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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Dave Gettleman is key to how the NFL Draft will play out

Dave Gettleman

We are all at the mercy of New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman, who impressed with his typing skills while discussing analytics a year ago, and who is as old school as it gets, holds the key to how the rest of the first round of the NFL Draft will proceed.

The Giants hold the sixth and seventeenth picks in the first round. That sixth pick comes at the point when the consensus top players are probably off the board. Kyler Murray and the defensive quartet of Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Quinnen Williams, and Devin White are likely to be gone. It is the inflection point where the draft really opens up, and then add in that Gettleman is the man who will set things in motion, and well, it really gets interesting. Good luck getting inside the head of Dave Gettleman.

The logical move here would be to address the quarterback position while the Giants have yet another top ten pick. The messaging coming out of New York on replacing Eli Manning has been inconsistent, though. This is a franchise that has gone seven years without a playoff win, and with Manning resembling a replacement starter for the last several, yet they have not moved on from Manning yet.

Dwayne Haskins is reportedly falling in the eyes of some (though all it takes is one team to disagree with such opinions). Drew Lock and Daniel Jones are others who have been mentioned in the first round. If the Giants believe one of those three is the answer, then they should make that pick. But do they?

If Gettleman does not go with a quarterback right away, things really get interesting. First, it could lead to something like the Giants targeting Daniel Jones later in the first round with the pick they got from Cleveland. Even though New York acquired Kevin Zeitler in the Olivier Vernon trade, the Giants could still seek to address the offensive line early in the draft. The team whiffed on Ereck Flowers in the top 10 four years ago, but could try again to find their left tackle with Jawaan Taylor out of Florida. If that happens, it would lead to a run on tackles, and push them up the board, creating other trades. Jacksonville at the seventh pick is the most commonly mocked destination for tackle, and the Jaguars are likely to address the offensive line. Buffalo (9th), Miami (13th), Carolina (16th), Minnesota (18th), Seattle (21st), Baltimore (22nd), and Houston (23rd) are all teams that are in the mix to address offensive line in the first round. If the Giants take one off the board, demand will definitely exceed supply at those spots.

If the Giants instead go with the defensive line, that also impacts what teams like the Lions, Bills, and Falcons could do in the picks that come soon afterwards, and would also impact what is available when the Giants’ second pick in the first round comes up. There is no clear-cut defensive choice for that sixth spot, but there are several possibilities, including Rashan Gary, Ed Oliver, Montez Sweat, Christian Wilkins, and Brian Burns. If Gettleman really wants to go defense, and none of the top guys falls to him, he would be best served trading down.

Of course, that makes sense, but you need to keep this in mind: Dave Gettleman has never traded down. In six drafts where he has been in charge (five in Carolina and last year in New York), Gettleman has entered them with 40 total picks and left them with 33 picks made. He has traded up six different times and never traded down. That’s hard to do, and a big part of why the analytics community is not exactly on Gettleman’s holiday card list. Maybe he will save the biggest surprise of all and shock the world by making an astute trade to get multiple picks when the Giants have so many needs.

Whatever happens though, know this: Dave Gettleman is going to be a key figure on draft night. Everyone else will be reacting and trading based on what he does.

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