Finally, the NFL draft arrives Thursday night, and it promises to be a busy and highly-scrutinized evening for the Giants, holders of two picks (No. 6 and No. 17) in the first round. Here are a few pre-draft musings with a little more than six hours till the first round as this is written:
— It does not appear as if the Giants are salivating at the thought of trading for Josh Rosen. It all comes down to the evaluation they put together of him last year as he was coming out of UCLA, plus the new information they gleaned out of Rosen’s rookie year in Arizona.
As a draft prospect, the Giants had reservations about Rosen’s durability, as he had shoulder and concussion issues in college. Rosen took a beating in 2018 – he was sacked 45 times in 14 games – but weathered the storm and showed plenty of toughness. His arm talent is considerable and undeniable, but the total package comes into play with quarterbacks more than any other position.
There is plenty of support from fans and in the media that if the Giants can get Rosen away from the Cardinals – assuming the Cardinals take Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick – for a second-round pick (37th overall) it is a deal worth making. On many levels it makes sense. Or, perhaps, the Cardinals realize they cannot even get back a second-round pick for Rosen in this year’s draft and will settle for less. Either way, for the Giants to make a move, they need to want Rosen on their roster to sit and learn behind Eli Manning. At this point, putting that scenario into action does not appear to be a high priority item for the Giants. If they do not take a quarterback in this draft and Rosen is still available, perhaps the Giants circle back and check in with the Cardinals.
— Do not rule out a trade-down for the Giants. General manager Dave Gettleman has no intention of going from the 37th pick to the 95th pick without having a chance to make a selection. That is currently how the draft order stacks up for the Giants after they surrendered their own third-round pick with the addition of cornerback Sam Beal in last year’s supplemental draft. If the Giants have a group of players bunched together on their board in the 17-22 range, a trade down could be in play in order to acquire an additional pick Friday night. It would be wild if, instead of having to trade up to get Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, the Giants actually could get him by trading down.
— The search for a quarterback does not end if the Giants do not take one at No. 6 or No. 17. They could take one early in the second round at No. 37. They could take one late in the third round, at No. 95. Here is the thing: The Giants are not desperate to take one this year. They believe they have time to develop any quarterback they might add. They would not be bringing Manning back if they did not believe he can win for them in 2019. Beyond that, who knows? And so, on Friday, could Will Grier or Jarrett Stidham come aboard as quarterback prospects for the Giants? Or even Clayton Thorson sometime on Saturday? It is believed the Giants early in the evaluation process liked Ryan Finley, the skinny and accurate North Carolina State quarterback. Could he be a mid-round pick? The Giants want to add talent to the position. They could do so in a variety of ways.
— It is not a coincidence the Giants signed three players who were with the Cardinals the past few years this offseason. These signings of safety Antoine Bethea, outside linebacker Markus Golden and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre were not done specifically because Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher previously ran the defense in Arizona and worked with all three players. His input, though, was certainly a factor. This is something to remember when it comes to the draft, where the Giants need all sorts of defensive help. Bettcher is highly-regarded inside the building and what he thinks of these prospects, and how they fit into his scheme, will greatly factor in when it comes time to push the button on the picks.