INDIANAPOLIS – The Giants entered each of the last two NFL drafts owning a choice in the top six of the first round and a conviction on who they wanted to select.
In 2018, it was running back Saquon Barkley, who was taken second overall and became the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year. Last April, the pick at No. 6 was Daniel Jones, who led all rookie quarterbacks with 24 touchdown passes – in just 12 starts – and established himself as a player the franchise will build around.
The Giants own the fourth choice in first round of the 2020 draft, which begins on April 23. And general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Joe Judge said today they are open to just about anything.
"We're open for business," Gettleman said at his news conference at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Whatever we do is going to be in our best interest."
"We're looking for the best move for the New York Giants at this point," Judge said. "The fourth pick is a great pick. There is a lot of beachfront property right there. But whatever the scenario that comes to be that is best for the Giants, whether it's trading back, moving back, look we're open to listen to anything. We don't have to do anything, but we'll listen to anything."
That includes trading down in the first round, which Gettleman has never done in his seven previous drafts as a general manager – two with the Giants and five with the Carolina Panthers.
"We're all creatures of what we've done and our experiences," Gettleman said. "I have tried to trade back as a general manager. But the value wasn't there and there was a player there that we really liked. I've seen teams trade themselves away from really good players. While it hasn't scarred me, I've seen what it's done to those teams and it's something I have in my head."
One need only look at the long list of first-round busts – to which all teams have contributed – to confirm the draft includes no certainties. And trading picks does nothing to alleviate that.
"Trading back has its danger," Gettleman said. "What happens if you trade back eight spots… we're at four, let's say we trade back to eight. There's only four players that we like, what if they're all gone? Now what are you going to do? You're going to trade back again? You can trade yourself back out of good players. But to answer your question, we're open."
Judge joined the Giants after eight years on the New England Patriots' staff under Bill Belichick, who routinely trades down in order to accumulate additional draft choices. Asked what he learned observing that, Judge said, "That you do what's best for your team at that moment."
This draft could provide the Giants a unique opportunity to move down in the first round and add to their stable of picks. With Jones preparing for his second season, it's virtually guaranteed the Giants will not select a quarterback at No. 4. But if teams have quarterbacks graded among the top players on their draft board – and they have a need at the position but believe they can't get the player they desire where they are, the Giants' No. 4 choice could become more valuable.
"Potentially," Gettleman said. "I'm not going to argue that."
When asked if it's possible a trade back could work more this year than in the past, Gettleman said, "Yes."
"Everything's on the table now as far as options," Judge said. "We'll listen to everybody. Somebody comes at us with an offer we think is going to benefit the Giants, we'll entertain that offer. We don't have to do anything or make any decisions because we'll listen to somebody, so our ears are open right now and we'll be very open to whatever is out there to offer."
If trading down is possible, what about moving up into the top three?
"I've moved up before," Gettleman said. "Again, it's about the board, who it is and what he can do for us. It'll be a group decision."
Despite not having an obvious need at quarterback, the Giants will study that position as diligently as they do every other. So LSU's Joe Barrow, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon's Justin Herbert will receive the same scrutiny as all the pass rushers, offensive linemen and wide receivers.
"We evaluate every position, because you want to set your board the right way," Gettleman said. "If you don't evaluate everybody in the draft, whether people perceive you have a need at that position or not, your board is not right, and if your board is not right, you can't maneuver properly. Your board has to be right. You have to evaluate everybody and give them the full schmear. You don't just want to be cursory, 'Aw yeah okay, he's going in the first round. Here's his grade.' No. You evaluate them because it's the only way you can operate."
Wherever the Giants select in any round, Gettleman will adhere to his philosophy regarding player selection.
"Best player," he said. "You want to use unrestricted free agency to put yourself in a position so that you can draft the best player. More often than not when you draft for need, you're going to make a mistake."
No matter whether they keep or trade the fourth overall choice, the Giants know they can't afford to do that.
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