It's Easier To Be The Cat: What Will The Giants Do with the #2 Pick by Vincent Zahler
One of the fables the Greek storyteller Aesop had was about the cat and the fox. As the story went, a fox and a cat were trying to escape from a pack of hounds. The fox boasted about how he knew of multiple ways to escape while the the cat had one. As the fox sat and thought about which of the several options he should use to escape, the cat used his one option and went up a tree. By the time the fox had come to his decision, he was surrounded by the hounds. To say that there’s a great deal of anxious anticipation regarding what to do with the number two overall pick that the New York Giants have in the 2018 NFL draft is an understatement. New GM David Gettleman has never quite been in this position while in charge. He will have to make a decision that will largely determine the franchise’s fate over the next few years. Even at his advanced age, he will be making a decision that is probably more impactful than his predecessor ever had to. Gettleman’s presence and difference from the outgoing GM and former boss Jerry Reese has already been noticeable. From his focus on bringing in the “hog mollies” offensive lineman as shown in his unsuccessful effort to bring in All-Pro Guard Andrew Norwell and his bank breaking deal to secure a true left tackle Nate Solder to his trading for a young All-Pro level linebacker in Alec Ogletree. While Reese didn’t exactly ignore these positions as many try to claim, he certainly didn’t fair well in them. It remains to be seen if the headline grabbing moves will have a winning effect in 2018 and going forward but if nothing else it’s a welcome and refreshing change. That being said, it’s in the draft where General Managers truly build their reputation. At the ripe age of 67 and after long career, this quite possibly might be Gettleman’s defining moment. Not since 1981 have the Giants had the second overall pick. While it’s understandably tempting for many to suggest trading out of the spot to collect picks in order to fill more holes, one must consider if several dice rolls are truly better than one at a higher chance of a major payout. Back in that draft, the Giants had a plethora of holes to fill in part of the “5 year plan” that actually took 18 years to complete. Instead of trading out of the spot, George Young selected Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor who arguably ended up being the most impactful player in that draft, as he was the only one drafted that year to win League’s Most Valuable Player. Few today would even remotelt consider trading that #2 pick. Although the Giants having Phil Simms at the time, making quarterback not the need its perceived today with Eli Manning nearing the end, it's worth pointing out that the first quarterback taken in the 1981 draft was Rich Campbell. Who? Exactly. In the past, teams have traded out of top spots in order to fill needs and such examples are underwhelming. Looking back at the blockbuster Robert Griffin III trade, one would have thought that the St Louis/LA Rams would have made out well after getting the equivalent of a King’s ransom in terms of picks in exchange for the 2nd overall selection. The trade resulted in the Rams acquiring the following players with the two best now members of the Giants and several ended up mostly busting in the NFL. Overall, the list leaves much to be desired. Especially from the Rams point of view. They are as follows: -Michael Brockers -Janoris Jenkins -Isaiah Pead -Rokevious Watkins -Alec Ogletree -Stedman Bailey -Zak Stacy -Greg Robinson Now with the Buffalo Bills offering similar deals for the pick, several highly touted quarterbacks at the top of the draft, a guard in Quentin Nelson who is drawing comparisons to Larry Allen, and what appears to be a game-changing level running back in Saquon Barkley who is viewed as at worst, on par with the Todd Gurleys and Ezekiel Elliots of the world. Gettleman and the Giants have no shortage of options but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best position to be in despite its appearance on the surface. Sometimes the fewer the options the easier the decision. It remains to be seen what the Giants will do but at the moment the options laying before them are: Option 1. Stay put and select a virtual guarantee at the running back position. Option 2, Stay put and select a virtual guarantee at the guard position Option 3. Stay put and select a gamble at the quarterback of the future Option 4. Trade out for more picks Option 5. Use your imagination. While at first glance, having several paths to choose from may seem like a good problem to have, it can actually put the final decision under further scrutiny. A wrong move here will surely to “what might have been” discussion as well as worse, fans starting to miss Jerry Reese. Gettleman has quite the decision to make. Here’s to hoping that in his case, the many options don’t end up with him surrounding by a pack of hounds. Prediction: Now that Jason Pierre-Paul has been traded away, look for the Buffalo Bills to offer Shaq Lawson with their previous Prince's Ransom.