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Daniel Jeremiah, the former NFL scout and current draft analyst for NFL Network, had a great line earlier this week when he was asked about the possibility of the Giants trading down in the first round.
“I think we'll see a right turn in a NASCAR race before we see Dave Gettleman trade back,” he said, “so I don't see that happening.”
Gettleman, the 70-year-old general manager of the Giants, even admitted it was “a hell of a line -- and a good laugh.” But guess what? NASCAR actually does run a few races where drivers are forced to make right turns.
And it really is possible that this will finally be the year where Gettleman trades back in the NFL Draft.
It’s not a lock by any means, especially since Gettleman has never traded down in any round of the eight drafts he’s run as an NFL GM with the Panthers and the Giants, but it might be more of a possibility this year than ever before.
One team source told SNY that the Giants were discussing the possibility of trading down in the first round “a little more than usual.” Even Gettleman admitted “it’s possible” there’s been more interest from teams wanting to trade up to the Giants’ spot at 11 than there’s been in the past.
But even with increased interest, would the old-school GM actually pull the trigger? Many, like Jeremiah, are doubtful. Gettleman, though, believes the perception that he will refuse to trade down no matter what is simply unfair.
“You know, you guys don’t believe me, (but) I’ve tried in the past,” Gettleman said on a Zoom call with reporters on Thursday. “Honest, I’ve tried to trade back. But it’s got to be value. I’m not getting fleeced. I refuse to do it. If somebody wants to make a bad trade back, God bless them. But we’ve had opportunities. I’ve tried.”
Whether he’ll try again obviously depends on what happens in the first 10 picks, where as many as five quarterbacks could be selected. If that happens, some very good, very appealing players will slip to the Giants’ spot at 11, which would increase the interest in their pick. And if one of those five quarterbacks makes it to 11, there could be interest from several quarterback-needy teams selecting in the next 10 picks who could see an opportunity they didn’t think would have been there.
And there’s also this: The Giants have been doing a lot of pre-draft work on edge rushers. Chris Pettit, their director of college scouting, even said on Thursday, “Edge rushers are how you win.” Pettit said he didn’t think the 11th pick was “too rich” for what many believe is a somewhat underwhelming edge-rusher class. But most others believe that many of the edge rushers don’t really belong in the Top 15.
In other words, the Giants could probably drop at least a few spots in the first round and still get one of the top two or three edge rushers on their board. Plus, they could pick up extra capital in a draft where they only have six picks.
That makes sense. But all that only makes it more likely that a deal will be available. There’s still no guarantee that Gettleman will think it’s worth it. If an unexpected player slips to 11, he might prefer to stay there. He also might not get a good enough offer to trade down. And it’s not clear just how far down in the first round he’ll be willing to go.
So yes, this could be another false alarm, just like it was a year ago when he said several times that the Giants were “open for business” for anyone who wanted to trade up to No. 4. The Giants, of course, never moved, selecting tackle Andrew Thomas when they were on the clock, adding another predictable year without a trade to Gettleman’s collection.
“It’s almost become an urban myth,” he said. “I’ve tried (to trade down). I really have.”
Will this finally be the year? The opportunity should be there. And, just like the five right turns on the NASCAR track at Watkins Glen, it’s definitely real.