General manager Dave Gettleman is all about the best player available, position be damned. If the Giants have a player graded higher than their draft board’s top quarterback when they’re on the clock April 25, don’t think for a second they would flinch.
“I would like to come out of this draft with a quarterback, but here is the thing: Show me what the grades are. What is the value there? If the top quarterbacks are graded towards the bottom of the first round or even the second round, I’m not going to insist we take him at No. 6 or even No. 17,” Giants co-owner John Mara said recently. “Show me what the value is. That has always been our philosophy on that. The worst thing you can do is try to force the issue and then you end up with a quarterback that isn’t worth taking at that particular spot.
“Would we love to have a quarterback coming out of this draft, yes. But only if we have a conviction about him.”
The Giants are not believed to be high on Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray is expected to be selected with the first overall pick, which currently belongs to the Arizona Cardinals. This makes for a strong possibility the Giants will draft a defensive player with their first pick (No. 6 overall). They also own pick No. 17.
It’s considered a strong defensive draft, especially at the top. Scouts Inc.’s top six graded players are all on defense.
With that in mind, here are the possibilities (separated in groups) of the defensive players the Giants could select at No. 6 overall.
The run-to-the-podium guys
It would be a gift if any of these three slipped to No. 6. But maybe this is the year the Giants are the beneficiary of gas-mask bong hits or something of the sort. You never know what will happen on draft day.
Josh Allen, edge rusher: It’s quite possible he’s the top player on the Giants’ board. They think that highly of the Kentucky pass-rusher.
Quinnen Williams, DL: The Alabama star might be the most likely of this group to fall into the Giants’ laps, though the odds are still slim. It’s only because the 49ers and Jets (picks No. 2 and No. 3, respectively) aren’t likely to invest in an interior defensive lineman with another top pick.
Nick Bosa, edge rusher: The Ohio State product is a skilled pass-rusher. The Giants need a skilled pass-rusher. This is a dream.
Assuming those three are off the board, it’s on to the next level. The road again leads to two more players who get after the quarterback.
Ed Oliver, DL: Defensive linemen don’t often move like Houston’s Oliver. Consider him Aaron Donald light. The old Giants wouldn’t go for a 287-pound interior lineman. But they just signed Olsen Pierre, who is listed at 293 pounds and excelled in James Bettcher’s defense, which calls for defensive linemen to shoot the gap and attack. That is Oliver’s specialty. He’s an option.
Montez Sweat, OLB: A talented pass-rusher out of Mississippi State with athletic traits and production that match. With Allen and Bosa off the board, Sweat is the edge rusher of choice. He’s an ideal fit with the Giants because of his ability to create havoc off the edge. They need that badly.
These options seem possible but not likely at No. 6. At least they’re part of the conversation.
Devin White, LB: He’s in this group only because it’s doubtful he makes it past the Bucs at No. 5. White is a top-five player on more than a few boards across the league. If he’s available, it would make the Giants think long and hard about whether to make the LSU product their first first-round linebacker since Carl Banks in 1984.
Clelin Ferrell, DE: A sneaky, productive option out of Clemson. This is the one who has a chance to surprise. No. 6 overall might be too high, but he seems more highly regarded by teams than most on the outside seem to believe.
Rashan Gary, DL: Can’t see the Giants investing such a premium pick on a player whose production hasn’t matched his elite traits. Also can’t see the Michigan product starting his own sports agency sitting well with an old-school organization.