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Does Josh Rosen throw a wrench in Giants’ plans at the NFL Draft?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – By the time the draft begins at 8 p.m. next Thursday, Dave Gettleman and his staff will have spent months building the Giants’ big board. They will have a pretty good idea by then of what they’re going to do – particularly with their two first-round picks.

Then the Arizona Cardinals will make the first overall pick, and everything could change.

It all depends on how interested the Giants are in Josh Rosen, the current quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. Because if the Cards draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, as many expect, they will likely put Rosen on the market and try to trade him sometime during the first two days of the NFL draft.

Depending on the price tag and how quickly the Cards are willing to move him, that could change the Giants’ thinking on whether to draft a quarterback or not.

Right now, though, that whole scenario is clouded in mystery, as Gettleman revealed few thoughts on it during his pre-draft press conference on Thursday. Asked directly if he had spoken to the Cardinals about Rosen, the Giants GM said “I’m not going there.” And when asked how Rosen’s sudden availability might change his plans, he deflected and made it sound like it won’t be a big deal.

“We’re going to sit there and see what’s cooking at 6,” Gettleman said, “and go from there.”

At the moment, the Giants appear to be focusing on the players in this year’s draft – including a group of four quarterbacks who could be available to them with either the sixth pick in the draft or the 17th. Gettleman is still interested in landing a young quarterback to sit behind Eli Manning for a year, duplicating what he called “The Kansas City model.” And though it seems increasingly unlikely he’ll select one at 6, he still could at 17.

But what if Rosen becomes available? Do the Giants like him enough to trade for him?

They obviously had a high grade on him last year when he was drafted 10th overall by the Cardinals, but never seriously considered drafting him over running back Saquon Barkley. He wasn’t even the highest-ranked quarterback on their board, a source said, though it’s unclear how his grade compares to the ones in this year’s class.

The Giants’ biggest concern about him, according to a team source, was his personality and how it would fit in New York. Though Rosen seemed to be well-liked by teammates, he has a tendency to come off as arrogant publicly. And after 15 relatively smooth years with Manning, there were worries inside the Giants organization about how Rosen would handle the press when, inevitably, things went wrong on the field.

Without addressing Rosen specifically, Gettleman made it clear that a quarterback’s personality is a strong consideration when he’s shopping for Manning’s successor.

“Being a quarterback of a team in this type of market is a load,” Gettleman said. “It’s a mental load. It’s more than just looking at a guy’s physical talent. It’s about his makeup. … You have to have a mental toughness about you to play the position here in New York.”

It doesn’t appear that Rosen’s personality is disqualifying, though – especially if the price is right. The Giants, according to a source, have no interest in trading either of their first-round picks for Rosen and they believe their third-round pick (95th overall) won’t be enough. The Giants do have a high second-round pick (37th), but they don’t seem inclined to trade it. Gettleman wouldn’t rule out trading picks in future years, which might be the best option if they decide to make a move.

So will they? As SNY has reported, the Giants have had internal discussions about the possibility. Rosen is a 22-year-old with what almost everyone considers to be franchise-quarterback talent, and now has a year of experience under his belt. So how could they not consider it?

If the Giants could get him for a third-round pick plus a Day 3 pick, maybe another pick in 2020, and not give up the three picks they have in the Top 37, that would seem to be more than worth the shot.

Not that Gettleman was tipping his hand, nor was he sounding like someone who had to find a quarterback one way or another. Clearly he’ll be listening if Arizona starts to solicit offers from Rosen. But he feels no pressure to make a rash decision in such an important position, even if it’s clear that Manning’s time is running out.

“If you put a lot of pressure on it, you’re going to make a mistake,” Gettleman said. “You ask me how urgent do I feel that we need to (find a quarterback)? I’m not going to put a level on it.”

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