EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants don't need to select a quarterback in next week's NFL Draft, but they can benefit because so many other teams do.
Quarterbacks are all but certain to go 1-2-3 at the top of the first round a week from tonight, another could well get chosen at No. 4 and a fifth high in the first round is a distinct possibility. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, who owns the 11th overall pick, would be happy if the run on quarterbacks extends even longer.
"The more quarterbacks that go, the more players it pushes to us," Gettleman said on a Zoom call. "It's obviously helpful. Frankly, I'd like to see 10 quarterbacks go in front of us, but basically the more quarterbacks that go, the better it is for us."
An early run on quarterbacks would make more excellent players available to the Giants. But it could also create a competition among quarterback-needy teams for those passers still available after the first few picks. With Daniel Jones entering his third season, the Giants are excluded from that group. But they might find a trading partner in a team seeking a quarterback or a coveted player at another position. That could present the Giants with an opportunity to add to their total of six picks in the seven-round draft (they had 10 last year). They have two sixth-round selections, but none in the fifth and seventh rounds.
Neither the Giants nor Gettleman have a recent history of trading back in the first round. The team last did so in 2006, when they moved from 25 to 32 in a trade with Pittsburgh and selected defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. Gettleman has directed eight drafts – five during his tenure as the Carolina Panthers' G.M. and three with the Giants – without ever moving back in the round.
That lack of movement is not due to a philosophical objection.
"(Daniel) Jeremiah had a great line: 'NASCAR will have right turns before DG trades back,'" Gettleman said. "Hell of a line, had a good laugh. I've tried in the past. 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. You have to understand the other piece of this is sometimes you have a trade and the guy that the team is trading up for gets picked in front of you. We've had that happen to us. We've got a trade, we've got a trade. So-and-so selects, 'No trade, Dave, good-bye,' and they hang the phone up on me.
"It's almost becoming an urban myth. I've tried, I really have. And it is what it is."
If the Giants do not make a trade, they will select six players for the second time in four drafts. In 2018, they had six choices. Five of them remain on the roster (Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Lorenzo Carter, B.J. Hill and RJ McIntosh; Kyle Lauletta does not).
"I'm very comfortable with the six picks," Gettleman said. "We don't have the fifth-rounder, we got this guy Leo Williams (in a 2019 trade with the Jets) instead and the seventh-rounder was Ike Yiadom (who was acquired last year from Denver), who's on our roster and we got him, so that's where they went. We moved Markus Golden (to Arizona last Oct. 24) to get an extra sixth. I'm fine with the number of picks we have in this draft. Going in, you don't know what's going to happen, so I'm fine with the six and it's okay with me. And, again, it depends upon the deal. It depends upon the deal."
Gettleman acknowledges the unusually high number of quarterbacks at the top differentiates this draft. But when teams begin looking seriously considering trades, it could be business as usual.
"Quarterbacks are affecting it," he said. "Who knows? I don't think it's going to be any different than any other year in terms of the opportunities to trade up or trade back. It's about value. You go into the draft, you have an idea of who you'd like to take at that slot, what group of players, and if there's someone sitting there and you have an opportunity to trade up, you trade up. If you don't like what you're looking at and you feel the value is better at the back end of that round, you trade back. I really don't think it's going to be that different."