Giants GM Dave Gettleman 'Agonized Over' Daniel Jones Pick in 2019 NFL Draft

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2019

Duke quarterback Daniel Jones poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the New York Giants selected Jones in the first round at the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

While New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has defended his selection of Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the No. 6 overall pick, that does not mean it was an easy decision.

He told Peter King of NBC Sports:

"I agonized over that. I agonized. Before the draft, we discussed that thoroughly as a group—first last Friday, then again Wednesday. Obviously we had great regard for Josh Allen. But the one thing I have learned is you don't fool around with a quarterback. If he's your guy, you take him.

"If you put 32 general managers in a room and gave 'em sodium pentathol [truth serum], every single one of them would tell you a story of how they got cute in a draft and it cost them a player they wanted. So you don't get cute there. You don't get cute with a quarterback."

The Giants could have taken Kentucky defensive end Josh Allen, who had surprisingly fallen to No. 6, and then potentially grabbed Jones at No. 17. Most experts had pegged Jones as a borderline first-round talent who would move into the teens because of quarterback scarcity.

Gettleman instead cemented Jones' rapid ascent up boards by taking him at No. 6 in what was the most widely panned pick of Thursday night. The Duke product never threw for more than 2,836 yards or 22 touchdowns during his three years as a starter. Gettleman is essentially putting the franchise in Jones' hands and hoping he's better in the NFL than he ever was in college.

"I know for a fact there were two teams that would've taken him in front of 17," Gettleman told reporters. "I know that for a fact. It wasn't easy for me to pass on Josh Allen. You know my background. That was very, very difficult. But I think that much of Daniel Jones and his future as a NFL quarterback."

Washington took quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the No. 15 overall pick. It's possible they had Allen higher on their draft board.

The Broncos did not take a quarterback until Drew Lock fell to them at No. 42 in the second round.

Unless Gettleman has intel that there was a massive chasm between Jones, Haskins and Lock—something that was not viewed as the case before the draft—odds are he could have waited until No. 17. Haskins was a known favorite of Washington owner Daniel Snyder, and Lock's fall to No. 42 was one of the biggest surprises of the draft.

Gettleman has bristled at the criticism in every respect. He called on critics to "look at my resume," which includes more than a decade with the Giants as their pro personnel director and a stint from 2013-16 as the Carolina Panthers' general manager. 

"Every once in a while, I wish the people taking the shots would take a minute to look at my resume," Gettleman said. "I’ve been a part of teams that went to seven Super Bowls. I had a hand in some of them. But today, there’s no patience. And there’s no room for civil discourse in our society, which I find sad.”"

The fact of the matter is Gettleman is all in on Jones, for better or worse. As a quarterback, we'll have to wait and see. As a value proposition, it's not hard to see a scenario where the Giants could have walked away with a stronger overall draft by taking Allen at No. 6.

“In three years, we’ll find out how crazy I am," Gettleman said.

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