SNY NFL Insider

Ralph Vacchiano

Ralph Vacchiano, award-winning sports reporter and columnist, joined SNY in 2016 as its NFL Insider. Vacchiano will cover the Giants and Jets beats for SNY.tv and be a regular contributor to "Daily News Live" and "GEICO SportsNite." Vacchiano comes to SNY following 15 years as the New York Giants beat writer and columnist for the New York Daily News.

 

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Vacchiano graduated from Syracuse University in 1991 and began his professional career covering the Buffalo Bills for the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and later covered the Giants and Jets for the North Jersey Herald & News in Passaic, N.J.. During his 19 years at the Daily News, he also covered the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils (1997-2001), and in 2008 he wrote his first book, Eli Manning: The Making of a Quarterback (Skyhorse Publishing).

 

Vacchiano lives with his wife, Kara, and his daughter, Alexandra, in West Caldwell, N.J.

Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Adam Gase insisted he didn't pull off a power play inside the Jets' organization. The rest of the NFL isn't so sure that's true.

And that belief, that he engineered the firing for ex-Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan, could impact how potential candidates view the Jets in their search for their next GM.

"It's New York, so of course people are going to want the job," said one NFL executive. "But they're going to want answers about who is really in control. If they know (Adam) Gase and they know they can work with him, that's fine. But anyone who doesn't know him is going to want answers and might find it a tough spot."

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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Adam Gase may be the Jets' new interim general manager, but he insisted that he did not engineer a power play to get the job and push Mike Maccagnan out the door.

In his first comments since Maccagnan was fired last week, Gase quickly dismissed the idea the notion that he had anything to do with that decision. "I disagree with that, as far as a power struggle," Gase said.

"Whoever is hired is going to have the same role (Maccagnan had) -- control of the roster, control of the 53," Gase said. "I will coach the team. That's what I'm going to do. Nothing has changed with that structure."

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Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Le'Veon Bell (26) Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The firing of Mike Maccagnan last week, just weeks after he ran the draft, and months after he spent $120 million in free agency and helped hire the new head coach, may go down as one of the strangest, craziest moments in the star-crossed history of the Jets.

But that would seem like nothing if they soon decide to trade the recently signed Le'Veon Bell.

They won't, of course. At least they probably won't. One team source texted a flat "No" when asked about the possibility by SNY over the weekend. But the wacky idea still gained some traction over the weekend as many tried to predict what's next for the Jets and their interim GM/head coach Adam Gase. The rumor that Gase would soon trade Bell grew like wildfire when former ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton said in a radio interview on Friday, "I could absolutely see the Jets trading (Bell) before the start of the season."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Ralph Vacchiano
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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Adam Gase has barely been introduced to New York yet, beyond a couple of short press conferences and some mean-spirited memes. He hasn't had a chance to lose a game yet. The heat on his seat hasn't even been turned on.

But it will be very shortly, once the ashes settle from the firing of Jets GM Mike Maccagnan, because like it or not, fair or not, and true or not, it sure looks like Gase's fingerprints are all over this shocking move. Whether it was a power play or good, old-fashioned irreconcilable differences, Gase won and Maccagnan lost.

Which means this Jets mess is Gase's now.

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Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Kurt Warner was there, 15 years ago, in the most unenviable spot for a starting quarterback. He knew he could still play. He knew he could still win.

And he knew his replacement was standing right behind him.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 1, 2018; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Blessuan Austin (1) intercepts a pass in front of Texas State Bobcats wide receiver Javen Banks (12) during first half at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 1, 2018; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Blessuan Austin (1) intercepts a pass in front of Texas State Bobcats wide receiver Javen Banks (12) during first half at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Blessuan Austin was the last player the Jets picked in the NFL draft, after 195 players were already selected. But the truth is, if he hadn't torn his ACL twice in the last two seasons, he likely would've been drafted much higher - maybe even the second or third round.

Actually, to Austin, that sounds a bit low.

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Oct 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA;Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) gets the fans pumped up against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Oct 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA;Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) gets the fans pumped up against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK - The Jets knew all about Jachai Polite's disastrous appearance at the Combine in February. They knew that's the only reason he was still available for them to draft in the third round.

