Truth is, it’s not going to be easy
Dave Gettleman isn’t young. He is 68. He knows after a battle with lymphoma that the clock is ticking on his career as an NFL executive. He made it clear on Wednesday that his dream, whenever his time as general manager of the New York Giants comes to an end, is to have left the organization in the hands of a franchise quarterback.
In case you missed what he said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, here it is:
“What Ernie [Accorsi] did for the Giants it would be a dream for me to do the same thing,” Gettleman said.
“I would love to drop a franchise quarterback in this place then watch him from Cape Cod and enjoy the hell out of him.
“That’s a gift and it’s what I would like to do that for the New York Giants.”
You could tell that he meant it. Not only because he said out loud that he meant it, but because of the little introspective bow of the head that came along with his remark. You could tell that finding the right quarterback to lead the Giants beyond the time both he and Eli Manning are gone is important to him.
Can Gettleman, with the No. 6 overall pick, fulfill that dream in the 2019 NFL Draft?
There were a couple of things that happened Wednesday that might impact that.
The Cardinals might not be committed to Josh Rosen
Well … maybe not.
Cardinals GM Steve Kiem opened the door to continued speculation on Wednesday, with a qualified answer to the team’s quarterback question.
“Is Josh Rosen our quarterback? Yeah, he is right now, for sure,” Keim said.
We know that Kingsbury has said in the past he would take Kyler Murray in the draft if he had an opportunity. Kingsbury tried on Wednesday to qualify that remark as well.
“I can see why it did, obviously, with how the circumstances played out,” Kingsbury said. “It was before a college game. Obviously, I think the world of Kyler as a player and a person, but the timing of it is pretty unique.”
Still, the Cardinals have the No. 1 pick. Murray quelled some doubts about his size on Thursday. Sure, he’s short — but he measured heavier than Russell Wilson did at the Combine and with bigger hands than Baker Mayfield.
Let’s take a wild guess that Murray doesn’t get past the Cardinals. That would mean Rosen would be on the move. Even if Murray doesn’t get to the Cardinals, my guess is he doesn’t get to No. 6.
Would the Giants make a play for the former UCLA Bruin who was the fourth quarterback taken last season?
Probably not. My information is that the Giants simply did not like Rosen when they met him a year ago, and that stance hasn’t changed. The Ryan Leaf comparison has even been tossed around.
So, Gettleman’s dream quarterback is unlikely to be Murray or Rosen.
The Jets are open for business at No. 3
The New York Jets have the third overall pick. They have their quarterback in Sam Darnold after trading up to get him at No. 3 a year ago. The way things go with the draft and quarterbacks, there will be intense interest from quarterback-needy teams in getting that pick from the Jets.
Mike Maccagnon, the Jets GM, sounds ready and willing to play ball.
“Right now, we feel good at No. 3, but I’d definitely say if there’s an opportunity to trade down, we would absolutely look at it,” Maccagnan said on Wednesday.
Even with the Giants?
“Yeah, I think I would be open to any team that would (want to trade),” Maccagnan said when asked about trading with the Giants. “As long as the trade made sense to us, there’s nothing that would stop us from doing that.”
Based on the trade chart it would cost the Giants a second-round pick, and probably more, to get that pick from the Jets. Without a third-round pick, and with an admitted need for defensive playmakers, are the Giants in a position to make that move?
The view here is probably not. Gettleman and the Giants are not trying to tank. They have said they are trying to win games now while also setting the team up for sustained success. They can’t win games in 2019 without any draft picks in the first three rounds they would expect to contribute heavily in 2019.
So, the Jets are likely to deal that No. 3 pick to someone. It just seems to be far-fetched to think that someone will be the Giants.
Where does that leave the Giants?
Let’s assume Murray and Haskins are off the board before No. 6. We don’t know what the Raiders will do, but again I don’t see the Giants moving up that No. 4 slot.
Gettleman was adamant on Wednesday that he won’t take a quarterback at No. 6, or at any draft slot, who doesn’t deserve to be taken at that time.
“You cannot reach,” Gettleman said on Wednesday. “I will say it until the cows come home, you can’t reach.”
“You evaluate the quarterbacks and you take the guy when you believe he’s the guy and it’s at the right spot.”
Daniel Jones of Duke and Drew Lock of Missouri feel like reaches at No. 6.
Quarterback-needy teams are likely to include the Denver Broncos (10th), Miami Dolphins (13th), Jacksonville Jaguars (7th) and Washington Redskins (15th). Not all of them are going to be able to move past the Giants.
Would any of them dance with the Giants, allowing Gettleman to trade down?
That would give Gettleman options. It would also likely allow him to recoup the third-round pick he surrendered by selecting Sam Beal in the NFL Supplemental Draft.
Perhaps, if he likes Jones enough, Gettleman would take him in the middle of the first round. Remember, though, as badly as he wants a franchise quarterback Gettleman also indicated Wednesday that he would be OK not taking that guy this year.
If he were to pass, a trade down allows Gettleman to do something else that needs to be done — build a roster that has holes on both the offensive and defensive lines. Those, coincidentally, are two areas where this draft class is strong.
“This is a really strong draft for hogs on both sides of the ball,” Gettleman said Wednesday. “It’s obviously a very important need. You guys sat and watched us and saw our inability to close out games. We had three games the second half of the year we make stops we finish the season 7-1. A stop.”
Maybe Gettleman would use a Day 2 pick on a quarterback like Jarrett Stidham of Auburn. He also admitted Wednesday, though, that while there are exceptions history tells you that if you want a franchise guy you better go get him early in the draft.
So, the view here is that despite all the machinations, options, scenarios, gnashing of teeth from the fan base and noise from the media, Gettleman’s dream quarterback might not be in this class.
The Nick Foles option
While coach Pat Shurmur was saying of Manning “I want Eli back. He’s back,” and Gettleman was saying the negative narrative around the veteran quarterback wasn’t fair, the GM also cracked open the door ever so slightly to moving on.
“I can’t say anything like that (that he wouldn’t look for a veteran quarterback). I can’t do it,” Gettleman said. “You don’t know what’s gonna happen. You don’t know … We’re evaluating everything. We’ve just got to keep moving forward.”
The Eagles Wednesday said they will allow Foles to test free agency.
“We made this decision as an organization and we feel very comfortable about it,” Howie Roseman, Eagles executive vice president of football operations, said. “Again, (it’s a) hard decision. Nick is someone that means a lot to us professionally and personally. But at the end of the day, as an organization we felt like it was the right thing to do.”
So, if you want to dream about Foles as a Giant I guess you still can. Still, extremely unlikely.
What does it all mean?
In the end, none of us knows for certain who the heir apparent to Manning will be — or when he will show up in a Giants uniform. We only know that Gettleman is searching. It was obvious a year ago that the GM was in love with Saquon Barkley. He telegraphed that from miles away. If he’s in love with one of the quarterbacks in this class, he’s playing that card close to the vest.
We’ll just have to see how Gettleman’s dream ends.