The draft winds are swirling, even more than usual this year.
Nobody really knows how it will play out for the New York Giants in the NFL draft, which begins April 26. They are in a position of power with a valuable piece of currency: the second overall selection.
How general manager Dave Gettleman yields that power remains to be seen. Gettleman is a wild card. This is his first draft with the Giants, and he isn’t showing anyone his board or hand.
Let’s go through all the options and what I’ve been hearing about after talking for weeks with sources inside the Giants and around the league:
Draft a quarterback: There has been talk of the Giants liking only one quarterback in this draft. It’s not quite that clear-cut. USC’s Sam Darnold is believed to be the top choice; there is nothing I’ve heard to suggest otherwise. He’s the cleanest of the prospects and overflowing with upside. UCLA’s Josh Rosen is the one I’d say can surprise. He has the tape to blow away Gettleman. Wyoming’s Josh Allen also has support among coaches in the building, according to a source. That’s not a surprise. Coaches always seem to think they can take those skills and mold them into a star player. Allen has the size, build and athleticism, if not the production. I still view him as a long-shot, although not as unlikely as Mayfield. The Heisman Trophy winner doesn’t seem to fit what the Giants are looking for in a franchise quarterback despite his college production.
Take Barkley: The Giants love running back Saquon Barkley. He checks all the boxes. He can do it all. “You can see where this is headed,” said one personnel evaluator with knowledge of the Giants’ thinking. “Just look at all their moves this offseason. It leads to Saquon Barkley.” The only hesitation appears to be Barkley happens to play a position that is deep in this draft and relatively easy to fill in comparison to others. It’s not as if the Giants are one skill position player away from being Super Bowl contenders. They have holes all over their roster that a trade down for more draft capital could help fill. Their future at quarterback is also in question with Eli Manning being 37 and so much unknown with Davis Webb. Quarterback should be the way to go.
Select Chubb: Edge-rusher Bradley Chubb fits the profile of Gettleman, who selected defensive linemen with five of his 14 picks in the first three rounds as general manager of the Carolina Panthers. Chubb is a realistic option if the Giants remain at No. 2 and Darnold goes No. 1. He’s just a rock-solid player of which they think highly.
Trade the pick: This one has been picking up steam in league circles in recent weeks. The feeling is quarterbacks are going with the first three picks, and the Giants aren’t sold on many, if any, of them. The Buffalo Bills are desperately trying to get into the top five to grab a quarterback. Can they get to No. 2? It might take a double jump, or they can unload their bag of picks on the Giants, who then can use some of that draft currency to move back into the lower half of the top 10 with their eyes on Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.
As for the cost of No. 2 …
It’s steep. Look no further than two years ago, when the Philadelphia Eagles moved up to No. 2 to take quarterback Carson Wentz. They essentially gave the Cleveland Browns the No. 8 overall pick, a future first-round selection and a second- and a third-rounder. The two teams also swapped fourth-round picks. The Giants won’t move from No. 2 unless they get a similar haul.