They still knew it was a risk. But they also knew that if it worked out, he could be the dominating pass rusher they've been seeking for several seasons.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The top of the first round was shaping up like a dream for James Bettcher. As the sixth overall pick got closer and closer, there were still a couple of prized, elite defensive players on the board.

And yes, the Giants defensive coordinator wanted them. He had his eyes on Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Those two have Pro Bowl potential, according to many scouts. They could've changed the makeup of the Giants' defense.

What defensive coordinator wouldn't have wanted one of them instead of Duke quarterback Daniel Jones?

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coaches against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The top of the first round was shaping up like a dream for James Bettcher. As the sixth overall pick got closer and closer, there were still a couple of prized, elite defensive players on the board.

And yes, the Giants defensive coordinator wanted them. He had his eyes on Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen and Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Those two have Pro Bowl potential, according to many scouts. They could've changed the makeup of the Giants' defense.

What defensive coordinator wouldn't have wanted one of them instead of Duke quarterback Daniel Jones?

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback draft pick DeAndre Baker (35) runs during a drill during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)
May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback draft pick DeAndre Baker (35) runs during a drill during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 6, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Jay Ajayi (26) reacts to his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 6, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Jay Ajayi (26) reacts to his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Giants did not have a lot of salary cap space, so this offseason was always going to be about the draft for them. Anything else they added was likely come out of the bargain bin of free agency.

And their bargain shopping is about to begin.

Starting on Tuesday, the Giants figure to be in the market for a right tackle, maybe an edge rusher, and probably plenty of depth, when the free-agent signing period heats back up again. That's the first day that free-agent signings do not count against the NFL's compensatory draft pick formula, which determines comp picks for the next draft, and takes into account free agent signings, losses, money spent and performance. Any player a team signs Tuesday won't count against his new team.

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Dec 2, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) makes a catch in front of Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)
Dec 2, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) makes a catch in front of Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (Dale Zanine)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The list of Jets' needs seemed pretty obvious when the offseason began. Yet several months in, they still haven't done much to plug holes at center, edge rusher and cornerback, in particular.

So it's a good thing for them that free agency isn't over. In fact, Wave 2 is about to begin.

Starting on Tuesday, the free-agent signing period figures to heat back up because that's the first day that free-agent signings do not count against the NFL's compensatory draft pick formula. That formula, which determines comp picks for the next draft, takes into account free agent signings, losses, money spent and performance. But any player a team signs starting tomorrow, won't count against his new team.

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Gettleman and Jones intertwined 00:00:46
For better or for worse, Ralph Vacchiano argues Dave Gettleman's legacy is attached to the success of Daniel Jones and the Giants.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Ernie Accorsi used to joke that the first line of his obituary someday would note he was the man who brought Eli Manning to the Giants, and he couldn't avoid that no matter how it worked out. Two Super Bowls later, that has turned out to be a good thing.

Dave Gettleman can only hope it'll be the same for him with Daniel Jones.

Tags: Eli Manning, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets went through the opening six weeks of free agency without signing a center, and they made it through seven rounds of the NFL Draft without taking one, too.

So it should be pretty obvious by now: Jonotthan Harrison is their guy.

The 27-year-old Harrison re-signed with the Jets shortly before the free agent market opened in March, inking a two-year, $5 million contract with $2.5 million guaranteed. At the time, it looked like he was being brought back for depth at the center position, with the Jets' seemingly on the prowl for a different starter.

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Giants Draft Recap 00:01:56
New York Giants were able to fill a lot of glaring holes on their defense despite using a top 10 pick on Duke QB Daniel Jones.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There was universal (and unfair) outrage over the Giants' first-round pick. And as much as they needed a quarterback of the future, it's a fair point that Duke's Daniel Jones likely won't help the Giants this year.

That, many said, was proof that Gettleman was lying about his "win now" philosophy. That, they argued, showed the Giants really were a rebuilding team.

But it's hard to argue that based on what Gettleman did with the rest of the draft.

