It is the morning after the first round of the NFL Draft and many Giant fans and press are killing Giant GM Dave Gettleman for picking a quarterback. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. For weeks, even months, those same fans and press were begging the Giants to pick a quarterback.
Yes, I understand nobody had Jones going in the Top 10 and a it could be a reach, but let’s face it: teams reach for a quarterback more than any position. Yes, I was hoping either Josh Allen or Quinnen Williams was going to fall to them and Allen did. But now that Jones was the pick, we have to be patient.
Could he have been available at the 17th pick? He could have been and the keyword is COULD. Another word to contemplate is WOULD. Would he have been available? My belief is the Giants didn’t know the answer or believed he would not have been available. Denver, Cincinnati, Miami, and Washington were all mentioned as teams who might have taken quarterbacks. What if they chose Jones? We may never know that answer and the Giants did not want to take that chance.
Many are complaining they should have taken Dwayne Haskins and time will tell whether that would have been the right pick to make. But here is something to consider: the Broncos, Bengals, and Dolphins also passed on Haskins (I had Haskins going to Cincinnati and Jones going to Washington). I also find it interesting that the Broncos traded down when their pick at number-10 came. Would that have happened if Jones was available? Again, we may never know. Some will say the Broncos have Joe Flacco and were not in the market for a quarterback, but the Ravens had him last year and chose Lamar Jackson in round one. If it happened once with Flacco at quarterback, it could happen again.
I do not understand the venom directed towards Gettleman. He was GM of the Carolina Panthers, who went to a Super Bowl, and he conducted a very good draft last year, getting Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, BJ Hill, and possibly Lorenzo Carter. The free agent signings had some misses with Patrick Omameh and Jonathan Stewart, but I strongly believe they signed Stewart to improve a bad locker room. Nate Solder was solid the last half of the season after a disappointing start; I know they overpaid, but the line had to be stabilized and it moved much closer to that the last half of the year with a solid left side of the line.
The two biggest issues that had the fans turning on Gettleman are trading Odell Beckham and letting Landon Collins walk. If one wants to criticize the Giants for signing Beckham to that big extension last summer, there will be no argument from me. But I think it was time for him to go with all his drama and bad decisions and I thought the return for him was fair – now the draft picks have to perform. Lets not forget they made a separate trade with the Browns, netting a very good guard in Kevin Zeitler and improving the right side of the line – package those two tardes and the return is very good. Beckham is an elite talent, but he has not been an elite player the last two seasons and he has missed a total of 21 regular season games: 26 percent of their games since 2014. And while it wasn’t easy to see Collins leave, he wanted too much money and would have been a major cap hit. I understand the dead money the Giants have this year, but it should be a much different story next year.
Back to last night’s draft: when Allen fell to the Giants last night, I thought there was a good chance the G-Men would pick him. I did not expect Jones, but once he was announced, I thought he was the guy they liked the most and the verdict will be out for at least one year, maybe three. I did not want to reach for a quarterback and if they chose one, I wanted it to be a case of them really liking the guy. I hope that is the case and if not, they are not going to tell us.
A common complaint is Gettleman saying they will not reach for a quarterback. Whether they reached or not, all teams send smoke screens and misinformation to keep other teams off-balance. That’s to be expected with the draft.
But in the end, I will take Gettleman over Jerry Reese any day of the week. Last year’s draft was a good one and he deserves the benefit of the doubt. The Giants ended up with three first-round picks: Jones, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and cornerback DeAndre Baker. The last two should contribute this year at positions where they have needs. I know they could use a pass rusher, but they have many needs. Gettleman inherited a mess and no matter who became the GM, this team was not going anywhere last year.
All we can do now is support the new draftees and hope they have big careers.