bait the Chargers into trading up, but Los Angeles general manager Tom Telesco is smart. He understands it’s just a smokescreen.
The Giants will remain at No. 4 overall and likely select Isaiah Simmons if he’s available instead of the choice that would be better for this team’s future: a dominant, reliable, and consistent offensive tackle.
All I can say is this: I hope I’m wrong.
New York Giants don’t select an edge rusher
Dave Gettleman loves the big boys. It doesn’t matter if they play offense or defense, Gettleman believes that the game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage. As such, Gettleman has put a premium on the offensive line and defensive line since he took over as GM.
That attention comes at a cost. By focusing on the lines and the boundaries, as Gettleman has, he’s left a void in the middle of his defense. He’s addressed that some in free agency by signing the likes of Kyler Fackrell and Blake Martinez, and while both of those players have a role, neither gets to the quarterback.
Yes, Fackrell had 10.5 sacks in 2018, but that’s the only season he’s had more than 3.0 sacks. Fackrell also only had 25 other pressures on the year.
The Giants are in desperate need of edge rush help. They need players who can rush the quarterback—their current sack leader had just 4.5 sacks in 2019. That hole isn’t going to stop Gettleman from spending the majority of his picks on offense. After all, the Giants want to build around Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.
The team needs help at tackle and center. That’s likely going to be the focus of their first two picks. With no third-round pick, the Giants won’t be on the board again until day three. At that point, talent often takes precedence over need. It’s entirely possible that Gettleman avoids taking an edge rusher late knowing that the success rate of the position is incredibly low past round one.
Not to mention, Gettleman will likely look to trot out two of his former picks at edge rusher in Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines. It’s unlikely Gettleman will look to fix a position that he’s spent premium draft capital at each of the last two years.
Giants add a QB and RB at some point
The 2020 NFL Draft should mostly consist of filling important needs for the New York Giants. Dave Gettleman will likely pick up an offensive tackle, inside linebacker, and edge rusher at some point. It would not be surprising, however, to also see the Giants take a flyer on a running back and young quarterback late in the draft.
The Giants have their starter in Saquon Barkley and a reliable complementary back in Dion Lewis, but as they learned in 2019, you must be three deep at running back; thus, picking one up late makes sense. Also, expect to see some young competition for Colt McCoy and Alex Tanney to fight for the backup job. Daniel Jones will undoubtedly be the starter, but adding a young quarterback could generate eventual trade interest and at least spark competition.