New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is in the midst of one of the franchise’s most pivotal offseasons in quite some time.
The future of veteran quarterback Eli Manning is still very much in the air, he admitted that shortly after the end of another lousy season, a 5-11 campaign that got them the No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Over the past two seasons, the Giants are a combined 8-24, a far cry from an organization that is one of the proudest and richest in North American professional sports.
Gettleman inherited much of the mess left by former general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo, whom he replaced with Pat Shurmur. While the book is still out on the new Giants’ head coach, there is no doubt that things are looking up for the franchise.
The selection of running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 pick last year in a deep quarterback draft was met with plenty of push back from writers and analysts alike. But the 2018 season only proved that the Giants picked the best talent of that draft.
Barkley joins an offense that is laden with weapons from wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., to slot receiver Sterling Shepard, to tight end Evan Engram. All four can create big plays and make the Giants offense one of the best in football.
The problem is that two of the most important positions are providing the biggest headaches for Gettleman.
Manning is 38 years old and on his last legs, which aren’t very mobile in a league that has seen some of the best passers exhibit a knack to extend the play thanks to their athleticism. That doesn’t mean a scrambling quarterback, but the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and now even Patrick Mahomes can move well enough within the pocket to avoid initial danger.
Manning can’t do that. Especially behind an offensive line that, while slightly improved, still had the immobile quarterback running for his life. He was sacked 47 times in 2018, 10th-most in the NFL, despite predicating the offense mostly on quick slants and screen passes.
It leaves Gettleman with plenty of options with a big piece of the future set to arrive via the draft come April.
Obviously, the Giants’ plans at the draft will become more clear as time moves on, especially when free agency begins on Mar. 14. If the Giants move on from Manning, they could pick up a veteran quarterback on the market like Nick Foles or Joe Flacco. If that doesn’t happen, then the Giants may very well take a quarterback with the No. 6 pick.
As it stands, plenty of notable mock drafts are split on what the Giants will do as the outlook remains murky. However, Walter Football, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report and Draftsite.com all have the Giants taking Ohio State passer Dwayne Haskins. He became the top passing product in the draft after Oregon’s Justin Herbert opted to return to school for another year.
Nick Klopsis of Newsday believes the Giants should address their offensive line more than anything as he predicts Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams joins Big Blue. Will Brinson of CBS.com suggests Gettleman should go in an entirely different direction and bolster the defensive line by taking Clemson stud defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell.