Dave Gettleman’s ideal situation for the future of the Giants’ quarterback position remains the same as it has been for some time. He’d like to have a young player come in and learn from Eli Manning, 38, before eventually taking over for the 15-year veteran, who will head into this season as the starter.
“It’d be a sweet deal,” the general manager said on Thursday.
But Gettleman also made it clear that just because he’d love for it to happen, he’s not going to force it into existence. As the Giants prepare for next week’s NFL Draft, they will have several opportunities in the first three rounds to select a quarterback who can fit into that dream scenario. They’ll have two chances at it in the first round alone.
One of those high picks has to be a quarterback, right? Right?
Gettleman removed his glasses and rubbed his face with both hands at his pre-draft news conference.
“You let the draft come to you,” he said. “That’s what you do.”
In other words, the Giants might come away from next weekend with a quarterback of the future. They might not. It depends on how things play out, how evaluations and values match up with selections, and who else is on the board when the Giants are on the clock.
“I’m just telling you, I’m not going to force a pick,” Gettleman said. “You can’t draft for need . . . You’ll make a mistake.”
Gettleman insisted that there is no “special category” for quarterbacks that makes them worth gambling on more than other positions.
“If you put a lot of pressure on it, you’re gonna make a mistake,” he said. “You ask me how urgent do I feel that we need to do this? I’m not going to put a level on it.”
That doesn’t mean the Giants are quarterback-averse. Gettleman said there are some very good ones in this draft, even some who meet the standard set by his mentor, Ernie Accorsi, who said teams should draft quarterbacks to win Super Bowls.
Nor does it mean that picking a quarterback with the 17th overall selection rather than the sixth would be settling.
“Listen, if we have a quarterback rated in the first round, we love him,” Gettleman said.
Gettleman sent the Giants’ scouts home for this weekend to celebrate the holiday. It also will give him some alone time with his board and his clicker to make some final fine-tuning to his judgments heading into the draft.
Assuming they do not trade up or down, there are only five players who won’t be available to the Giants when they are on the clock the first time, and only 16 when they pick for a second time. The Giants will be getting some talented players, no matter the position.
But this weekend also will give Gettleman more time to think about the most important position in football and how and when he wants the Giants to address it.
“It’s still about the value,” he said. “It’s who is going to give you the most value at that spot. You start reaching for need, you do that, you get into trouble.”
And that would be a sour deal, not a sweet one.
Notes & quotes: One other path for the Giants to acquire a quarterback in this draft is if the Cardinals take Kyler Murray first overall and then trade Josh Rosen, their first-round pick from a year ago. Gettleman would not say if he has had any discussions with the Cardinals regarding that possibility. “Not going there,” he said . . . Gettleman said this draft class has more players valued in rounds 1 through 4 than any other he’s overseen as a general manager. With that in mind, expect the Giants to be willing to part with some of their eight third-day picks to move up in the second or third rounds. Gettleman also suggested that he might be willing to part with some of next year’s picks in this draft . . . Last year, Gettleman said he needed to pick a “gold jacket player” — i.e. a Hall of Famer — with the second overall selection. At No. 6 this year, the bar is only slightly lower. “For me,” Gettleman said, “you’re kind of riding on the edge” of those expectations.
Giants 2019 NFL Draft picks
Round 1: 6, 17
Round 2: 37
Round 3: 95
Round 4: 108, 132
Round 5: 142, 143, 171
Round 6: 180
Round 7: 232, 245