One year after holding the second pick in the NFL Draft, the New York Giants again have an opportunity to select a difference maker.
They are supposed to go quarterback with the selection, but that may not be the best route to go.
The big question of the Giants’ offseason is the decision regarding quarterback Eli Manning. In the final year of his contract, the Giants could cut the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback and clear salary-cap space. But Manning was productive last year, throwing for over 4,000 yards and having a completion percentage — 66.0 percent — well above his career average.
All of which means that Manning may not be cut and might be on the roster next year. He also could be signed to a cap-friendly extension that gives him more years with the Giants and allows the team the chance to rebuild with some extra resource flexibility.
So what should the Giants do with the sixth pick in April’s draft? MSGNetworks.com asked three draft experts their insights on the direction the Giants will take in two month’s time.
NFL Draft Bible’s Ric Serritella, OurLads.com’s Dave Syvertsen and senior draft analyst Joe Ledyard of The Draft Network were all asked the same three questions about the Giants and their first-round pick.
MSGNetworks.com: Who will the Giants will pick at No. 6?
Serritella (NFLDraftScout.com): “Dave Gettleman stated that he wants ‘hog-mollies’ up front and Alabama tackle Jonah Williams fits the bill. Much like (2018 first-round pick) Saquon Barkley, Willams profiles Gettleman’s “gold jacket” sentiment. The offensive tackle position has been a turnstile now for several years and selecting a player of his pedigree can help stabilize a dire need.”
Syvertsen (OurLads.com): “The Giants will pursue more offensive line help to ensure they can provide enough time and confidence in the pocket for Eli Manning who continues to get less and less mobile. Jonah Williams, a three-year starter for Alabama, would give them a Week 1 starter at right tackle. It would be a massive upgrade from Chad Wheeler, an undrafted free agent from 2017.”
Ledyard (The Draft Network): “My guess is an offensive lineman. Gettleman has shown he values the trenches immensely throughout his career and especially with the Giants, drafting [Will] Hernandez, signing [Nate] Solder and getting rid of [Ereck] Flowers when he didn’t fit the culture. A guy like Cody Ford from Oklahoma makes a ton of sense for New York at right tackle or right guard if they see him as an inside guy. He and Hernandez could be the most physical guard duo in the NFL.”
MSGNetworks.com: Who should the Giants pick at No. 6?
Serritella (NFLDraftScout.com): “Not only would [Michigan defensive lineman] Rashan Gary provide a much-needed presence on the defensive front, but selecting the local New Jersey product would also re-energize the fan base. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher could use Gary in an assortment of ways in his defensive scheme and play a similar type of role as J.J. Watt does for the Texans.”
Syvertsen (OurLads.com): “The days of the Giants’ pass rush being a feared unit are so far back, you can’t even see them in the rearview mirror anymore. An edge presence like Josh Allen or Clellin Ferrell would be a welcomed addition to a lethargic position group that has struggled to put any pressure on the opposing quarterback for years.”
Ledyard (The Draft Network): “I’m not sold on any of the quarterbacks in this class, so I would accept the struggle with Eli for one more year and make a move in 2020. I’m also not wild on the cornerback class, and it is uncertain what edge defenders will be there for NY. I think any of Ford, Jawaan Taylor and Jonah Williams will be studs in New York.”
MSGNetworks.com: If the Giants were to trade — either up or down — who should they trade with and what should they get in return?
Serritella (NFLDraftScout.com): “If the G-Men were to make a move for their next ‘franchise quarterback,’ the Oakland Raiders at No. 4, with plenty of round-one equity, seem to be logical players. The Giants will have to contend with the Jacksonville Jaguars [No. 7] and Broncos [No. 10], two organizations in search of new signal-callers. It’ll cost them the No. 4 pick, plus an additional future first-round pick  in order to move up two spots and secure their man.”
Syvertsen (OurLads.com): “Denver is going to look for the franchise quarterback in this draft as they are ready for Super Bowl contention elsewhere on the roster. They will have some competition with teams like Jacksonville and Washington. If they want their guy, trading up from No. 10 to No. 6 is very possible. This could net the Giants an extra pick in 2020 where they will want ammo for their new franchise quarterback. At No. 10, a potentially dominant five-technique Christian Wilkins brings the exactly what the Giants defensive scheme needs: versatility, aggression, and blue-collar approach.”
Ledyard (The Draft Network): “Miami and Washington seem to be the safest bets to trade up right now, with Denver and Cincinnati as the sleepers. The Giants’ spot could be coveted if Jacksonville stays put, as teams wanting a quarterback will want to get ahead of the Jags. Trade with whoever gives you the best haul, and try to get another team’s first for next year. Two first-round picks give you a great shot at the quarterback you want in 2020.”