The Giants have a number of decisions to make in the 2021 NFL Draft. What are Dave Gettleman’s thoughts a week out of the event?
The commencement of the 2021 NFL Draft is approaching, and the New York Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman sit with just six total selections — tied for the second-fewest in the league.
There’s thought they could acquire more by trading back from their prestigious No. 11 overall pick. Some believe sending away a pick or two to trade up is also a possibility.
With a week left, what are Gettleman’s thoughts in regard to the organization’s draft-related plan?
The idea of trading up or back in the first round
Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post asked a simple question: whether Dave Gettleman was trading up or back in the opening round of the draft.
Gettleman didn’t provide much clarity on if significant plans for either route are in the works.
“I don’t think it’s going to be any different than any other year in terms of the opportunities to trade up and trade back. It’s about value,” he said. “You go into the draft, you have an idea of who you’d like to take at that slot…and then if there’s someone sitting there and you have an opportunity to trade up, you trade up. If you don’t like what you’re looking at and you feel a value is better at the back end of that round, you trade back.”
Who would the Giants even trade up to acquire?
If the opportunity arose to send away some picks in order to move up and draft superstar Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, Gettleman may jump on it. That’s not saying he will — it’s just a simple hypothetical.
Drafting an offensive weapon would still make sense even after signing multiple in free agency, and Pitts may indeed be off the board prior to the No. 11 overall pick.
Trading back feels like a more likely scenario though — the Giants could actually swap picks with the Patriots at No. 15 should New England wish to move up to ensure it acquires one of the top five quarterbacks in this draft class (whoever that may end up being).
The top four picks — respectively owned by Jacksonville, the Jets, San Francisco, and Atlanta — may all be quarterbacks. The fifth signal-caller might not be off the board until after the top 10 picks, and with Philly potentially in the quarterback market at No. 12, New England may desire the Giants’ first-round choice to acquire its future face of the franchise.
A WR in the first round?
The recent signing of Kenny Golladay to a four-year, $72 million deal doesn’t completely take the Giants out of the running for an offensive weapon — such as a wide receiver — in the first round.
Gettleman supported this notion while speaking to the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz during Thursday’s presser.
“You’re always looking to upgrade every position, it doesn’t make a difference whether it’s wide receiver, tackle, or whatever,” he said. “You’re always looking to upgrade…it’s about value and it’s about how you’re building your team…and you can never have too many good players in one position.”
This then prompted Schwartz to ask Big Blue’s general manager about the two Alabama receivers at the top of this class — Jaylen Waddle and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith — who aren’t exactly the largest individuals, to say the least. The latter stands at 6-foot, 166 pounds while the former is around 5-foot-10, 183 pounds.
Gettleman seems to be placing more emphasis on their talent levels, however.
“Well, you evaluate the film, and their college film suggests that they’re very good players,” Gettleman said. “There are plenty of smaller guys that have been very successful in this league just like there have been plenty of huge guys that have been successful and everyone in the middle.”
One of the main focal points for the organization should be to build a slate of offensive weapons that best assists in the development of Daniel Jones, who the team is desperately hoping takes a notable on-field leap in 2021. Acquiring Waddle or Smith, if either is available when the Giants select, could lead to a tremendous overall upgrade in the receiver room from 2020 to 2021, so don’t think Gettleman is just forgetting about this position following the free agency moves.
Is edge rusher a possibility at No. 11?
The team’s edge rusher group doesn’t exactly employ a star at the moment, but then again, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham doesn’t need one — he just needs guys who can fill specific roles within the positional rotation.
So does that mean the Giants will absolutely wait until one of the middle rounds to acquire a defensive end/outside linebacker?
Not exactly, according to director of college scouting Chris Pettit.
“I wouldn’t say [the No. 11 pick] is too rich for edge rushers at any year, edge rushers are how you win, you win with guys who rush the passer,” Pettit told Schwartz Thursday. “Where they are on the board, we’ll see how it shakes out…but I wouldn’t say there aren’t guys available.”
Pettit was responding to the idea that this draft class doesn’t include a “Chase Young” or a “Myles Garrett,” the pair of talented former top-two picks Schwartz brought up when asking if the No. 11 pick is “too rich” for this position group.
There is notable talent in this edge rusher class though, and there’s a chance the Giants could grab any one of them at No. 11 given the need for quarterbacks and additional offensive weapons within the top 10.
Kwity Paye out of Michigan? Jaelan Phillips or Gregory Rousseau out of Miami? Wait until later in the draft and take Ronnie Perkins out of Oklahoma or Carlos Basham Jr. out of Wake Forest?
The Giants will certainly upgrade the position during the annual draft — it’s just a matter of when they decide to do so.
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