Say this about Giants general manager Dave Gettleman.
He does things his way, and there’s never a dull moment. His personnel moves turn out to be polarizing. It’s been that way since he was hired, and it will never change as long as he runs the Giants. I mean everyone scrutinized him for wearing a face mask in his office attic as he made his decision.
The first round draft pick turned out to be a doozy. The Giants drafted an offensive lineman, but it’s not who you think. Gettleman drafted Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas as the Giants No. 4 pick.
No one questions Gettleman’s sound reasoning on why the Giants drafted an offensive lineman. Protecting Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and Giants running back Saquon Barkley should be job one since the Giants feature both of their stars for their offense. It’s the player that should be questioned.
Selecting Thomas is a reach. Not many NFL teams mentioned him on the draft board when it comes to the offensive line, and that includes the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, his name never came up when it came to getting hog mollies as Gettleman likes to say. Players such as Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills, Austin Jackson, Prince Tega Wanogho and Mekhi Becton come to mind.
When watching Thomas play SEC games, he would get beaten by his counterpart for his assignment. Does that sound promising to a Giants fan? I wonder how Barkley and Jones feel about it if they watch him on tape. Tape never lies.
The Giants should have gone with a sure thing. A guy that is ready to contribute now. Wirfs, Wills or Becton would have fit the criteria what the Giants are looking for.
But nah. Not Gettleman. He has to show he has to be smarter than his peers. He has to be that cutting edge guy. His ego makes him want to be that way. How else can he hand Sam Darnold to the Jets in his first draft by drafting Barkley? Never mind the Giants had an aging quarterback in Manning. He went with a running back despite the Giants having a hideous offensive line. Then, he compounds the problem by drafting an unknown quarterback the following year in Jones. This first-round pick screams like a general manager who wants to stick it up to his critics.
For all we know, Thomas could be the next Ereck Flowers. Now that’s a scary thought.
Football wonks touted Becton as the best offensive lineman in the draft. Sure he is a risk in a sense he failed his drug test at the combine. No matter. The Jets knew a high risk was worth the high reward in drafting him. They needed to get a guy who could protect Darnold, and Becton’s physique convinced Jets general manager Joe Douglas not to pass up on him.
If the Giants drafted Becton, no one would rip Gettleman for this decision.
If second thoughts on Becton lingered in Gettleman’s mind, he should have drafted Wirfs or Wills. A proven offensive lineman that knows what he is doing.
Thomas does not offer much confidence. Most experts thought the Giants drafted him too high. From watching him, he looks like a tweener. A lineman who should bulk up and eat a lot more.
It says here the Giants should have drafted a pass rusher. The last time they had that was when they last won the Super Bowl with Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora. It isn’t an accident the Giants turned out to be an awful team the minute they lacked a pass rusher. Drafting Isaiah Simmons made more sense than drafting an offensive lineman since he is a game-changer that disrupts quarterbacks into fumbling the football by sacking him. He serves as a versatile player by playing safety and corner.
Guys like Simmons don’t grow on trees in a position that is the third valuable position in the league after quarterbacks and wide receivers.
Gettleman’s draft picks failed to produce wins and improvement in his two forgettable years with the Giants, and that’s why he doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt, even though Giants fans believe in him that’s hard to grasp despite the last two forgettable seasons. It remains to be seen if Barkley can be durable or if Jones can be a winning quarterback.
The Giants expressed no inclination of firing him so far, but sooner or later, his draft picks must produce for him to earn John Mara’s trust. No one stays on the job for life. Just ask Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese, who won Super Bowls for the Giants.
Not only does he need Barkley and Jones to have career years this season, but he needs Thomas and his other draft picks in the last two seasons to start playing better.
If not, not only will he lose his job, but he will be remembered as a blowhard who outsmarted himself to help build the Jets by handing Darnold and Becton to them.