Just days after making on of the more horrendous roster decisions I’ve ever seen in letting Landon Collins walk for nothing, Dave Gettleman is trying to regain what little support is left among Giants fans. On Friday, the Giants agreed to trade OLB Oliver Vernon to the Cleveland Browns along with a fourth round pick for OG Kevin Zeitler and a fifth round pick. This may be the first sign that the Giants are fully understanding what to do in order to rebuild the organization.
This is a good trade for both teams. Cleveland gets an elite pro bowl pass rusher to put alongside Miles Garrett. The Giants get to solidify their offensive line that already has Nate Solder and Will Hernandez on the left side of the line. Zeitler was the highest rated offensive guard in pass protection in the entire NFL last season, and the sixth rated guard in football according to Pro Football Focus. Today’s move is the beginning of a foreseeable string of events for the Giants, this was just the first domino to fall (if Gettleman plays his cards right).
This move fits the Giants motive they have been preaching, and can begin the motive that the fans have been desperately asking for. On the Giants end, it fits the idea that Eli Manning needs better protection. Last season, in the second half, Manning got better and better because of improvements along the offensive line and that was a key argument from coach Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman. So this does fit their motive of Eli needing better protection to be a better player. We will see how that pans out. It is understood however, that Giants fans motives are different than just ignoring the fact that the Giants next year will need a new quarterback. Fans know we need to begin to put a quarterback under Eli Manning’s wisdom and tutor him into the next franchise quarterback. So, while this move helps Eli Manning’s success, it also is the first real sign that this team is rebuilding. Last year when the Giants drafted OROY stud Saquon Barkley, fans were desperate as to why they didn’t pick a quarterback. It is my understanding that the Giants liked the quarterbacks last season, but didn’t love them as much as Barkley, which is why I still think it was the right pick. So how does this fit into the rebuild? Easy. It looks as if the Cardinals are leaning towards trading Josh Rosen and picking Kyler Murray. If this is the case, the Giants have two options to rebuild. Either draft Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State, who was born in Montclair, New Jersey, 10 minutes away from Giants Stadium, and have him be groomed under Manning, or you can trade either a second or third (and possibly another later round pick) for Josh Rosen and then use the sixth pick on Montez Sweat or Rashan Gary (another New Jersey native). I like Haskins and Rosen, and I’d even give a slight edge to Haskins, but in my opinion, if you are able to come out of last seasons draft with Barkley and Rosen, it is a huge win.
Thinking about it a bit deeper, the Giants second round pick is 38th overall. There is no way the Giants wouldn’t pick Josh Rosen if they was on the board at 38 in this seasons draft, so it makes sense to use that pick to acquire him. Also, last season the draft was Quarterback heavy, and the Giants didn’t use their pick on a quarterback. This season the draft is defensive line heavy, and I think it would be a mistake to miss out of elite pass rushers, considering the Giants just sent their only real pass rusher to Cleveland. That is why the Vernon move makes sense for Rosen and a draft pass rusher to the Giants.
This is a clear indictment that the Giants are finally starting to understand they are in rebuild mode. What comes next is yet to be seen, and I am sure some things will shock people, but for right now, Giants fans need to be content with Dave Gettleman’s most recent move, as long as come training camp the Giants have Eli Manning tutoring either Josh Rosen or Dwayne Haskins.