The 2020 NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 23rd.
When you listen to Dave Gettleman’s responses to media questions today, you get the sense that the Giants are preparing for a few potential things to happen as the draft begins on April 23rd. They have been testing the technology which will bring not only the staff together but all 32 teams in the NFL.
The NFL alluded to having multiple “Zoom rooms” open at the same time for team collaboration and discussion. But still, this draft brought Dave back to the 1970s with an “old school” feel.
“We are still open for business.”
Dave reiterated that, as he said at the Combine, the Giants would be willing to trade back in the draft.
“I’m going to make calls, and anybody that wants to move up, I’m going to say, listen, we don’t have much time…I’d like to get the parameters of… the deal in place before we get on the clock.”
He went on to say, “Again, the biggest piece is making sure that we, meaning the Giants, are coordinated in how we’re going to approach the trade process.” “If both groups are motivated, you’ll come to some kind of conclusion.” Dave’s final comment was, “It’s something I would very seriously entertain.”
Value Versus Need
Dave has many times decreed that he would take the “best player available.”
He was asked if he’s reconsidered that philosophy. His comments focused on players of near-equal value.
“When you’re splitting hairs, it’s ok to take a grade 96 over a 98. It’s when you compare a 98 to an 88, that’s not splitting hairs anymore. Even if the 88 is the bigger position of need. Once you start reaching, you’ve created issues for yourself.” If there’s a precipitous drop in your evaluation, that’s when you get into trouble.”
“This Is a Pretty Good Draft.”
When Dave was asked where’s the precipitous drop?
“This is a pretty good draft. It really is. We’ve got about the same number of players in each round this year as last year. And last year was a hell of a draft.”
Dave’s Thoughts on the 2020 Offensive Tackle Class
“Versatility doesn’t hurt. It’s a thick group. There are tackles throughout the draft.” Dave further elaborated on whether it’s necessary to distinguish between right and left tackle.
“Is it helpful if a guy played both? Absolutely. Is it fatal if he’s only played one? Certainly not. If you have a tackle need and need meets value, you work through it…and you just take the guy.”
On Fixing the Offensive Line
Dave was asked if he feels a particular urgency or pressure to come out of this draft with one or two linemen that can step in right away and help Daniel Jones and open holes for Saquon Barkley.
Dave doubled down on Nick Gates: “We’ll continue to build the offensive line. Is it a pressure point? Yes, to a degree. But, it’s about getting the right guy. We’re not going to panic.”
Nick Gates has a bright future. Spencer Pulley has done good work for us at center. We’re just going to keep working at it. Joe and I are of the same mentality that the offensive line sets the tone for the team.”
And referring to the 2007 and 2011 Giants Super Bowl teams, Dave said, “The offensive lines were the tone setters. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we replicate that.”
Dave was asked directly if he considers Nate Solder the starting left tackle.
“The bottom line is, as Joe said it, we’re bringing in players to compete. Everybody has to compete. We’re not afraid to have too many players at one position. Joe knows Nate which is helpful. But, we’re going to bring in the best players. If they’re at a position where there’s an incumbent starter, then he’s going to compete.”
Not exactly a vote of confidence. But, in keeping with the “clean slate” theme.
Giants’ Draft Mantra: Collective, Collaborative, Consensus
When asked where the final decision lies on who to take with a pick, Dave responded…
“It’s a New York Giants decision. It’s completely collaborative. We just talk it through. That’s all there is to it. I’ve never had a big difference of opinion with a head coach. It’s about coming to a consensus.”
As for the Giants’ first pick? ”We’re still discussing it. We’re still a week out. We’ll see what happens.” When pressed again Do you have your guy? “We’re still working through it. It’ll be a collective, collaborative decision.”
Joe Judge, in his press conference call this week hinted that while spending 15 hours a day in his basement with his dog, Abby, by his side, that the dog knows more about who the Giants will draft than anyone.
One thing is clear: The Giants are approaching this draft with the same message this staff has been preaching since they came together in January.
The Giants draft team is prepared to be flexible and versatile as the draft unfolds before them. And we the fans, better be flexible too.
Please remember to stay safe. Stay healthy. Social distancing. Flatten the curve.
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