When he was considering his options with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Dave Gettleman said the player he selected had to live up to a “gold jacket’’ standard. Meaning: The guy he picked, Saquon Barkley, needed to have Hall of Fame potential and, eventually, production.
Earlier in this year’s draft preparation, the Giants’ general manager hedged when asked if that same lofty standard applies to the No. 4 pick the Giants own Thursday night. After further review, Gettleman indicated the same rules apply.
“Not only do you have to ask yourself if you picture this guy in a gold jacket,” Gettleman said Monday night to season-ticket holders during the Giants NFL draft preview show. “You also have to ask, ‘Is this guy I’m thinking of taking at four worthy of being the fourth pick of ANY draft?’”
That is a key distinction. If the pick at No. 4 is Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, is he worthy of holding that spot in any draft? What about the top offensive linemen — Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs, Andrew Thomas and Mekhi Becton? They are the best of this bunch, but do they stand the test of time in any draft?
For Simmons, the answer might be “Yes’’ more decisively than any of the offensive tackles. This could be why Gettleman would be more than willing to trade down a few spots to take an offensive lineman. Gettleman, in seven previous drafts (five with the Panthers, two with the Giants), has never traded back.
He said he is open to do so this time around. This does not mean he will.
“I haven’t traded back, because I have seen teams trade their way out of really good players,’’ Gettleman said.
Quarterback Daniel Jones, entering his second year with the Giants, also spoke to the season-ticket holders. He is back home in Charlotte, N.C., living with his parents, two sisters and one brother. Jones said he is able to do some weight training in the garage. As for staying in touch remotely with his teammates, there was a recent Zoom chat with his offensive linemen. Jones has also been keeping up with his receivers.