Dave Gettleman’s New York Giants tenure includes some savvy moves. Here are three tremendous moves he’s made as general manager.
In fact, some of Gettleman’s best moves as Giants GM caught the most backlash from fans, media, and players.
Other great moves, like drafting Saquon Barkley, did not catch so much flack. Of course, plenty of pundits criticized Gettleman for passing on a strong group of quarterbacks to draft a position as replaceable as running back, but the logic is understandable.
He was a safe and dependable pick who the Giants knew would provide immediate production. The Penn State product barely misses the cut for this list, but only because he was more of a “no-brainer” than the rest of these moves.
With all that said, he’s yet another example of Dave Gettleman pushing the right buttons. Here are his three best moves as Giants GM.
3. Drafting Darius Slayton
Darius Slayton was an under-the-radar draft pick who became a preferred target of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. With injuries and suspensions decimating the receiving corps for much of the 2019 season, Slayton had the opportunity to step up and make a name for himself.
The fifth-round pick did just that. In 14 games (nine starts), Slayton put up 740 yards and eight touchdowns on 48 catches. He came into the season as somewhat of an afterthought, but finished first on the team in yards and receiving touchdowns.
If he can build on that success in year two and forge an even deeper connection with Jones, the Giants may have just found their No. 1 receiver of the future. Doing so in the fifth round makes Slayton look like an absolute steal for Gettleman.
2. Drafting Daniel Jones over Dwayne Haskins
Drafting Daniel Jones sixth overall was widely panned from just about every corner of the football world. Media and experts hated how much of a reach Jones seemed like at the time. Plenty of Giants fans wanted the team to go with Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins over Jones.
Plenty of Giants fans were wrong.
Obviously, Jones and Haskins have long careers left, but through one season, it looks like the Giants went with the better guy. Jones stepped in for Eli Manning early in his rookie season and didn’t miss a beat. Although he has some turnover issues that he’ll need to fix, Jones showcased flashes of brilliance in his rookie season.
In 13 games (12 starts) posted a 3,000-yard passing season and 24 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions. The fumbles are concerning, but his ability to throw the pigskin looks up to snuff.
Meanwhile, Haskins finished with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in nine games (seven starts). Once he became the starter, he started to find his rhythm.
However, anyone looking to complete a re-draft of the 2019 NFL Draft would be crazy to put Haskins ahead of Jones at this point. Despite all the hoopla that surrounded the Jones pick, this looks like one of the better moves of the Gettleman era.
1. Trading Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL and one of the biggest stars off the field as well. It’s no surprise that the world was shocked when Gettleman pulled the trigger on a trade involving the LSU product. New York had recently signed him to a long-term contract and Gettleman was adamant that he didn’t sign Beckham just to trade him.
Well, he traded him anyway.
The backlash was immediate. How could the Giants trade away their best player—and Olivier Vernon—for a safety (Jabrill Peppers), offensive lineman (Kevin Zeitler), and two draft picks? It just didn’t make sense to deal away one of the best offensive weapons in the league for a few nice pieces.
Except it did.
Beckham’s production in blue wasn’t completely replaced, but the aforementioned Slayton grew into his role as the season went on and when they were actually on the field, Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard provided decent production.
Beckham finished with 74 catches for 1,035 yards in his first season with the Cleveland, but only scored four touchdowns. Friendly reminder, that’s half as many as Slayton put up.
And whether or not it’s media-driven, the circus followed Beckham from New York to Cleveland. Of course, there were trade rumors and the usual pouting from Beckham after games in which he felt he was underutilized. Although Beckham denied the claims, there were even reports that he was telling opposing players “come get me” during games.
Again, much of this is overblown because of who Beckham is, but it doesn’t make things any less distracting for his team. For all the backlash and hate Gettleman caught for this blockbuster trade, it was clearly the right decision for the Giants.