Various Giants rookies missed significant time during their respective first seasons.
Dave Gettleman could be out as Giants general manager in just a few days (for many, it’ll be a “goodbye and good riddance” type of scenario, and reasonably so).
The struggling front office executive, who’s gone a measly 19-45 since the organization mistakenly gave him the job ahead of the 2018 season, has made a variety of decisions that have led to bad looks for the GM.
These poor choices have encompassed the acquiring of future injury-prone players.
There was the 2018 drafting of Saquon Barkley prior to three straight injury-ridden seasons (2019-21) for the running back. There was also the drafting of quarterback Daniel Jones before he missed a total of 10 games through his first three seasons.
No, the injuries aren’t Gettleman’s fault. But when overseeing an entire NFL roster, if you make a move to bring a player in (whether it be via the draft, trade market, or free-agent market) and then that same individual misses a great deal of time due to injury, it’s a tough look on the general manager. It seems unfair, but you know I’m right (just admit it).
And with Gettleman seemingly out of his position by this Monday (whether that be via retirement or a firing), the injuries to many of the 2021 rookies he drafted could be one final bad look for him in what’s been a disastrous tenure with New York.
Kadarius Toney’s issues
Kadarius Toney could be a star.
Except he’s hardly on the field (at least it seems). The first-round wide receiver will end up missing seven games this year due to various injuries. Combine that with COVID issues (he found himself on the Reserve/COVID-19 list two separate times) and you start to realize how disappointing of a first season it was for KT, which ended when the Giants ruled him out for Sunday’s season finale.
The injuries didn’t exactly validate my desire for the Giants to draft him (nearly a month before they did, mind you)…
— Ryan Honey (@RyanHoneyESNY) April 30, 2021
Yes, I know my sports.
But anyway, the selection of him didn’t seem phenomenal on Gettleman’s part when Toney was dealing with injuries to his shoulder, oblique, quad, ankle, hamstring, and thumb.
Drafting someone in the first round is a huge investment — using that resource to get just 10 games out of Toney in his first season is a bad look on DG, plain and simple.
Injuries to Aaron Robinson & Elerson Smith
The Giants had high hopes for Central Florida cornerback Aaron Robinson — they traded up in the third round to draft him.
They also believed in Northern Iowa edge rusher Elerson Smith, who they took in the fourth round after he didn’t play his final collegiate season.
And sure, the former has improved during the latter half of the year (I honestly think he could give Adoree’ Jackson a run for his money when it comes to playing time next season). But regardless, injuries have prevented either first-year player from maximizing their potential during the 2021 season.
Both individuals commenced their rookie campaigns with health issues (Robinson was on the Physically Unable to Perform list while Smith was on injured reserve) and the pair of youngins will end up missing a total of 17 games — an entire regular season. The Giants have placed Smith on injured reserved ahead of the Week 18 matchup with a neck injury.
The promising sixth-rounder’s lost season.
Rookie cornerback Rodarius Williams was supposed to be a reliable depth piece in the secondary.
Remember: depth is crucial in this league and you could argue it’s most important in the defensive backfield.
With impressions made in both training camp and the preseason, Williams looked ahead of schedule when it came to his development…until a torn ACL suffered in Week 5 ended his first season at the professional level.
What am I trying to get at?
I know I’ve been rambling (I tend to do that a lot here — shout out to my bosses and editor for giving me the platform to do so).
But basically what I’m saying is an injury-ridden rookie class is always a bad look for the general manager that constructed said rookie class — it just is (I don’t make the rules).
If you use a valuable resource (such as a draft pick) on a certain player and then that player isn’t able to provide consistent availability (which some say is the best ability), it looks bad on your part.
That’s happened various times over the last four seasons with Dave Gettleman at the helm. And during his potential final year in East Rutherford, it’s occurring again, with Kadarius Toney, Elerson Smith, Aaron Robinson, and Rodarius Williams (four of the team’s six 2021 draft picks) missing significant time in year one.
One of many bad looks for Gettleman during his Giants tenure, and it could be the last.
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY
Listen to ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast on Apple here or on Spotify here.
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