INDIANAPOLIS – This could be the year.
The stars might align and Dave Gettleman might trade down in an NFL Draft.
“We’re open for business,” Gettleman said Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine. “Whatever we do is gonna be in our best interest.”
It might be in the best interest of the Giants, sitting at present with the No. 4 pick in the draft, to indeed deal that lofty spot in order to obtain more draft collateral. There might be a team that wants to move up to get a quarterback – Tua Tagovailoa is the most likely target and Justin Herbert could also come into play if a team out there falls in love with him. Before anyone dismisses possible infatuation with Herbert, recall how no one anticipated the Giants taking Daniel Jones last year with the No. 6 overall pick. Falling head over heels for a quarterback prompts teams to rush to the altar.
Where the Giants are — not in position to get pass-rusher Chase Young, likely headed to the Redskins at No. 2 — and what might be an anxious quarterback market allowed Gettleman to admit the likelihood of a trade down is higher this time around.
“Yes,” he said.
So his ears will be open wider than usual, because he knows how valuable the No. 4 pick might be this year.
“Yes, we do,” Gettleman said.
This is not to jump to the conclusion the Giants will not sit at No. 4 and take the top-rated played on their board. If they have only one player rated that high, he likely will be selected. But if the Giants have a small cluster of players with similar high grades and they can move down and still be assured of landing one of them, Gettleman will go against his history and take the plunge. He has overseen seven NFL Drafts – five with the Panthers and two with the Giants – and never once traded down.
“We’re all creatures of what we’ve done and our experiences,” Gettleman said. “I have tried to trade back as a general manager. But the value wasn’t there and there was a player there that we really liked. I’ve seen teams trade themselves away from really good players. While it hasn’t scarred me, I’ve seen what it’s done to those teams and it’s something I have in my head.”
First-year head coach Joe Judge called the No. 4 pick “a great pick – there’s a lot of beachfront property right there.” He wants to add as many quality players as possible, however those additions materialize.
“Whatever the scenario that comes to be that’s best for the Giants, if that’s trading back, we’re open to listen,” Judge said. “We don’t have to do anything, but we’ll listen to anything.”
Judge spent the past eight years with the Patriots, learning about many aspects of a football operation from Bill Belichick. No one maneuvers his way through a draft with more guile than Belichick, who never met a draft slot he wouldn’t send packing. Judge said watching the master in action taught him “you do what’s best for your team at that moment.”
That moment could be on the Giants’ horizon.
“It depends on who’s available at that time, what you think their value is,” Judge said. “If you don’t think there’s someone worth taking at that point, where you can gain maybe more assets, there’s value in that.
“Look, everything’s on the table now as far as options. We’ll listen to everybody. Somebody comes at us with an offer we think is going to benefit the Giants, we’ll entertain that offer. We don’t have to do anything or make any decisions because we’ll listen to somebody, so our ears are open right now and we’ll be very open to whatever is out there to offer.”
Gettleman, with his resume built as a scout, usually develops a conviction on a player and takes him without extensive shopping excursions. He was so completely sold on Saquon Barkley two years ago that he basically did not even consider any trade scenarios for the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft.
“Trading back has its danger,” Gettleman warned. “We’re at four. Let’s say you trade back to eight. There’s only four players we like, what if they’re all gone? Now what are you gonna do? Are you gonna trade back again? You can trade yourself back out of good players, but we’re open.”
Open for business.