I think it is safe to say that overall I am not a big DAVE GETTLEMAN fan. I thought the Giants might have made a big mistake bringing him back to the big Apple to run their organization. He’s a bit coarse and brash for my taste. But give the devil his due, so to speak. As the Draft progressed last week I had to sit back and think to myself that he was nailing all of his picks. They had good value at the Pick positions and were filling some big needs for the team roster and depth chart.
I thought RB/SAQUON BARKLEY was a no brainer after the Browns took MAYFIELD to start he Draft. In the team’s hay-days the Giants always had a solid running game to count on. In recent years that has not always been the case. I have never seen ELI as a do-it-all, carry the team guy and when super WR OBJ went out last year ELI purely and simply had almost no weapons to work with in that Offense. BARKLEY may be the best all around RB to come into the League since ADRIAN PETERSON, and he seems to check all the boxes off the field as well. And by the way, he has better hands than half the WR in the NFL and blocks well in pass pro.
Early in Round 2, with Pick 34, Gettleman took my 34th ranked player in WILL HERNANDEZ/OG, who is an absolute road grader for BARKLEY to run behind inside the Tackles. HERNANDEZ was impressive at the Senior Bowl where he was about 340 lbs. But to my eyes he looked even more agile and athletic at the Combine when he weighed 327 lbs. Combine him with NATE SOLDER, who was signed as a VFA and the left side of that Giants OL looks infinitely better than it did at the conclusion of the 2017 season. He is also above average in his pass-pro work.
At Pick 66, Gettleman selected my 49th ranked player in LORENZO CARTER the edge-rushing OLB from Georgia. He too is an elite athlete who can really run and brush blockers aside with his 34″ long arms. On a very talented UGA Defense he managed to record 61 tackles. Equally impressive as his 7.5 TFL/4.5 sacks last season were his 9 QBH. For a team with a history of outstanding LB play the cast in recent years has pretty much looked like an afterthought group of journeymen players. Drafting CARTER and previously trading for ALEC OGLETREE, also a former Bulldog star, has significantly upgraded that LB group.
The GIANTS have also prided themselves on talented and deep DL groups over the years. Gettleman moved to add some quality beef up front for his DL rotation with two picks. At Pick 69, he took my No. 68 rated player in 315 lb. D.J. HILL from that stellar NC State DL group. Then with their final Pick, in Round 5 they grabbed athletic DT/RJ McINTOSH, my 110th ranked player, who they got at Pick 139.
Gettleman had been adamant since he was hired that he felt ELI MANNING still has multiple good years left as an NFL QB, despite being in his late 30’s and having one of his worst statistical years of his career in 2017. I tend to agree, but think the GM made another good move with his pick of KYLE LAULETTA/QB/RICHMOND who had himself an impressive week in Mobile during Senior Bowl week, which he capped off with game MVP honors. He’s a good athlete, with a live arm, and now gets a chance to watch and learn in the QB room and on game day from ELI. Gettleman took LAULETTA in Round 4 at Pick 108. I had him ranked as the 63rd best player in the Draft.
With 6 Picks in this Draft the new GM was limited in how much he could fix. But when you throw in these additions as well as a pretty solid VFA class I think the Giants are one of the biggest winners in this off-season. Now if the team can patch things up with OBJ and pay him, who knows. The NFC East is a solid, competitive division, but I do not see any elite teams running away with the division. I still might not go so far as to say I’d want DAVE GETTLEMAN running my team, if I owned one, but I will admit that he looks like a better choice today than I thought he did 3 months ago. I would guess John Mara is feeling pretty good about his team’s situation right about now. How about most of you GIANTS fans?