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Jets Draft Recap 00:01:37
New York Jets were able to get a stud in Quinnen Williams but after that it was a little boom or bust.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Mike Maccagnan only had six picks in this NFL Draft, and couldn't come up with more despite his best efforts. So he had to take some risks to fill the holes on his rebuilding team.

And the Jets need those risks to very quickly pay off.

Those risks, and the fact that Maccagnan couldn't accomplish his goal of adding picks - especially in the second round -- are why the Jets' overall draft grade is only C-plus, despite the A-plus pick of Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams in the first round. Maccagnan actually wanted to trade down from the third overall pick, but it was hard to fault him for staying put and taking a player some scouts thought was the best defensive player in the draft.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 29, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman addresses the media at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 29, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman addresses the media at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Three of the Giants' first four picks on the first two days of the draft were defensive players. That's no surprise, since Giants GM Dave Gettleman made it clear his team lacked defensive playmakers last year.

But given Gettleman's love of "Hog Mollies" and how badly the Giants need depth along their defensive line, it's pretty clear that the Giants' "Dance of the Elephants" - as the late George Young used to call it - is coming soon.

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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, the Jets found an anchor for the middle of their defense (Quinnen Williams), a possible edge-rushing monster (Jachai Polite) and a future starting tackle (Chuma Edoga).

That's a nice start. But the Jets still have holes to fill. And they only have two more picks to go.

When Day 3 of the NFL Draft begins this afternoon, the Jets will only be holding a fourth-round pick (105th overall) and a sixth-rounder (196). That's not a lot for a rebuilding team that still needs help at center, cornerback, receiver, tight end, backup running back, and depth at any number of other spots.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants draft Oshane Ximines 00:00:47
New York Giants add a much needed pass rusher in 'sack machine' Oshane Ximines. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano analyzes the Giants? 3rd rounder.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Oshane Ximines was a pass-rushing machine during his four years at college, and that sure seems like it's exactly what the Giants need.

But the big question with their third-round pick will be whether the first player to ever be drafted out of Old Dominion can transfer that production to the NFL.

The Giants obviously think so, since they took him with their only Day 2 selection on Friday, 95th overall. The Giants had a terrible pass rush last season, which promised to be worse after they traded Olivier Vernon to Cleveland. And after they didn't take an edge rusher in the first-round on Thursday, they knew they had to grab one in Round 3.

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Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) leaves the field after losing to the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) leaves the field after losing to the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Less than 24 hours after the Giants drafted Eli Manning's eventual successor, Mike Francesa made a dramatic, on-air announcement that the Giants quarterback would no longer be doing his weekly radio spot on his WFAN show. Those two things, he said, were directly related - a sign of Manning's unhappiness about what the Giants just did.

But that doesn't appear to be the case at all.

The Giants actually told WFAN weeks ago that Manning was no longer interested in doing his weekly appearance, according to a source familiar with the situation, and it apparently had nothing to do with the Giants' draft plans. He has been doing a weekly radio appearance for his entire 15-year career, and simply wasn't interested in doing it anymore.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Daniel Jones is selected as the No. 6 overall pick to the New York Giants in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
Daniel Jones is selected as the No. 6 overall pick to the New York Giants in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

No one knows for sure if Daniel Jones will be the next Eli Manning or the next Dave Brown. No one is sure whether the Giants' drafted him far too high, or if they were right that he wouldn't have lasted all the way to No. 17.

The only thing that's certain about Jones right now is that the Giants had a strong conviction that the 21-year-old was the right guy to be their future "face of the franchise" and a worthy successor to Manning's throne. They felt so strongly about him that they weren't willing to mess around and tempt fate. They took him the first chance they got, with the sixth overall pick.

And good for them. That's exactly what they're supposed to do.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE -- Jets GM Mike Maccagnan tried hard to trade down in the first-round of the NFL draft, hoping to acquire a second-round pick. In the end, he couldn't do it.

But he is expected to keep trying on Day 2.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE - The Giants had a busy first day of the NFL draft, ending up with three first-round picks before it was all over. Day 2 figures to be a lot quieter, at least at the moment.

