Draft Insight: The New York Giants Short List

by Michael Basile @MdoubleJB

Many NYG fans have their idea of how to attack the draft, and Big Blue has the luxury of owning the 2nd overall pick this year.  They can always trade out for a king’s ransom with a team desperate to take one of the Quarterbacks.  They can also stay put and take: Josh Rosen or another of the QBsguard Quentin Nelson, defensive end Bradley Chubb, or running back Saquon Barkley.  Let’s attempt to get into the mind of Dave Gettleman with pros and cons of each option:

Defensive End Bradley Chubb

In my opinion this is the least likely, but drafting Chubb is definitely on the table.  When the Giants traded JPP this seemed legit; Chubb’s draft profile anticipates him to be a multiple “pro bowl” player.  Pairing him with Vernon would certainly make Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher happy.  Pressuring opposing QBs is exactly how the NYG and Gettleman have 2 super bowl rings in the last decade.  If they feel that highly of Chubb, this is a viable option.  The thought against Chubb?  If you make him be lick, you miss out on better prospects on the offensive side of the ball.

Offensive Guard Quentin Nelson

Gettleman loves his “hog mollies” and according to his draft profile Quentin Nelson compares to Larry Allen.  If that’s the career ahead of him, Nelson deserves serious consideration.  Imagine a line with Nate Solder and Quentin Nelson anchoring it for the next 5+ seasons.  See what we recently said about Nate Solder. This allows Eli to do what he hasn’t been able to do…the last few seasons; Distribute the ball.

This pick cures the biggest problem, the offensive line.  The line has haunted this team in recent years.  The case against drafting Nelson?  Offensive Guards seem to be a spot where you can find productivity in later rounds.  Chris Snee was drafted in the second round.

Another great find was Gettleman (still in Carolina) signing Andrew Norwell.  Gettleman‘s is a good talent evaluator, specializing in mid to late round and undrafted players on the offensive line.  With this thought, the Giants wouldn’t necessarily have to spend high draft picks here.

Running Back Saquon Barkley

Our very own mock draft 3.0  has this scenario.  The sexy pick is Saquon Barkley.  He’s a plug and play, immediate impact type of player.  He can be to Odell what Le’Veon Bell is to Antonio Brown.  He’s what Ezekiel Elliot is in Dallas, what Todd Gurley is for the Rams, and what Fournette is for the Jaguars.

Here’s the thing: many front office executives rate Barkley ahead of those backs.  Some even say he’s the highest rated player in the last 15 years.  His draft profile has at least one NFL executive calling him special.  With Eli having Barkley, Beckham, Engram, and Shep at his disposal, the offense can be dynamic.  So what’s the knock on this pick?

It seems like a short-sighted selection.  In the modern NFL, for every great high draft pick running back, I can find you a late round find: See Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara, etc.  Plus, what is the shelf life on a back?  Maybe 4-5 great seasons?  Check out the recent super bowl winners, and you won’t find many Bell Cow backs.

Is this a position that the Giants would sign to a second contract?  In 5 years when Barkley wants $20 mil a season, would the Giants be willing to do that?  The Steelers are going through that now with Bell.  I’m not saying Gettleman feels this way, he actually has said the opposite: that he just wants a HOF player regardless of position.  It seems like with his moves, he’s all in on winning now; This pick would be a statement: The NYG are all in on winning with Eli and securing a super bowl within his last few seasons.

Josh Rosen/one of the QBs

Many fans think this is the way to go.  Eli Manning hasn’t been great in recent seasons, and even if he has a resurgence with 1-2 or even 3 quality seasons, the NYG as an organization don’t plan on picking in the top 5 again any time soon.  Favre to Rodgers, Peyton to Luck, this could be Eli-Rosen for a smooth transition to the next 12+ years.  Franchises all over the league struggle to find their Quarterback.  The Giants know what it’s like to be all set at the position: Since 2004, no matter what has been thrown at Big Blue, week in and week out they have had their guy.  They have focused on spending resources and energy to build a team around Eli.  They simply have not once had to worry about the Quarterback position.

The fact that the team had a disastrous season in 2017 might be a blessing in disguise in the long run.  They have Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, and Baker Mayfield as 4 highly touted prospects staring them in the face; If Gettleman and his scouting team sees one or more of these players as hall of fame quarterbacks, this is a no brainer.  The flip side?  Maybe the Giants feel that Davis Webb could be the guy, and compares favorably to the rookie QBs mentioned above.  After all, they all have their flaws, and drafting a first round QB has proven to be a 50-50 proposition at best.  If they aren’t sold on these guys and feel great about Webb, that’s fine, they just better be right.

Trading out

When the Jets traded to the 3rd pick, it became clear that at least 2 of the QBs were going to be gone after the first 3 selections.  If you’re a team desperate for a QB (Maybe the Bills, Dolphins, etc) then you need to jump to the 2nd pick.  With what the Eagles gave up for Wentz, and the Redskins traded away a few years ago for RG3, it’s not inconceivable for the Giants to ask for: 2 first rounders, and 2 additional picks at a minimum.

If Gettleman passes on the QBs and he can pass on studs like Barkley, Nelson and Chubb, then trading out works.  Maybe the Bills offer both their first rounders this year, a 2nd rounder, and a first next year?  If so, the Giants will listen.  If they trade out, and then the QB selected with that pick becomes an absolute stud, regardless of who the Giants select with those extra picks, it won’t matter.

There are a few ways Gettleman and the Giants can go, and a case can be made for any of the above scenarios.  NYG fans just hope that in a few years, they look back on this draft as a pivotal moment in Giants history; and one that the right decision was made.