Dave Gettleman has presided over seven NFL drafts with two different franchises, and he still has never done it. Many other teams have, from the first round to the last, in an attempt to acquire extra draft picks.
But Gettleman, the Giants GM, has still never traded down.
This, though, could be the year he breaks that streak -- and possibly very early. He "seems more open to the idea" of trading back this year -- even in the first round, according to a source familiar with the Giants thinking. And a team source, while saying it's all wildly premature and there have been no actual trade discussions, acknowledged a rare trade back in the first round can't be ruled out.
Why this year? There appears to be four factors at play, according to those sources. One is definitely the arrival of new head coach Joe Judge, who won't have final say but will have an influential voice in any big, organizational decisions. He comes form the Patriots where Bill Belichick has always been one of the more active draft-day traders, and has never been afraid to trade down or even out of the first round.
Judge figures to be more likely open to a move, even if Gettleman is reluctant. And he'll have some supporters, too, because of the second factor: A desire in the organization to do things differently, since some of their stuck-in-the-mud ways of the past haven't worked.
A third factor has to do with the draft board and the state of the Giants' roster. They need a lot of help at a lot of different positions and could use a stash of extra picks. And with Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young likely out of reach, they could drop down in the Top 10 and still likely get one of the top three offensive linemen, or the second-best pass rusher if that's the way they choose to go.
The final factor, though, might be the most important: Unless teams trade up ahead of them, there will likely be two premiere quarterbacks on the board when the Giants draft at No. 4 -- Oregon's Justin Herbert and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa (assuming LSU's Joe Burrow goes to the Bengals at No. 1 as everyone is expecting). And there are plenty of quarterback-needy teams below them who should be interested in moving up.
That's huge for the Giants, who obviously don't need a quarterback, because when quarterbacks are involved, the prices always go up.
Still, it's not just as easy as simply deciding to trade down. The Giants have to find a willing partner and the right price to do it. Teams might be reluctant to move up to No. 4 too early -- or at all before Draft Day -- for fear of enticing another team to trade up to No. 2 (Washington) or No. 3 (Detroit).
Also, there are some who believe the Lions at No. 3 might stay put and take a quarterback themselves with Matt Stafford already 32 and coming off a broken back. That could make the second pick the one that everyone wants (and could lead to Young falling into the Giants' laps at No. 4).
So there are a lot of variables at play and a long way to go, but a trade is certainly a possibility and an option the Giants should, and apparently will, consider. So here's a very early look at who might be interested in trading up to No. 4, what they could get in return, and what players they could still draft if they trade down.
The potential partners
Assuming Herbert and Tagovailoa make it to the fourth pick, here's a look at some of the teams that should be interested.
5. Miami Dolphins - They are going to draft a franchise quarterback, it's just a matter of where. The early word is they are eyeing Tagovailoa, but if both quarterbacks are available at No. 4, they could be comfortable staying put and taking whichever one is left. If only one is left, though, they're going to have to be part of what might be a mad scramble for the Giants' pick.
6. Los Angeles Chargers - If there's any doubt they're in the market for a franchise quarterback, it was erased on Monday when they announced that veteran Philip Rivers wouldn't be back. They should be more eager than Miami to trade up since they know the best they can hope for is one of the Big 3 being available for them. They can't risk the Giants trading down with someone below them.
7. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton will only be 31 in May, but he's coming off a serious foot injury. More importantly, new head coach Matt Rhule hasn't said anything about Newton's future in Carolina, which was already in a bit of doubt. They have no shot at getting any of the top three quarterbacks, and most scouts agree there's a big drop off before the next tier. With a new coach, the Panthers could be very aggressive.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - It would cost a lot to convince the Giants to drop this far, but there are rumors that the Bucs are so ready to move on from Jameis Winston that they are considering a run at the No. 1 overall pick so they can get Burrow. If they can't make that happen, why not a (slightly) lesser deal to move up to No. 4?
The potential return
There is no base package for a trade. It's all about how desperate a team is to move up and what teams want. When quarterbacks are involved, teams can get both greedy and desperate. But here's a good guide: In 2018, the Jets traded three second-round picks to Indianapolis to move up from No. 6 to No. 3 to select Sam Darnold.
The Giants, though, figure to ask for more considering the number of teams that could be involved. They could hold out for a future first-round selection. Remember, in 2016, the Eagles traded a third- and fourth-rounder, plus a future first- and second-round pick, to Cleveland to move up from No. 8 to No. 2. It's hard to see the Giants getting that much to move from No. 4 to any of the three picks below them, but that future first has to be the initial request.
And if the Bucs want to move up 10 spots, a future first has to be a demand. A loose guide could be what the Rams traded to the Titans in 2016 to move up from No. 15 to No. 1 to get Jared Goff: two seconds, two thirds and a future first and third (they also had to give up a fourth and a sixth). They won't get that much, but asking for a first and a second is a good place to start.
The lower pick
It's way too early to project, but the good news for the Giants is there are three or four offensive linemen who seem to be somewhat interchangeable among NFL scouts. And if three quarterbacks go in the Top 7, they could stay in that range and still get their first or second choice among Georgia's Andrew Thomas, Louisville's Mekhi Becton, Alabama's Jedrick Wills or Iowa's Tristan Wirfs.
It gets more difficult if they fall in love with someone at another position, such as Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons or Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah. They probably could drop to No. 5 and get their guy. It gets murkier if they go to 6 or 7.
And if they go all the way to No. 14, they better get a big return because all bets are off on who will still be on the board. They probably could still get the fourth offensive lineman off the board, but even that's not a guarantee. They might have to instead look towards the second tier of edge rushers, like Iowa's A.J. Epenesa or Penn State's Yetur Gross-Matos.