Dave Gettleman, our 69-year-old football lifer, is surviving in his unsettling virtual reality NFL world … a world without interpersonal relationships and getting-to-know-you dinners and watching prospective draftees interact inside the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
“We got the visual touch-point, but we’re really missing out on the personal touch-point when you can smell and feel a guy,” Gettleman said on a Monday conference call with the media.
The Giants feel they have navigated over these stormy seas as well as possible, but of course COVID-19 has complicated things for all 32 GMs.
It doesn’t change anything the fact that Gettleman’s true dilemma will come on draft night:
“With the fourth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will begin standing, in the basement of his Bronxville home, “the New York Giants select … ”
Will it be Isaiah Simmons, the Robo-Freak playmaker, if Gettleman is forced to stick at No. 4 and picks and cannot or will not trade down, something he’s never done in his career?
Or will it be Tristan Wirfs, or Mekhi Becton, or Andrew Thomas, or Jedrick Wills Jr. to block for Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley?
Inside Dave’s Dilemma:
Robo-Freak Playmaker is a need.
Offensive tackle is a need.
Gettleman has always believed that drafting for need gets you in trouble, but he’ll be drafting for need here and now, whether he chooses to admit so or not.
He believes his free-agent signings of CB James Bradberry, LBs Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell and DT Austin Johnson enable him to go the best-available-player route come Thursday.
“I think we’ve done a good job … it’s not perfect. … I’m pleased with where we’re at going into the draft,” Gettleman said.
But who is best available player?
Even Bill Belichick — we think — won’t be able to find a way to access the Giants’ draft board, so only Gettleman will know whether he will have Simmons rated in a league of his own, the way Barkley was in 2018. Gettleman will have to ask himself whether Simmons fits his definition of Gold Jacket Guy. In which case, Gold Jacket Guy would trump offensive tackle.