After months of mock drafts, wide-spread fortune-telling, fan scrutiny, player profiling, premature panic and the dissection of each and every rumour, the 2019 NFL Draft is here for New York Giants fans.
Congratulations everybody, you made it. For the second year running the New York Giants lurk as one of the most fascinating parties involved, holding the power to influence how the top 20 pans out.
A 5-11 season has granted Big Blue 12 picks for the first time since 1992, as they prepare to add to the blueprints of a rebuild knitted by a ‘win now’ optimism.
The salient question persists to center around whether the New York Giants will pass off a quarterback for the second successive year or draft, who they would hope to be, their successor to Eli Manning.
Dave Gettleman has divided opinion since his arrival as general manager in 2017, however, it is his first draft with the organization that can be deemed his most impactful contribution to the team so far.
With that in mind, excitement should outweigh the apprehension this evening.
A second chance?
A case of déjà vu has seen Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen positioned front and center as far as pre-draft discussion is concerned.
The New York Giants overlooked the UCLA product at number two overall in 2018, paving the way for the Arizona Cardinals to snap him up eight picks later. A year down the line and the G-Men find themselves with another opportunity to make him their franchise play-caller.
Should the Cardinals fulfill growing speculation by taking Heisman Trophy-winning QB Kyler Murray at one overall, Rosen may well be available in exchange for pick No. 37.
A difficult rookie year in Arizona shouldn’t disguise the idea that Rosen likely challenges Murray, when it comes to assessing him among this year’s quarterback class.
What if the New York Giants trade for him?
It means not only taking a meaningful, and more financially secure, stride towards replacing Manning, but it also likely allows the Giants to address a depleted pass rush by plucking one from the plethora of gifted defensive prospects on offer this year.
A shock contender…
Taking signal-caller Daniel Jones (Duke) in the first round would undoubtedly trigger the most intense reaction from Giants fans, and not necessarily in a good way.
Such is the unpredictability of the draft that the Duke product has emerged as a surprise frontrunner to wind up in East Rutherford. In what has been perceived as a lacklustre quarterback class, he has often been ranked towards the bottom on the basis of first round attraction.
Does Big Blue spend the No. 6 on a roll of the dice on the former Blue Devil?
It’s become a polarizing question posed to New York Giants fans, mostly in recent weeks. Jones was seen as a Day 2 prospect earlier this year.
"“[Jones is] their guy. They love him and they have for a while. I can’t imagine they’ll wait until 17. He’s not likely to last that long.”"
Figures of 8,201 yards on 59.9 percent passing in three seasons, with 52 touchdowns to 29 interceptions don’t exactly equate to top 10 talent.
While taking him at six would be defiant of his pre-draft value, gambling on him being around at 17 doesn’t say an awful lot about the Giants’ faith in him as a long-term solution. Such a high risk option won’t sit well with supporters after two highly subpar seasons.
Defense the priority?
A key component behind the popularity of a trade for Rosen is the ability to strengthen defensively in the first round.
If Kentucky pass-rusher Josh Allen somehow falls to six, the Giants would be foolish to let one of the top players available slide any further.
The departure of Olivier Vernon, who led the team with seven sacks despite missing five games last season, has left a gaping hole in desperate need of addressing on James Bettcher’s defense.
Failing Allen, highly-regarded LSU linebacker Devin White could also slip into contention for the Giants when they come onto the clock in Nashville.
"“Obviously, you can’t have too many playmakers. You talk about roster construction, I have always been a big believer that if you look at the great defenses, they have a lead dog in every level. A legitimate playmaker at every level of their defense. I said it at the postseason presser and I will say it again, we need some defensive playmakers.”"
Taking Gettleman’s familiar ‘best available player’ philosophy into account, his opening pick promises to be a major indicator of how he values the quarterbacks on offer.
Were he to go defense, you have to feel trading for Rosen is a far safer bet than drafting Jones.