Why the Giants Should Consider Trading Down in the First Round

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Patricia Traina

At the end of last season, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman spoke of the changes being made behind the scenes to how the team approaches roster building.

Besides using computerized data to supplement the eye test and changing how prospects are graded, one change that Gettleman and the Giants will hopefully deploy is to trade down in the first round.

Such a move would make it the first time the Giants trade down in the first round since 2006 when they went from 25th to 32nd with the Steelers and picked up defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka out of Boston College.

In seven years as an NFL general manager (five with the Panthers, two with the Giants so far), Gettleman has never traded down in the first round, though he hasn't been afraid to trade up, as he did last year.

As the chips continue to fall ahead of free agency and the draft, if there was ever a year for the Giants to consider trading down in the first round, this year is it.

The Giants will have a top-10 draft pick for the fifth time in the last six drafts. Under Gettleman, who has overseen the last two of those drafts (2018 and 2019), the Giants have landed their franchise running back and franchise quarterback.

Meanwhile, a case could be made that the three teams that draft after the Giants in the first round--Miami, Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina--need a franchise quarterback.

Assuming the Bengals (No. 1 overall) and Lions (No. 3 overall) stay put -- both of those teams are thought to be quarterback-needy as well depending on whom you read--here's what the Giants potential options look like as based on the draft pick value chart found at Draftteck.com.

Miami (No. 5 overall). The Dolphins are thought to have their eye on Alabama signal-caller Tua Tagovaiola, according to ESPN. But what happens if one of the other quarterback-needy teams generates a buzz about not only wanting Tagovaiola but moving up to the Giants' draft spot to get him ahead of Miami?

That could prove disastrous for the Dolphins if such a scenario were to come to fruition. Miami stockpiled 14 draft picks for this year, the first six of which are in the top 100, which is the sweet spot of the draft.

To swap places with the Giants would probably only cost the Dolphins one of their third-round picks (No. 70 overall). If the Giants can work such a deal, they'd still be in a position to get an offensive tackle or a pass rusher.

They'd also get back into the top of the third round, just two spots below where they were initially slotted to draft had they not sent that No. 68 overall pick to the Jets for Leonard Williams.

Los Angles Chargers (No. 6 Overall). The Chargers announced they're moving on from long-time signal-caller (and 2004 Giants first-round draft pick) Phillip Rivers.

Early indications are that Justin Herbert out of Oregon might be the quarterback the Chargers have their eye on. But if they wanted to get Tagovaiola, they would probably have to move ahead of the Dolphins to make that happen.

The Chargers don't have the draft cache the Dolphins have--only three of their draft picks (Nos. 6, 37 and 71) this year fall into the top 100. But if much like would be the case with the Dolphins, the Chargers probably wouldn't have to give up a small king's ransom to move up two spots.

The Chargers, if they wanted to move up to No. 4 overall, would have to swap first-round picks, and they could probably include their third-round pick (No. 71 overall) to seal the deal.

Carolina Panthers (No. 7 Overall). The Panthers are a bit of a wild card. Although long-time starter Cam Newton recently expressed optimism that he'd be back with the team this year. However, the Panthers have started a rebuild and must determine if having a 30-year-old quarterback who is coming off a significant foot injury is in the best interest of that rebuild.

Perhaps it is to them if they plan on drafting a prospect to sit behind Newton for a bit. Or maybe they plan to upgrade the talent around Newton and think about a franchise quarterback another time.

At the same time, the draft isn't only about the short term and in a quarterback rich class, if the Panthers want to rebuild the right way, maybe they cut their losses with Newton, who is in the final year of his contract.

Parting with Newton before paying out his $2 million option bonus would result in a $21.1 million savings and would certainly help a team that right now is projected to have $31,037,733 in cap space.

As for what it would take to move up to No. 4, perhaps the Giants could also pick up a third this year and a conditional pick in next year's draft. 

Comments (3)
No. 1-2

Judge comes from a culture where trading down is common. Any word what kind of influence he might have in the draft or is Gettleman firmly in control? If it's Gettleman in the driver's seat, prepare for Derrick Brown.


Gettlemen can redeem himself from the idiotic Williams trade by trading down with Miami for their highest #1 and #3... then trade down again with the Chargers