What If The New York Giants Traded Back In The 2018 NFL Draft?

New York Giants. Dave Gettleman, Pat Shurmur

The New York Giants are in the second year of their rebuild. In 2019, New York is once again on pace to finish with a top-ten draft pick. The 2-8 Giants currently hold the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Giants picked 6th overall in 2019 and 2nd overall in 2018. 2020 will be the Giants’ third straight year with a top-ten pick if they continue to lose the way they have. But a recent rumor from Benjamin Allbright suggests that in 2018, the Giants had the opportunity to trade back with the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

In this article, I will be exploring a hypothetical scenario that might have taken place if the New York Giants accepted the Denver Broncos’ offer in 2018. Of course, this is not definite. Everything has a cause and effect and there is no guarantee that any of these hypotheticals would have happened. But this is one scenario that could’ve happened if the Giants traded back in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The 2018 NFL Draft

If the rumor is true, then the Denver Broncos offered the New York Giants the 2018 5th overall pick, the 2018 40th overall pick, and what became the 2019 20th overall pick. Had the Giants made that deal, they would have likely missed out on Saquon Barkley. But they would have been able to fortify their offensive line with already All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson.

Nelson was drafted sixth overall by the Indianapolis Colts in 2018, so it is fair to assume that he would have been available for the Giants to draft with the fifth overall pick. So the Giants would have missed out on Saquon Barkley for Nelson, but they would have gotten a nice consolation prize at running back in the second round.

Nick Chubb would have been available for the Giants with the 34th overall pick since he was actually drafted 35th overall by the Browns in 2018. The Giants would then be picking again with Denver’s second-round pick, 40th overall. The Broncos drafted Courtland Sutton with this pick. Sutton would have been a solid option for the Giants.

Courtland Sutton, Harold Landry, Josh Jackson, Jessie Bates, and D.J. Chark were some of the top prospects available at this pick. Assume the Giants drafted based on need, Jessie Bates would have been a home run selection as the top safety available.

So, had the Giants made this trade, they would have ended up with an All-Pro left guard in Quenton Nelson, a thousand-yard-rusher as a rookie in Nick Chubb, and a rookie safety who totaled 111 tackles with 3 interceptions and 7 passes broken up in Jessie Bates.

The 2019 Offseason

I will be going through this hypothetical scenario under the concept of “ceteris paribus,” meaning “other things being equal or held constant.” So, Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon still get traded, and the Giants still draft Daniel Jones and Dexter Lawrence.

The Giants drafted Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick. Some controversy arose with this selection because the draft class still had a top-tier offensive tackle available. With the 20th overall pick, the Denver Broncos selected tight end, Noah Fant.

The Giants had and still have Evan Engram, so it is hard to believe they would have gone the same route as Denver did with Fant at pick 20. Instead, the Giants would get that offensive tackle prospect that they desperately needed then and even more desperately need now.

Andre Dillard was drafted by the division-rival Eagles with the 22nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Dillard was the top offensive tackle prospect available and was though to be a premier pass-protector. Dillard has only started three games for the Eagles this season as they are grooming him to take over on the left side when Jason Peters retires, but he would have been a day-one starter on the right side of the Giants’ offensive line.

And this article was not written to be a Debbie Downer or Negative Nancy. I am not trying to criticize Dave Gettleman and the work he has done in the NFL Draft these last two years because I think he has done a superb job. This article was written for fun, as a hypothetical “What If?” situation, the same as “What if Eli Manning remained a San Diego Charger?” so, please, do not attack me on Twitter. This article was also written to point out that trading down in the NFL Draft can reap huge benefits, even if a team is trading only a few picks back.