The New York Giants have begun yet another reset within the organization with the firing of Pat Shurmur on Monday morning. While Shurmur was originally hired to try to squeeze out a final few years of productivity from Eli Manning (and was subsequently gifted a rookie QB on a rebuilding squad), moving on was the right move for the franchise. But the Giants aren't completely cleaning house, and plan to keep general manager Dave Gettleman around, as stated by John Mara. While New York could find a great head coach in this round of hiring, by choosing to keep Gettleman, they're only moving sideways instead of forward.
Gettleman's widely-mocked decision to take Daniel Jones sixth overall has proved to not be as bad as everyone thought eight months after the fact. But it's less about what they got and more about what they missed out on, and that concept can be applied to Gettleman's tenure as a whole in New York.
The Giants have needed a presence on the edge for a few years now, and Gettleman missed out on two elite prospects at the position in consecutive drafts. Saquon Barkley is extraordinarily talented and one of the most exciting players in the league, but having an elite talent at running back has never mattered less in the NFL. By selecting him at No. 2 overall in 2018, Gettleman passed on Bradley Chubb, who notched double-digit sacks his rookie season. By choosing Jones in this past draft, the Giants opted out on Josh Allen, who had 10.5 sacks and looks like a future force on the edge for years to come.
To Gettleman's credit, 2018 second-round pick Will Hernandez has been a solid player for New York, and the Giants' second first-round pick Dexter Lawrence had an excellent rookie year as a boulder in the middle of the defensive line. Darius Slayton has emerged as Jones' top target. The jury is still out on the rest of the 2019 draft, although it's hard to imagine Giants fans are terribly pleased with DeAndre Baker with how bad he looked at times this season.
His track record outside of the draft has been bad. Trading an elite talent like Odell Beckham Jr. for a quality guard and an above-average safety (along with two draft picks) isn't a good return, especially after openly stating they would not trade him, and especially after he chose a young quarterback who sure could have used a reliable target like OBJ this season. He hasn't signed anybody to shore up the Giants' weakest position groups.
It's just hard to see Gettleman's vision for this franchise. He may have landed their franchise quarterback but hasn't done all that much to help Jones out, and doesn't seem to understand how value has shifted in the NFL over the years. Barkley is fun, but the opportunity cost of taking him second overall is far more than his production will ever be unless he reaches historic levels. NFL GMs see things far differently than us armchair GMs, but given the league-wide reception to the pick, anyone could have told you that nobody thought Jones would go in the top 10, much less sixth overall, and a savvier GM would have leveraged that into a trade-down for more draft picks and still gotten his guy.
Mara believes Gettleman is the guy to lead their franchise. Outside of his shortcomings as a personnel man, Gettleman also has a track record of aggravating his players. Look no further than the OBJ trade or the Steve Smith situation in Carolina for proof of that. The Giants want to move forward, but by keeping Gettleman, they aren't going anywhere.