Dave Gettleman came away from the 2019 NFL draft feeling “much better” about the future of the Giants.
“As far as I’m concerned, we had a hell of a weekend,” the general manager said on Saturday after selecting 10 new players over the three-day process. “We feel like we addressed pretty much everything that we wanted to with this group.”
For the most part, that meant bolstering the defense. Seven of the 10 picks play on that side of the ball, including two first-round selections in DT Dexter Lawrence and CB Deandre Baker, third-round pick LB Oshane Ximines, and the players taken on Saturday: CB Julian Love (Notre Dame), LB Ryan Connelly (Wisconsin), CB Corey Ballentine (Washburn) and DT Chris Slayton (Syracuse). The Giants also selected WR Darius Slayton (Auburn) and T George Asafo-adjei (Kentucky) on Saturday.
“From my perspective, when we were getting ready to pick, there were some offensive players who were in the conversation on the same line, and we just made some decisions that directed us toward the defense,” Pat Shurmur said. “We’ve done some significant things on defense prior to the draft… The way the (2018) season played out, it was pretty (clear) we needed to make significant changes in some areas.”
Of course, the one early offensive selection overarches the entire draft class. The Giants took quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick, a move that Gettleman justified on Thursday when he did it and defended further on Saturday.
“I know for a fact there were two teams that would have taken him before 17,” he said of critics who felt he should have waited to use his second first-round pick on the quarterback. “I know that for a fact.”
He declined to say which two teams. The Broncos and Redskins both took quarterbacks in the draft and had picks between 6 and 17 so they’re good guesses.
That didn’t mean it was a slam dunk, though.
“It wasn’t easy for me to pass up Josh Allen,” Gettleman said of the Kentucky edge rusher who was still on the board for them. “For me and my background, that was very very difficult. But I think that much of Daniel Jones and his future as an NFL quarterback.”
Gettleman’s optimism about the draft class doesn’t seem to be widely shared by the team’s fans. To which Gettleman seems to shrug.
“Three years,” he said about the typical timeline used around the league to evaluate drafts. “That’s when we’ll know.”