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.
So what does it all mean? Well, pair those remarks with what I've been hearing from sources the past two months and I believe the Giants' plan is this: They will take the best available defensive player on their board at 6, then turn their attention to a quarterback.
If there is a deal to be made to move up for one they like, they will use some of their excess picks (they have 12 overall) to do it. If not, they will sit tight at 17 and wait, knowing they'll have no problem doubling up on defense or taking an offensive linemen if all their preferred quarterbacks are off the board.
To put it more specifically, I believe they are going to luck into Kentucky LB Josh Allen at No. 6, and then if all goes well, they'll add Duke QB Daniel Jones at No. 17 (or possibly higher).
Let's start with pick No. 6. I still don't understand how the Giants - or any team - could identify a possible Quarterback of the Future and then take a chance that he'll still be around with their second first-round pick. That position is far too important to play games. They're talking about the "Face of the Franchise" for the next decade. If they see someone they think they can do that, why wait?
Maybe they won't. I reported for SNY on Wednesday that an NFL source I trust said Jones is "their guy," and that many sources think the Giants will grab him at 6. But I think they're guessing or projecting what they believe the Giants should do. All along, I've heard they are leaning towards a defensive player. One source told me Gettleman is "pass-rush crazed" right now. Clearly that's a huge Giants need.
And the potential availability of Allen there is a game-changer. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound New Jersey native who had 17 sacks for his SEC team last season is the best edge-rusher in the draft, if not the best pass-rusher overall. He'd immediately step in for the traded Olivier Vernon and could instantly make the Giants' pass rush dangerous again.
Presumably, Ohio State DE Nick Bosa and Alabama DT Quinnen Williams will be gone by 6. I believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take LSU LB Devin White, another guy the Giants like. If somehow all four of them, including Allen, are already off the board, I think Houston DT Ed Oliver will be the Giants' guy.
But I believe, despite all the late noise about a quarterback, that they will use the sixth overall pick on a defensive player.
Now, as for 17, I really do think the Giants are going to try for a quarterback here, but it's going to depend on a lot of other factors, most specifically which quarterbacks are available. Jones and Missouri's Drew Lock seem the most likely to slip this far, and I'm told they "love" Jones and Lock (seemingly Jones a little more than Lock). Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins might fall a little, but he's still not likely to go much lower than 10-12, and it does not appear the Giants are as high on him as they are on the other two.
Of course, the Giants could trade up. And if they do, keep an eye on the Buffalo Bills at 9. Gettleman and Bills GM Brandon Beane are old friends, and the Bills know they can drop down and still get the defensive tackle or offensive linemen they desire. At 9, the Giants might have their choice of Haskins, Jones or Lock - if they can swing that deal.
If they stay at 17, they do run the risk of all four of the top quarterbacks being gone. In that case, I think they'd turn their attention to an offensive lineman - Alabama's Jonah Williams if he's still lingering on the board, or perhaps Oklahoma's Cody Ford.
It wouldn't be a shock for them to double-up on defense either, and use the 17th pick on someone like Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell, Michigan LB Devin Bush, or LSU CB Greedy Williams, whom one NFL scout said Gettleman "loved".
But they will hope that either Jones or Lock is available for them to take at 17. The mystery is whether they'll have the "guts" and the trading partner to move up to make sure they don't miss them.
Oh, and one more thing: There is a huge wild-card that could shake this whole thing up. If the Arizona Cardinals draft Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick, they could try to trade quarterback Josh Rosen very quickly. And from what I've been told, the Giants have discussed the possibility and would be interested if the price is right.
They won't give up a first-round pick for Rosen, and their third-rounder (95th overall) likely won't be enough. Would they give up their second-rounder (37th) or a package that includes their third-rounder and something from the 2020 draft? Possibly.
The Washington Redskins are probably the favorites to land Rosen if he's available, with the Miami Dolphins lurking, too. But the Giants making a deal for him can't be ruled out - especially if the Redskins trade up for Haskins or Jones.
Assuming the Giants don't get Rosen, though, and assuming they stay put at 6 and 17, a defense-quarterback double would seem to be the play they would most like to make.