A few people around the NFL recently have described the Giants’ No. 2 pick to me as “for sale.” They don’t mean GM Dave Gettleman definitely wants to trade the pick. They mean it’s an open secret Gettleman has been willing to consider a trade down at the right price to let a quarterback-hungry club charge up for its man.
The Giants’ intentions are a mystery, especially relative to the rest of the Top Four, and everyone is waiting to see what Gettleman decides and how his move shapes Thursday night’s first round of the 2018 NFL draft.
Something has to change, however, in my opinion, for the Giants to attract the type of irresistible trade offer that would convince Gettleman to move back. Because frankly, the Giants haven’t convinced me or anyone else that they intend to take a quarterback — everything they’ve done points to helping Eli Manning win now and not replacing him.
So why would the Buffalo Bills at No. 12, for example, pay a premium to come all the way up to No. 2 when they could just wait and deal with Denver at No. 5 or Indianapolis at No. 6 instead and still get a QB?
It depends, of course, on who the Browns draft at No. 1. But my point is, hypothetically, if Cleveland drafts USC’s Sam Darnold at No. 1 overall and the Bills and other NFL clubs don’t think the Giants intend to draft Wyoming QB Josh Allen at No. 2, for instance, the Bills could simply sit tight and watch the following:
Gettleman draft Penn State RB Saquon Barkley at No. 2, the Jets take Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield at No. 3 and the Browns take N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb at No. 4. And then Bills GM Brandon Beane could trade up instead with Denver GM John Elway to move up and get Allen at No. 5.
This is why I wouldn’t be surprised — and I think it’d be smart business — if the Giants in the next couple of days found a way to leak some stronger feelings about top quarterbacks to create more incentive for a team like Buffalo to trade.
Or perhaps it will take a unique scenario, like Darnold falling to No. 2, to create the needed market to drive the price up for Gettleman to want to trade back. The only Giants quarterback buzz is that if Darnold falls to No. 2, he’d be the quarterback they would grab. And they could just draft him themselves. That could be true.
Some believe Gettleman and Beane, who worked under Gettleman in Carolina, are so strongly considering a trade that they already have hypothetical deals in place for draft day. Until it happens, though, I continue to believe Gettleman (and co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch) would rather not trade all the way back to No. 12. In my opinion, they’d exhaust all options to get involved in a three-way trade that keeps them in the top six.
So, here’s a trade scenario for you all to consider, one I pitched on NBC’s Sports Final with Bruce Beck on Sunday night: the Bills, Browns and Giants orchestrate a three-way trade in which Buffalo comes all the way up to No. 2 through Cleveland at No. 4 to take Darnold and the Giants still get Barkley at four.
The Giants give up the No. 2 pick (2,600 points on the NFL’s draft value chart) and get back Cleveland’s No. 4, Buffalo’s No. 22 and Buffalo’s No. 65 (2,845 total points).
The Browns give up the No. 4 pick (1,800 points) and get back Buffalo’s Nos. 12, 53 and 56 (second-rounders), and a 2019 second-round pick (estimated 2,300 points).
The Bills give up Nos. 12, 22, 53, 56, 65 and 2019 second-rounder (3,375 points) to come to No. 2 (2,600 points) and take their quarterback.
The NFL’s Draft Value chart is no longer a direct reflection of the market but it’s still the most common way of snap evaluating return on such trades. And for comparison: the Jets gave up about 760 more points on the value chart (2,960) than the Colts (2,200) to move up from No. 6 to 3.
The Bills in this scenario would give up 775 more points than their trade partners to make a bigger move (I’ve estimated future second-round picks as middle-rounders, 48th overall, to best estimate value). The Eagles went 538 points in the hole in 2016 when they made their blockbuster deal to move up from No. 8 to No. 2 with the Browns to draft Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State. That worked out OK.
Now, the Giants could require way more return than this to move back even two slots, sure. I’m just pitching one idea on how a deal might work. And frankly, if Gettleman likes Josh Rosen, he might be able to make a similar trade down a few slots and still get the UCLA QB, too.
If Gettleman is smart, though, he should leak this week that he loves Allen, too, to drive the prices up on a potential trade. Unless, that is, the Giants are keeping quiet because they intend to draft Allen at No. 2.
One thing’s for sure: Gettleman is keeping everyone on their heels.
Darnold, Allen and Mayfield are all rumored as the Browns’ potential target at No. 1. Some reports will tell you it’s between Allen and Mayfield. And while I understand different people in the building have different opinions, I think it’s so strange that, hypothetically, the Browns’ QB decision could be narrowed down to two players who couldn’t be any more different: Allen is humble, tall, raw, low completion percentage, a small schooler, with wins under his belt but requiring time to develop; Mayfield is cocky, short, ready, high completion percentage, Heisman Trophy winner, played in the College Football Playoff, has spoken openly about turning the entire Browns franchise around. And hey, it could be Darnold when it’s all said and done, but I believe a couple things: 1. There clearly isn’t a consensus top QB in this class, or we’d know who the Browns are drafting already. 2. If Mayfield were a couple inches taller, he’d be the No. 1 pick. I have no doubt. I just wonder if he’ll be the top pick anyway.
THE COLTS AT SIX
Source: Ny Daily News