Giants GM Dave Gettleman. (Photo: Getty Images)
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has received the brunt of public ridicule over the last five days after taking Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
It was a well-known fact that the Giants were going to come away with a quarterback during the draft in order to find the next franchise quarterback to replace Eli Manning. If you ask any Giant fan, though, there seemed to be much better avenues to take compared to what Gettleman decided to do on draft night.
With Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen — one of the top defensive prospects in the class of 2019— and the higher-rated Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins still on the board, Gettleman opted to go for Jones; a prospect ESPN draft guru Todd McShay forecasted as nothing more than a backup in the NFL.
Gettleman followed up the shocking move by addressing some defensive needs to close out the first round, nabbing Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence with the No. 17 pick before trading up for the 30th selection and taking Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker.
But with the main focus still on the Jones pick, Gettleman is speaking up to defend his actions.
"Listen, I've been to seven Super Bowls, kiddo. And I've seen what it smells like, looks like and tastes like," he told Albert Breer
of Sports Illustrated. "They were well-constructed rosters, and the culture was there, and obviously, the talent level was there. It's gotta be a match of both. So Daniel for us was the guy, plain and simple."
While the Giants and Haskins originally seemed like a match made in heaven as he expressed his desire to play for the organization after putting up a monster 4,800-yard, 50-touchdown season, Jones came on as the favorite in the final week leading up to the draft.
The Duke product wasn't projected as a top-10 talent, which provided the notion that he would be available for the Giants to take him at No. 17. It would have allowed them to take an elite defensive talent like Allen in order to beef up the pass rush.
That wasn't the case, per Gettleman.
"I know for a fact there were two teams that would've taken him in front of 17. I know that for a fact," he told reporters. "It wasn't easy for me to pass on Josh Allen. You know my background. That was very, very difficult. But I think that much of Daniel Jones and his future as an NFL quarterback."
"I agonized over that. I agonized," Gettleman told NBC Sports' Peter King
. "Obviously, we had great regard for Josh Allen. But the one thing I have learned is you don't fool around with a quarterback. If he's your guy, you take him."
Experience played a large factor in Gettleman's decision to take Jones over Haskins, Drew Lock, or even trading for Josh Rosen, who the Cardinals dealt to the Miami Dolphins.
Jones spent three years as a starter despite his numbers being worse than Haskins'.
Haskins was selected 15th-overall by the Washington Redskins, an NFC East rival that plays the Giants twice a year.
"If you put 32 general managers in a room and gave them [truth serum] every single one of them would tell you a story of how they got cute in a draft and it cost them a player they wanted," Gettleman said. "So you don't get cute there. You don't get cute with a quarterback."
With one year left on Manning's contract before he hits unrestricted free agency, Jones is expected to redshirt his rookie season unless he lights it up at training camp and during the preseason.
Gettleman hinted over the weekend though that Jones' wait could be even longer — a ludicrous idea given Manning's decline in play.
"Maybe we're going to be the Green Bay model, where Rodgers sat for three years," Gettleman said (h/t CBS Sports
). "Who knows?"
The obtuse thought continues the trend of Gettleman talking down to the media in the face of questionable decision-making.
Jones' selection was just one of many jaw-dropping moves made by the Giants GM this offseason, who let All-Pro safety Landon Collins walk in free agency before trading away Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.
After winning just five games in his first year as GM, Gettleman continues to exude plenty of confidence despite gutting the roster of some of its top players.
"The bottom line is, I have confidence in what I do and who I am," he said. "But today, there's no patience. And there's no room for civil discourse in our society, which I find sad."
Regardless of patience, only time is going to tell if Gettleman's wheeling and dealing pay off in the long run as his legacy with the Giants will be defined by the last few months.
"We'll find out how crazy I am," he told King.
Buckle up, Giants fans.