Since they gave up their second-round pick (37th overall) when they traded back into the first round to select Georgia cornerback DeAndre Baker, the Giants currently have only one pick on the second day of the NFL draft. And they'll have to wait a while, too, because they don't pick until the 32nd selection of the third round - 95th overall.

Now, the Giants do still have six Day 3 picks and they are willing to trade some of them if they can move up from 95 to something closer to - or even in - the second round. But most likely they are going to miss out on some of the top prospects who were leftover after the first round.

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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Daniel Jones (Duke) is selected as the number six overall pick to the New York Giants and poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Daniel Jones (Duke) is selected as the number six overall pick to the New York Giants and poses for a photo with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE - Dave Gettleman's decision to draft Duke quarterback Daniel Jones on Thursday night wasn't surprising, but not many thought he'd do it with the sixth overall pick. The general belief seemed to be that the Giants were eyeing Jones with their second first-round pick - No. 17.

But the Giants were absolutely convinced that if they wanted Jones, they couldn't wait that long. If they did, they might be facing him twice a year instead.

That was at least part of why the Giants jumped early on the 21-year-old Duke quarterback - a fear that several teams, including the Washington Redskins, were interested in him as well, according to a team source

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE -- The Arizona Cardinals hold the keys to the entire first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. And they just might hold the keys to the Giants' future as well.

There is no doubt the Giants will be watching closely tonight when the Cardinals make the first overall pick, sometime around 8 p.m. Arizona is widely expected to select Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. And once they do -- or if they do -- it'll be clear that their current quarterback, Josh Rosen, will be available in a trade.

The Giants have already had internal discussions about the possibility of trading for Rosen, as SNY has reported, and an NFL source said they've also spoken to the Cardinals, too. Those conversations, the source said, were very preliminary and were just an attempt by the Giants to get an idea of the Cards' intentions and what the price for Rosen might be.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: NASHVILLE- Dave Gettleman can be hard to decipher sometimes, but history suggests he's not a very good liar. He tells it like it is, even if his plan isn't always crystal clear at that moment.

So when he said it was his "dream" to find a successor to Eli Manning and glowed about the "Kansas City model" of having a young quarterback to sit behind a veteran for a year, I believed him. I also believed him when he insisted he wouldn't "force" a pick or "reach" for a quarterback. And I believed him when he glowed about the defensive players at the top of the draft, and how he thought one of them would absolutely be there for the Giants at 6.

And when he was asked about the possibility of trading up, I took "no guts, no glory" as a sign that he'd be willing to do that for the right player.

Tags: Eli Manning, Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE -- The Jets, for the first time in a long time, are not interested in drafting a quarterback, as GM Mike Maccagnan proudly acknowledged on Tuesday. That puts them in a very powerful position with the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Teams that need quarterbacks can get desperate around the draft. Just ask Maccagnan, who surrendered three second-round picks to move up three spots so he could draft Sam Darnold a year ago. And when there's no consensus on the top quarterbacks - and there really seems to be none this year - prices can really go crazy. That's why Maccagnan said he'd be looking for market value "and then some" for the No. 3 pick.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) celebrates after sacking Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) during the first half in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) celebrates after sacking Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) during the first half in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE - Josh Allen, the best edge-rusher available in this year's NFL draft, thinks it would be "crazy" if he ended up playing NFL football not far from where he grew up in Montclair, N.J.

It would be even crazier if he ended up playing for the Giants and not the Jets.

Tags: Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Draft Profile: Daniel Jones 00:00:41
Duke College quarterback Daniel Jones is a 2019 NFL draft prospect and looks to have early-round potential.

NASHVILLE -- Dave Gettleman sounded last week like he was perfectly content to wait to see if the right quarterback falls to the Giants with their second of two first-round picks in the NFL draft.

But there are a number of people around the NFL who just don't believe him and think he's preparing to take Duke quarterback Daniel Jones at No. 6.

"That's their guy," an NFL source told SNY on Wednesday. "They love him and they have for a while. I can't imagine they'll wait until 17. He's not likely to last that long."

