Giants day 1 grades and analysis
Updated: May 6, 2019
By Brandon B
As I sat in front of my TV, watching the picks go by, talking, pacing around, laughing at the Raiders for a bit, I anxiously awaited the Giants first selection in the 2019 NFL draft. The Giants has a pair of first round picks this year and coincidentally had a roster filled with holes after GM let safety Landon Collins walk to our division rivals, sent away lead pass rusher (albeit getting a great guard in return) and traded a generational talent at wide receiver by the name of Odell Beckham Jr to the Cleveland Browns for one of these first rounders. (17) As a Giants fan, we have limped though this offseason receiving blows left and right. The draft was supposed to be the reward for this failure. Key word here “supposed.” The Giants finished the night selecting three players in the first round. And the names called were not what people expected. And the names Dave Gettleman turned in had Giants nation calling for his job. But is the Giants fans anger justified? Let’s find out...
Pick 6 (haha, get it?)
Player: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
With the 6th pick in the 2019 NFL draft, the Giants truly went off the board with this one. They selected Duke QB Daniel Jones to be the next potential successor to Eli Manning’s throne. This came as quite a shock to pretty much all, not just fans of big blue. Twitter imminently went in on the pick and NFL meme pages had a field day. Jones, to most was seen as at best, the 3rd best signal caller left on the board. Behind Jersey native Dwayne Haskins, And Missouri man Drew Lock. Giants GM Dave Gettleman claimed to have fallen in love with the Duke product after a few series’s in the senior bowl. Jones’s stats at Duke weren’t the flashiest to say the least. In 36 games he threw 52 touchdowns, passed for 8,201 yards, had a 59.9% completion percentage and 29 interceptions. However, Jones had zero NFL level talent around him at Duke and has shown he can throw the ball deep and be athletic in the pocket. To most, Jones was seen as quite a reach at 6th overall especially with star defensive anchors like Josh Allen and Ed Oliver still on the board. Many believed the Giants could have went defense at 6, and use the Odell Beckham pick at 17 to go Daniel Jones.
Many say the Giants reached for this one. But did they really? It has been reported that Dave Gettleman was enamored with Jones and he obviously showed that when he made him the 6th name called in Thursday’s draft. When asked why he selected Jones at 6 and not waiting to see if he fell to 17, Gettleman said he did not want to risk it. With the QB needy Washington Redskins picking at 15, it is slightly possible that the Redskins had a thing for Jones as well. It was also reported the Broncos were showing some interest in the Duke product. So if Gettleman and the Giants staff were set on Jones being the next franchise QB, which they most definitely were, why wait? While nobody knows if Daniel Jones will be the next Eli Manning, you don’t know if he would have fallen to 17. If he’s the guy, you can’t mess around and hope he falls later in the draft. That’s just not what you do. Several teams have traded major draft capital to move up and get their QB of the future. The Jets, Bills, Cardinals, Eagles, Rams, Chiefs, Texans and Bears have all moved up for young quarterbacks early to get their guy. They didn’t sit around and hope their guy fell to them. They took a risk. And like it or not, that’s what Dave Gettleman did last night. He took a risk. And good for him I guess. He got the guy he was obsessed with and ran with it. Once you draft the franchise QB, everything else falls into place. The culture changes, the atmosphere in the building is buzzing and you can then address other positions while building around the franchise QB on a low deal. Now I’m not saying Daniel Jones is one of these franchise guys. It looks like a reach right now. But maybe Gettleman will be right about Jones and he’ll be a good starting caliber QB for the Giants. And if so, I’ll tip my cap and bump the grade up. You can’t know right now. His stats were nothing to brag about but then again, I don’t see any other Duke players being drafted right now, do you? He could be good, he could be a bust. But if he is good, Gettleman will have his last laugh.
Pick 17 (Via CLE)
Player: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
If you ever searched up the definition of “hog molly,” 6’4” 342 pound defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence’s picture would be taped right there. The Giants used their second first round pick, the one they got from Cleveland for Odell Beckham Jr, on a run stopper and what the Giants can hope, will be a poor mans version of ‘Snacks’ Harrison. Harrison is considered by many to be the best run stopper in football, and this is the same guy they traded him for a measly 5th round pick. This came as a strange selection because while Lawrence can play, this is not really a position of need for the Giants. Out of all the positions they are lacking talent in, the Giants have a good, young interior defense with last years 3rd round pick BJ Hill looking like a future star, paired with Dalvin Tomlinson. What the Giants desperately needed from this draft was a pass rusher. The Giants shipped away their best one to the Browns in Oliver Vernon. So the Giants needed to replace him and they most definitely could have with Montez Sweat still on the board. But instead, Gettleman wants to fill the defense line with big interior presences. The Giants traded Harrison for a 5th round pick who is the best run stopper in the NFL, then essentially traded one of the best wide receivers in this generation for a guy they will hope will turn into Harrison one day. While this grade isn’t really due to Lawrence’s skill, because the kid can play, this lackluster grade is due to the fact the Giants didn’t really address a need here when they had plenty of holes to fill.
Pick 30 (Via SEA)
Player: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
A slight sigh of relief swept through here, as the Giants moved back into the first round surrendering their 2nd rounder (37) and 4th and a 5th, to get cornerback Deandre Baker out of Georgia. This was probably New York’s best pick in the first round. Baker is extremely confident and was a shut down corner at Georgia. He was widely considered one of, if not the best corner in the draft. He can go along well with Sam Beal and Janoris Jenkins. He’s versatile and aggressive and also known to be extremely confident in his game. When he described himself, Baker said he was “fearless, competitive and confident.” Well see if his confidence will translate to the next level. But Gettleman addressed a position of need and didn’t go off the board. Baker is a playmaker. Good job (I guess?)