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Giants GM Dave Gettleman not tipping hand on pick

Touting Saquon Barkley as well as quarterback crop, general manager sounds like he’s considering all options with No. 2 pick.

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks at a

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks at a news conference ahead of next week's NFL Draft. Photo Credit: AP / Julio Cortez

The Giants’ general manager sat in front of a microphone Thursday and talked about what a “tremendous talent” Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is, adding that his attributes are so obvious, “he’s one of those guys my mother could have scouted.” It sure sounded as if he’ll be the pick.

He raved about the class of quarterbacks in the draft, saying each is a different flavor that makes him feel as if he’s “sitting in Ben & Jerry’s.” He said he believes Eli Manning “still has plenty of arm left,” called it “hogwash” that the Giants need to draft a quarterback with the valuable No. 2 pick and added that “time will tell” whether they do. It sure sounded as if they might.

He joked that in the old days, taking a guard — even one as promising as Quenton Nelson of Notre Dame — high in the first round would have cost a general manager his job. Or worse.

“People would shoot you in the head,” he said before revising that antiquated thinking.

“Is it ever too early to take a great player?” he asked. “Big men allow you to compete, and we’re going to build this team from the inside out.”

It sure sounded as if the Giants could go in that direction, too.

Dave Gettleman: Man of mystery.

At least for another week. That’s when the mystery will be over and the Giants will unveil their choice for the No. 2 overall selection in the NFL Draft (assuming they do not trade back, which Gettleman added as an option). It will be perhaps their most significant pick since 1981, the last time they were this high in the order.

In the meantime, grinnin’ Gettleman seemed to be enjoying the speculation about what the Giants will do nearly as much as he enjoys being locked in a room breaking down tape of the players.

“Like it?” he said when asked about the various outside opinions and reports spinning around the organization with the speed and volume of a race car on a short loop. “I love it!”

There were a few topics on which Gettleman did provide absolute clarity.

If he does trade up at some point in the draft, something he did several times as general manager of the Panthers, he will not use future picks as currency.

He does not believe in smokescreens.

“When I was a little kid, every time I lied, I got caught,” he said. “When I was 7 years old, my father kicked my butt, and I haven’t lied since then.”

And lastly, as of Thursday afternoon, he still does not have a definite answer to the question everyone wants answered: Who ya taking?

“We’ll know when we know,” he said. “I’m not making any decisions before the draft.”

The Giants’ brain trust — front office and scouts — will take most of the weekend off and reassemble Sunday night. At that point they’ll go back over their board and make any late adjustments, and by the time Thursday rolls around, they’ll have a very solid idea about who the next Giant will be.

Then it’s just a matter of waiting to see whom the Browns take at No. 1 — the only player, as yet unknown, who will be unavailable to the Giants when they get on the clock — and having the commissioner call out his name.

“You can get too cute,” Gettleman said. “Guys laughed around the league when we got on the clock in Carolina and had our pick in in 28 seconds. You know what you want, go do it. Don’t be shy. If you get too cute, you’ll lose. If he fits your scheme and the value is there, pull the trigger.

“Game over.”

New York Sports