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants owner John Mara (left) and general manager Dave Gettleman on the field during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)
May 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants owner John Mara (left) and general manager Dave Gettleman on the field during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Friday. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS (Danielle Parhizkaran)

The Giants will enter the NFL Draft with two glaring needs they have to fill soon and two first-round picks with which to do it. They need a Quarterback of the Future, unless they really do think Eli Manning will play forever. And they need a pass rusher for a team that basically has none.

There is absolutely no reason they can't get both if GM Dave Gettleman plays his draft cards right, and there are multiple ways he can do it. But the best and smartest way to do it would be to take the franchise quarterback first and the pass rusher later.

So he should take Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins with the sixth overall pick, and a top defensive player -- like Clemson's Clelin Ferrell -- at 17.

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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

After the first two picks are made in Thursday night's NFL Draft, there's a good chance the Jets won't be on the clock with the No. 3 pick for long. There are still plenty of indications that they want to trade down in the hopes of adding to their paltry collection of six picks.

That's understandable given how deep in talent the first three-to-four rounds of this draft are believed to be. It makes even more sense considering they don't have a second-round pick and have to wait out 65 picks before they make their second selection in Round three. And maybe GM Mike Maccagnan really will get an offer he can't refuse from some quarterback-needy team.

But unless he's really overwhelmed and doesn't have to drop very far, he should stay right where he is and take Kentucky's Josh Allen at No. 3 -- because Allen is exactly the type of defensive player the Jets so desperately need.

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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are some impressive defensive prospects sitting at the top of the NFL draft this year, including a few that are a perfect match for exactly what the Jets need. They might even have their choice of any defensive player they want with the third overall pick.

But it seems they really would prefer not to make that pick.

According to multiple NFL sources, the Jets seem "determined" to trade down in the first round of the NFL Draft, which begins on Thursday in Nashville. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has made it clear several times that he's "open" to the idea, though he may be downplaying just how open to it he actually is.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - By the time the draft begins at 8 p.m. next Thursday, Dave Gettleman and his staff will have spent months building the Giants' big board. They will have a pretty good idea by then of what they're going to do - particularly with their two first-round picks.

Then the Arizona Cardinals will make the first overall pick, and everything could change.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

A week-by-week look at the Giants' 2019 schedule, and some way-too-early predictions that are sure to change a lot:

Week 1 (Sept. 8) - @ Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.

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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Eli Manning during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Eli Manning during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

A week-by-week look at the Giants' 2019 schedule, and some way-too-early predictions that are sure to change a lot:

Week 1 (Sept. 8) - @ Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.

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Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One of the biggest mysteries in this year's NFL Draft is whether the Giants will take a quarterback, and if they do, which of their first-round picks will they use? It's not even clear which quarterbacks will be available to them at No. 6, or if any of the top ones will be left at No. 17.

For weeks, it has seemed they will go with a defensive player at 6. Lately, some smart NFL people have changed their minds on that. Eli Manning thinks there's a chance the Giants will use one of those early picks on his likely successor. And adding to the intrigue, the quarterback most often pegged to go to the Giants at 6 - Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins - is now a player some think will be available at 17.

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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There's just a little more than a week to go and still some mystery - even at the top of the NFL Draft where the smart money is still on Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa going 1-2 to the Cardinals and the 49ers.

If that doesn't happen, it could have a huge impact on the Jets - especially if Murray falls and teams that love him want to trade up.

For now, though, let's assume Murray-Bosa will go 1-2 as expected. If that happens, here's a look at how the Jets' six picks could go:

First round (3rd overall) - DE/LB Josh Allen, Kentucky

Tags: Chris Herndon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 5, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in action during an NFC Wild Card playoff football game between the Cowboys and the Seahawks at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Jan 5, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in action during an NFC Wild Card playoff football game between the Cowboys and the Seahawks at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

There's nothing wrong with dreaming, even if the dream is silly. It's OK to wish upon a star, imagine the unimaginable, or hope against hope.

So go ahead and buy your Russell Wilson Giants jersey, because it's your money to waste. No matter what the rumor mill says, no matter what Tyrann Mathieu Tweets, no matter how many times Jimmy Fallon asks him, Russell Wilson is not going to be the quarterback of the Giants. Not this year. Not next year. Not a few years from now.

