New York Giants: 2018 NFL Draft will be dynamic
By Curt Macysyn
Perhaps the only benefit of a 3-13 season was acquiring the second overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The New York Giants can use that pick and several more because they certainly have plenty of personnel needs. Debating the pick has given Giants fans a hot stove league this winter. In one camp, the strategy of selecting the next “franchise” quarterback can’t be argued. But no quarterback can survive, let alone thrive, behind the current offensive line.
Gettleman – the personnel guy – knows that this team needs offensive line help. Gettleman – the general manager – knows he can’t pass up one of the top rated quarterbacks either.
Call it – “The Gettleman Conundrum”.
More than anything else – new general manager Dave Gettleman exudes decisiveness. Despite how confident Gettleman seems, this draft presents a predicament for him.
So what will give?
Well, Gettleman will have to show his hand in free agency. The most logical move will be to bring back free agent guard/tackle Justin Pugh. If a strong free agent market does not materialize for Weston Richburg, he could return also.
Then again, Gettleman could decide to target Carolina Panthers guard Andrew Norwell. Gettleman brought Norwell into the league, so a reunion could be in the making.
From last season, center Brett Jones should be back, since he’s a restricted free agent. Right guard John Jerry remains under contract, as does Ereck Flowers. Rookie tackles Adam Bisnowaty and Chad Wheeler will need OTA’s to develop.
If nothing else, Gettleman will definitely have competition in camp. But can he and the Giants really go into 2018 with Flowers as starting left tackle?
2018 NFL Draft
This draft shapes up as the strongest one since 2014. First, we could see four to five quarterbacks go in the top 15 picks. Bet on Josh Rosen (UCLA), Sam Darnold (USC) and Josh Allen (Wyoming) getting snapped up very early. It also seems likely that Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) doesn’t make it to pick 20.
New York Giants
In addition, a team may want to take a flier on former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson (Louisville). That could happen later in the first round. And most people are forgetting Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, who should get selected in the first round too.
Will six quarterbacks go in the first round?
It could happen. If that occurs, it helps the New York Giants. Some very good players will drop to the second round if almost 20 percent of the first-round picks are QBs.
Outside of the quarterbacks, there are several impact players who will work around where the QBs get drafted. The best player in this draft is edge rusher Bradley Chubb (NC State) – followed closely by Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Because of the thirst for quarterbacks, they may not even go in the top 5!
Left tackle Orlando Brown (Oklahoma), safety Derwin James (Florida State) and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama) seem destined for the top 10 as well. Given the choice of quarterback or the aforementioned impact players, Gettleman will have a largely no-win decision to make.
In the 1980s, the conventional wisdom was that NFL teams needed a franchise running back. Nowadays, quarterbacks are the rage. Back in 1981, the New Orleans Saints drafted “franchise” running back George Rogers. The Giants were stuck with Lawrence Taylor.
How did that work out for Big Blue?
The envelope please…
The worst thing that Gettleman can do is what Jerry Reese did – not have a plan B. In other words, if the Giants decide that Rosen is their man, and he gets drafted by the Cleveland Browns, they have a decision to make.
Fall in love with Darnold, Chubb, Allen or Barkley, or trade the pick.
Gettleman won’t have the benefit of Reese’s magic draft board. That draft board had Flowers and Eli Apple as the “best available player” in the New York Giants draft spot in 2015 and 2016. Clearly that was not the case with either player – it merely was an excuse to obfuscate the truth. Missing with the second overall selection won’t fly either.
Now maybe a team desperately wants Chubb or Barkley, and Gettleman could work that to his advantage. He also says he won’t go shopping “hungry”, and that’s a great analogy. But the New York Giants farm system has experienced a drought lately, and there isn’t enough in the cupboard to ensure enough nourishment in 2018.
Therefore, Gettleman and the Giants desperately need to ensure they can work the dynamics of the 2018 NFL Draft effectively. If done correctly, the New York Giants draft pick will be self-evident. If not, the ripple effect will be felt in years to come.