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Mar. 21, 2019 - Michael Stewart

2019 NFL Draft: Gettleman Must Get 1st Three Picks Right

Introduction: Dave Gettleman will be conducting his 2nd draft as the Giants GM and if 2018 draft was an important moment for his legacy with the Giants, the 2019 draft might be the defining moment for him; especially in the 1st round with two picks (#6 & #17) and the early 2nd round pick (#37). Gettleman must get these picks right and the best way for him to do that is by this simple formula.  Any player being selected must at least fit one major criteria and that is he must be projected to contribute at least 70-80% of the teams plays as a rookie.

Drafting a one-dimensional player would be a poor decision. Last season, Gettleman selected running back Saquon Barkley, guard Will Hernandez, defensive linemen B.J Hill and linebacker Lorenzo Carter with the team’s first four picks in the draft. Barkley played in 82% of the offensive snaps, Hernandez and Hill started in all 16 games and Carter played in 15 games. Getting that type of production from four rookie players is rare and it could have been five if R.J McIntosh had not been sidelined with a thyroid issue.

Evaluating positions of need that would warrant 70-80% contribution as a rookie in the 2019 draft; the Giants have basically four spots: Linebacker, Defensive end, Offensive Tackle and Cornerback. Two 1st round picks and an early 2nd round pick, which are three picks in the top 37. Reviewing the draft and prospects that would realistically be available for the Giants at these picks would be the following top 4 prospects with each pick:

·         6th Overall Pick:

1.      Devin White (ILB) LSU: The complete package at the linebacker position.

2.     Montez Sweat (DE) Mississippi State: Dominated Senior week and the combine.

3.     Greedy Williams (CB) LSU: Arguably the best cornerback in the draft.

4.     Jawaan Taylor (OT) Florida: Hard to get through and around, high ceiling.

·         17th Overall Pick:

1.      Greg Little (OT) Ole Miss: Equally effective in run blocking and pass protection.

2.     Deandre Baker (CB) Georgia: Checks off all the boxes as a complete cornerback.

3.     Rashan Gary (DE) Michigan: Dominant against the run and the pass.

4.     Brian Burns (OLB) Florida State: Excellent pass rushing skills, freakish ability.

·         37th Overall Pick:

1.      Dave Edwards (OT) Wisconsin: Very polished lineman, will start on day one.

2.     Mack Wilson (ILB) Alabama: Sideline to sideline tackling machine.

3.     Jaylon Ferguson (DE) Louisiana State: All time sacks leader in college football,

4.     Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (CB) Florida: Plays physical and solid coverage skills.

Final Thoughts: Despite having a total of 12 picks in the draft, Gettleman must get the first three picks right to give the Giants the foundation needed for the future. Another factor that could play out in the draft is the speculation of what the Arizona Cardinals might do with their 1st overall pick. If the rumor mill is accurate and they select quarterback Kyler Murray, then they will more than likely look to trade 2018 1st round pick quarterback Josh Rosen. If so, GM Dave Gettleman could possibly look to acquire him and based on all reports, it would most likely cost them their 2nd round pick (#37) and a late Day 3 pick as well. Gettleman has 12 picks and it doesn’t make too much sense to hold onto all of them, so expect him to be one of the most active GM’s on draft day.