And probably not ever.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 29, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2018 Orange Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Dec 29, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2018 Orange Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If the Giants decide to invest a draft pick in their Quarterback of the Future this year, GM Dave Gettleman made it clear he's not looking for a project. Sure, great quarterbacks have been found in almost all rounds of the NFL Draft.

But most of them have come from the first round. And that's where Gettleman plans to look...

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 28, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after being sacked by the Washington Redskins during second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 28, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after being sacked by the Washington Redskins during second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants have made it very clear, over and over again the last few years, that they will not force a decision on their Quarterback of the Future if they don't see one they love. They are comfortable putting it off indefinitely. They might even be on the verge of doing it again.

But that would be a mistake, no matter how good the class of quarterbacks looks in the 2020 draft. They can't keep punting this issue into the future. It's time to settle down, even if it means settling at the most important position in sports.

They need to find their Quarterback of the Future now.

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh Rosen, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

With only two weeks left until the NFL draft kicks off, here's a look at how the Giants might use their 12 picks:

First round (6th overall) - DE/LB Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh Rosen, Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Ralph Vacchiano
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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

With just over two weeks left until the NFL draft kicks off, here's our Jets Mock Draft 4.0:

First round (3rd overall) - DE/LB Josh Allen, Kentucky

If you buy into the theory that the Cardinals are taking Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray No. 1 (and I do), be assured that the 49ers will take Ohio State's Nick Bosa with the second pick. That leaves the Jets with the choice of three options: Allen, Alabama DT Quinnen Williams or trade down. They would surely trade down if the right deal comes along. If not, the choice is tough. Many scouts think Williams might be the best defensive player in the draft, but Allen is the edge rusher the Jets so desperately need. Finding edge rushers has proven to be exceedingly difficult (and expensive) so it makes more sense to go with the 6-5, 260-pound Allen here.

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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during warmups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Bisig)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during warmups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Bisig)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Josh Rosen reported for work bright and early on Monday morning in Tempe, Ariz., beating all of his teammates to the start of the Arizona Cardinals offseason workouts, as if everything was normal.

Of course, everything is not normal for Rosen, whom many around the NFL expect to be traded in the next two weeks. And the second-year quarterback could even end up in a bidding war between the Redskins and Giants in the NFC East.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The new-look Jets reported for work for the first time under new head coach Adam Gase on Monday, for the start of their offseason workout program. Some roster shuffling and a free-agent spending spree has made them look a lot different than when last season ended.

But the transformation is not complete.

Despite all their free-agent additions over the last 13 months, there are still holes to fill in the Jets' lineup. And with free agency basically over, their last chance to do it is really the upcoming draft. So here's a look at what's left on the Jets' "to-do list", and some of the players they could add at the NFL Draft, which is now about two weeks away...

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Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman

The Giants hold the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL draft, which is at least close to where GM Dave Gettleman thinks teams find "gold-jacket players". It's an enormously important pick for this semi-rebuilding franchise.

But their second first-round pick -- 17th overall -- is the most intriguing one.

That's where the Giants appear to have the most options and far more uncertainty than they'll find at the top of the draft. At 6 their choices seem to be to grab the best of what's left of the top-tier defenders or select Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins to be Eli Manning's eventual successor.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) passes the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Bisig)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) passes the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports (Steven Bisig)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

As the Giants continue to ponder their future at quarterback, Josh Rosen will be part of the discussion at least between now and the NFL Draft.

But what happens if the Arizona Cardinals don't start fielding offers for Rosen until the draft is underway?

That problematic scenario is certainly one possibility, according to multiple NFL sources. At the moment, those sources said, there is no indication the Cardinals have already made Rosen available, even though they are widely expected to draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick. Those sources believe the Cardinals are considering not discussing possible deals for Rosen until after they draft Murray, as a way to keep their options open and not tip their hand.

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New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks to the media during the 2019 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There is less than a month to go until the Giants can use their 12 picks in the upcoming NFL draft. Here's a look at how those picks might go:

First round (6th overall) - LB Devin White, LSU

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Corey Coleman, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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