…or isn’t that how Dave Gettleman phrased it when he spoke of Daniel Jones after drafting him with the 6th pick the 2019 NFL Draft?
In 2018, Dave had his focus on Saquon Barkley as a generational player, “touched by the hand of God.” Dave had a much quieter courtship with Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick in the 2019 draft.
So, who will be this year’s 2020 NFL Draft target for “Cupid Dave”?
Dave Gettleman: Draft Guru!
First, let’s give our Giants GM the credit he deserves for the previous two draft classes. In total, Dave gets high marks for his drafts. They’ve been strong. 14 of the 15 picks made by the Giants in 2018-2019 are still on the roster and major contributors. Yes, Kyle Lauletta didn’t make it. But, he’s the only bust so far. I’m not sure he’d be the best backup QB for Daniel Jones this year anyway. The jury (Coach Judge presiding) may still be out on some of the team’s younger defensive backs. And with a new head coach and staff, do these same players mesh with the Giants’ future style of play? Coach Joe says he’s completed his evaluations of the current roster. We’ll see what happens when free agency opens.
I’m not a draft guru. I’m a fan and a bit of a football nerd. Frankly, I prefer to watch the actions of the team GMs and management during Senior Bowl week, free agency, trades, the combine, pro-days and pre-draft invites to team facilities. Here’s how I see the first three of those areas:
Senior Bowl MVP? We’ll pass this year, thanks
Here’s what we do know as far as the Giants offseason unfolds. Senior Bowl Week is over.
What’s the most significant indicator of Giants’ plans from this event?
In the last three years, the Giants have drafted the MVP of Senior Bowl Week. Yep, 2017 was Davis Webb; 2018 was Kyle Lauletta; 2019 was Daniel Jones. As they say, “the third time’s a charm.” I think we can all agree that Daniel Jones is the real deal, and we have our QB of the future.
Who is the 2020 Senior Bowl Week MVP? Another QB, Justin Herbert of Oregon. I think it’s safe to predict we will NOT take Herbert. The pattern will be broken (I hope). But, Herbert could still be a factor that impacts Giants’ draft-day decisions. He has currently rated the 3rd best QB draft prospect. Is there a team willing to trade up with the G-Men to draft him?
Free Agency: The Good, the Not-so-Good, and the Ugly
If there is one area of GM Dave’s plan that maybe has not lived up to expectations, it’s free-agent signings. Granted, we’ve needed some instant improvement in the O-Line and Secondary. Signing a veteran left tackle (LT) in 2018 to replace Ereck Flowers was long overdue. GM Dave came in and made that decision, signing Nate Solder. In 2019, Dave added Mike Remmers at RT.
Some media pundits don’t agree with these moves. I understand the big criticism of the Solder signing was the price tag. But, sometimes overpaying to get better is necessary, especially if plays need time to develop and you don’t want your QB in the hospital. The O-Line has played better, and the experience of both helps get the new guys (Hernandez, Gates, Asafo-Adjei) up to speed. The O-Line still needs significant help.
GM Dave also gets mixed reviews for signing Antoine Bethea to help quarterback the defensive secondary full of young talent. But, I believe he was a victim of a failed defensive scheme. The secondary just seemed out of position too often in 2019. Some FA signings have been great improvements. The signing of Jonathan Stewart and Rod Smith as RBs…ugh! However, Javorius Allen, Rhett Ellison, Marcus Golden, Kayden Smith, and Golden Tate are nice pickups.
Trades: Good Moves. Some trade grades are “TBD”
As a long-time Giants fan, I love the trade of Olivier Vernon and OBJ for Jabril Peppers, Kevin Zeitler, and a draft pick that became Dexter Lawrence. We got professionals and every-down player in return for two players who have trouble staying on the field. Alec Ogletree seemed to have a better 2018 than he did in 2019.
Was it the defensive scheme again? I’m not sure. I like Alec and his veteran leadership. The giving up the draft picks for potentially only half a season of Leonard Williams (now a FA or franchise tag) might be viewed as a bust, unless GM Dave signs him.
The NFL Combine takes place from February 23 to March 2, 2020, in Indianapolis. This becomes the next critical opportunity for the coaches and GMs to interview potential draft picks. As news comes out from Indianapolis, we can start putting draft theories together. It should also help shape an idea of how the coaches view the current roster and holes.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to draft a __________?”
Over the next few weeks, I’ll discuss the Giants’ perceived needs and holes. Then I’ll create a few wish lists to fill those needs. As I said, I’ll never claim to be a draft guru. But, as a fan, I can sure craft a few good ideas that, I’m sure GM Dave has already thought of and put on the draft board.
One wouldn’t be a true fan if they didn’t speculate and play couch GM, would they?