The New York Giants used the No. 6 overall pick on Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, and have been widely blasted for it.
There are multiple reasons behind the criticism. Some questioned why the Giants waited until this draft class to pick a quarterback, with Eli Manning at 38 years old and this year’s QB class being perceived as weaker than last year’s. Others are quite unsure Jones is really the second-best passer in this class, even though the Giants drafted him like he was.
Most of all, the Jones pick was seen as a reach because many assumed the Giants could have taken him with the 17th overall pick rather than the sixth. With that sixth pick, the Giants could have taken Josh Allen, a Kentucky pass rusher many saw as a top 5 talent. Instead, they got Jones and Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence.
Well, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is here to explain why he thinks that last reason is wrong.
Gettleman explains drafting Jones at No. 6 overall
Speaking with the media on Saturday after the 2019 NFL draft had ended, Gettleman said that he knew “for a fact” that there were two teams who would have taken Jones before the 17th overall pick.
Why didn't Dave Gettleman wait until 17 to take Daniel Jones?
"I know for a fact there were 2 teams that would've taken him in front of 17...I know that for a fact" pic.twitter.com/LTO0eBoZBU
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 27, 2019
"I know for a fact there were 2 teams that would've taken him in front of 17...I know that for a fact,” Gettleman said. “It’s tough, it really is. It wasn’t easy to pass up Josh Allen. For me, my background, that was very, very difficult. But I think that much of Daniel Jones.”
Now, that begs an obvious question. Who were these teams that valued Jones — who went 17-19 as a Duke starter and never made an All-ACC first, second or third team — nearly as much Gettleman did?
Which two teams would have taken Daniel Jones?
Those two teams were reportedly the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos, according to SNY’s Ralph Vacciano:
That's why Gettleman, when asked if he considered waiting until his second first-round pick, at No. 17, to take Jones, he said, "I was not willing to risk it." As SNY reported, the Giants were concerned that the Washington Redskins wanted Jones. They were even worried Washington was trying to trade up ahead of them to draft Jones in the top five. And one NFL source said the Denver Broncos were eying Jones, too, which would explain why shortly after the Giants took him off the board, the Broncos swapped picks with the Steelers and were willing to drop from 10 to 20 in the first round.
On the surface, that explanation seems to hold water. Washington ended up taking a quarterback with Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, but maybe they valued Jones more. There was one report that Washington head coach Jay Gruden was bigger on Jones than Haskins, but owner Daniel Snyder and president Bruce Allen seemed to win out in a reported dispute.
As for the Broncos, the only explanation for what they did is they valued Jones well ahead of Haskins and didn’t see the latter as worth their No. 10 pick. The Broncos traded back 10 spots and ended up with Iowa tight end Noah Fant, later taking Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in the second round.
So maybe Gettleman is right and Jones would be in a different uniform right now if he had taken Allen at No. 6. Of course, that wouldn’t mean Jones was the right pick, it would just mean that three teams overrated him.
Then again, 9News Broncos reporter Mike Klis reported Sunday morning that the Broncos never planned to take a quarterback with the 10th pick and that Lock was always the top quarterback on their board.
We’re also talking about the New York Giants GM’s intelligence from a division rival in Washington, which had every reason to convince Gettleman it would take Jones if its top decision-maker was really set on Haskins.
Is that something you can really be confident about?
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