EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Giants general manager Dave Gettleman insists there were at least two teams that intended to take quarterback Daniel Jones if New York had waited until the 17th pick overall in the first round Thursday night.
The Giants shockingly selected Jones with the sixth pick.
“I can say this to you guys right now. When we got in here Thursday night, the question was posed, ‘Why didn’t you wait until 17?'” Gettleman said after the draft concluded Saturday night. “Well, I know for a fact there were two teams that would have taken him in front of 17. I know that for a fact.
“So it’s tough. It really is. It wasn’t easy for me to pass up Josh Allen. For me, my background, that was very, very difficult. But I think that much of Daniel Jones and his future as an NFL quarterback.”
Allen, the Kentucky edge rusher, was selected seventh by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The only other quarterback taken in the first round after No. 6 was Ohio State‘s Dwayne Haskins. The Washington Redskins took Haskins with the 15th pick.
League sources have told ESPN that Washington wouldn’t have taken Jones if he were available. The Denver Broncos, who drafted Missouri‘s Drew Lock in the second round, also wouldn’t have taken Jones with their first-round pick at No. 10 overall, sources said.
The other teams that may have been in the quarterback market depending on who was available were the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. The Dolphins later traded for Josh Rosen. The Bengals took NC State‘s Ryan Finley in the fourth round.
The Giants got their future franchise quarterback and the eventual successor to Eli Manning, and the intention Thursday was always to take him with the first of their three first-round picks.
“We were going to make the pick at 6 and then go from there,” Gettleman said. “I had no intention of moving up [from 17]. None.”
Jones threw for 2,674 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a junior last season. He rushed for 319 yards and three touchdowns.
Gettleman admittedly fell in love with Jones’ tape. It was at the Senior Bowl that the deal was sealed, as Gettleman was convinced after seeing Jones play three series. He saw “a professional” and said that was the point that it was “full-bloom love.”
Giants fans were stunned and booed the selection at the team’s draft party. Asked later that evening what he would say to fans who booed the pick, Gettleman said, “In time, you’ll be very pleased.”