Never say never when it comes to Dave Gettleman and trading down in an NFL Draft.
Even though he has never, ever done it.
“Well, it’s something I will very seriously entertain,” the Giants general manager said Friday on a conference call.
Gettleman, 69, has presided over seven NFL Drafts — five with the Panthers and the past two with the Giants. He has triggered several trades in which he moved up in the draft to snag the player he wanted. He has never traded down.
If it is to be, this seems to be the year.
The Giants have the No. 4 pick in the first round of the NFL Draft 2020 on Thursday night. Gettleman previously said he is “open for business” as far as making a deal to get out of that spot. If he is serious about taking an offensive tackle early in this draft, he unquestionably can get one of the top prospects if he moves down a few slots.
The key is finding a trade partner. Teams most often trade up, and give up valuable picks, in order to land a quarterback. It is highly debatable if any team will do that for Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. Tagovailoa has serious medical concerns and Herbert is most likely not regarded high enough to warrant a move up. But you never know. Teams have been known to make overreaching moves to get their possible franchise quarterback. Perhaps the Dolphins (No. 5) or Chargers (No. 6) will be so inclined. Or maybe even the Raiders at No. 12, which would put the Giants on the fringe of landing Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton or Andrew Thomas, the top four offensive tackles in this class.
Given the unprecedented nature of this particular draft, making a deal the night of the first round might be exceedingly difficult, given the technical issues that could arise with all 32 teams working remotely following coronavirus pandemic protocol.
Gettleman said, with the NFL Draft a week away, it is too early to open up trade talks. He admitted, though, that this year it is wise to try to get at least the framework of a deal done before the teams are on the clock, when the pressure mounts and everyone has to rely on phone calls and their internet connections to hold up.
“I’m gonna make calls and anybody that wants to move up I’m gonna say, ‘Listen, we don’t have much time, we can’t fool around and I’d like to get the parameters of deals in place before we get on the clock,'” Gettleman said. “That would be the best thing.”
The NFL will conduct a league-wide mock draft on Monday, which should help clear up any technical glitches that might arise.
“That will be an interesting thing, to see how it works,” Gettleman said. “The biggest piece is making sure we, being the Giants, are coordinated in how we’re gonna approach the trade process. We’ll have two veteran guys on it.”
In addition to Gettleman, the Giants have Kevin Abrams, the assistant general manager, and Tim McDonnell, the assistant director of player personnel, to aid in any trade exploration.
Gettleman predicted once the third round hits, and teams have only five minutes between selections, “it’s gonna be tight” to trade up or back.
“I think what it’s gonna force everybody to do is do deals before their pick is up,” Gettleman said. “Let’s say for the sake of discussion, one team calls another team and says, ‘I want to trade up.’ Go make a deal off the clock and if the guy is there for the team that wants to move up then they’ll consummate the trade. I think a lot of it is gonna be done ahead of time.”