One of the positives that came out of a season that saw the Giants set a record for losses was the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Cleveland Browns took Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick. This made Gettleman’s selection an easy one: Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Barkley was rated as the draft’s top player regardless of position and was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
In 2019, the Giants held the No. 6 pick. It was more controversial as the selection was Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones was soundly booed when his name was called. He is rough around the edges but proved he is physically and mentally able to handle the No. 1 spot vacated by the benched and recently retired Eli Manning.
This time around, the Giants hold the No. 4 pick. There are rumors Gettleman is open to the idea of trading back the pick, something he has never done in any draft he has overseen.
Naturally, the Giants could keep the pick and have numerous options for putting it to use. They could decide to focus on defense and select a pass rusher like Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons or bolster the secondary with Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah. The Giants could also look to improve their offensive line with “hog mollies” such as Alabama’s Jedrick Wills or Georgia’s Andrew Thomas.
Instead of keeping the No. 4 pick, the Giants could simply trade it back. SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reports that Gettleman “seems more open to the idea”.
The Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers have the No. 5 and No. 6 picks respectively. Both teams are looking for a quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick is 37 years old and certainly not a long-term solution for the Dolphins while Philip Rivers and the Chargers parted ways after 16 seasons earlier this week. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon’s Justin Herbert are expected to be in the running but it is unknown which team covets which quarterback.
If the Giants choose to swap picks with either team, they would obviously receive compensation and it shouldn’t alter their strategy too much. However, trading back the No. 4 pick is not a certainty at this point.
The Giants have the presence of head coach Joe Judge to consider. Judge will not have final say in personnel matters but his voice will carry some weight. He arrived fresh from the New England Patriots, where Bill Belichick was never afraid to pull the trigger on a draft-day deal…even one in the first round.
There are also decisions to be made in advance of whether or not Gettleman will trade down in the draft. Whether or not the team will attend the NFL Combine in Indianapolis later this month is first and foremost. Free agency will also determine what Gettleman will do. He would be open trading back if the Giants sign a top free agent edge rusher or offensive tackle.
The Giants have a history of doing things old-school. Gettleman himself admitted he is very old-school earlier this year but is trying to adapt to the times. There is no telling what the Giants will do with the No. 4 pick. However, it is evolution that even considering trading down is on the table.