Every selection in the NFL draft is open for debate, analysis and immediate approval or rejection. The over-the-top pushback to the Giants taking Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick is something to behold.
The reaction makes it seem as if the Giants put together their draft board by throwing darts. A case can and certainly should be made general manager Dave Gettleman needed to embrace the good fortune of seeing edge-rusher Josh Allen dropping into the Giants’ lap, take him, and then aggressively maneuver to trade up from No. 17 to get Jones, who was not going to go in the top 10 if the Giants didn’t grab him and incite a fan revolt.
Gettleman insists he could not do this. He was Jonesing for Jones, saying, “I know for a fact there were two teams that would’ve taken him in front of 17.’’ Maybe. Maybe not.
One of those teams, despite swirling speculation, does not appear to be the Redskins, who sat at No. 15 and took a quarterback, Dwayne Haskins. An NFL source told The Post the Redskins coaching staff is not thrilled with this pick. Could it be that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder fell in love with Haskins — Snyder’s son played football at the Bullis School in Potomac, Md., a few years after Haskins starred there — and went rogue to get Haskins?
The Broncos also reportedly were interested in moving up for Jones, but more accurate information out of Denver reveals that was not the case. The Broncos preferred Drew Lock and took him in the second round, with the 42nd-overall pick.
Could the Giants have taken Allen at No. 6 and then sat at 17 to take Jones? Gettleman was not going to risk it. Conviction is a fine thing and if the Giants — from ownership on down — are convinced Jones will provide the franchise with the main ingredients Eli Manning brought to the team every day for the past 16 years the move was to take him and then brace for the impact of heavy-duty criticism.
There might not be a player in this draft capable of making a more forceful, immediate impact with the Giants than Allen. The safe move, as far as conventional value dictates, was to take him and find a quarterback later. If Jones was gone, as Gettleman feared he would be, pivot to Plan B at quarterback at No. 17, or at No. 37, or maneuver around the board and get one. This did not interest the Giants.
“It wasn’t easy for me to pass up Josh Allen,’’ Gettleman said. “For me, my background, that was very, very difficult. But I think that much of Daniel Jones and his future as an NFL quarterback.’’
Clearly, the Giants love Jones and only liked the other quarterbacks. Time will tell if this is an over-evaluation and if the Giants are too smitten with Jones’ Eli Manning-like qualities and football upbringing that they lowered the bar as far as upside potential.
It is impossible to shrug off the blurred optic of taking 10 players in a single draft, assigning rookie roles or roster purposes for nine of them and acknowledging the very first pick will sit and learn. Allen screaming around the edge as the centerpiece of a rebuilt defense? Now that would have worked in 2019. Pat Shurmur went 5-11 in his debut with the Giants. Allen helps him win games this season. Jones is about the future.
“That’s why I always say, I’m on a tightrope,’’ Gettleman said. “I’ve got to think short term, and I’ve got to think long term. That’s the box I’m in. That’s the position I’m in. Coaches have to win now, and I ask myself that question, am I giving Pat and the guys enough players to win with?’’
It would behoove Gettleman to quit talking about “the Kansas City model’’ and, more recently, the “Green Bay model’’ when the only point he is trying to make is he sees great value in a young quarterback spending his rookie year in a non-playing role, soaking up knowledge from a wizened pro. The model Gettleman needs to lean on is Giants, 2004: A rookie (Manning) waits his turn and if the season goes south he eventually moves in for the veteran (Kurt Warner).
Gettleman has no intention of seeing Jones sit for three years — á la Aaron Rodgers waiting behind Brett Favre. If that happens, Manning plays into his 40s and we test his blood for traces of the serum they injected into Steve Rogers to turn him into Captain America. Complaining about all this is fair and fine, but know that the endgame on the Daniel Jones Decision is far off.