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."
In fact, multiple NFL sources have echoed that sentiment in conversations with SNY in recent days -- that Jones is the Giants' target and that waiting to take him until 17 would be risky. The Washington Redskins, at 15, are another team believed to be highly interested in the 6-5, 221-pound quarterback from Duke.
Of course, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction in the days before the NFL Draft. And one team source told SNY it was still "more likely" they draft a defensive player at 6 (without commenting specifically on any interest they might have in Jones). There are also many variables at play, including the surprising sudden belief around the NFL that Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen -- long projected a top-three pick -- will fall into the Giants' laps at 6.
But barring a surprise like that, Jones makes a lot of sense for the Giants, who obviously have been looking at the quarterbacks to see if any can be the heir apparent to their 38-year-old starter, Eli Manning. But until recently, Jones was linked more to the Giants at 17. Quizzed last week about why he'd wait until 17 to address a position as important as quarterback when he could just take one at 6, Gettleman seemed to dismiss the idea that waiting was risky.
"I'm just saying I won't force a pick," he said. "You can't draft for need. You will get screwed every time and make a mistake."
Gettleman also said he believed that one of the top defensive players in the draft will definitely still be available for the Giants at 6 -- and he stressed the need to add defensive playmakers to his roster. All that led many to believe he would be going defense first, perhaps with the best available of Allen, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, or LSU linebacker Devin White.
But if they do that, they risk all their top quarterbacks will be gone by the time they get to 17. One NFL source told SNY he expected four quarterbacks to be gone in the Top 20. A former NFL scout recently Tweeted he expects four will be gone in the Top 15. Gil Brandt, the former Cowboys executive and new Hall of Famer, wrote in a story for NFL.com that he expected someone to trade up and take Jones in the middle of the first round.
That actually could be a possibility for the Giants and Gettleman, who said "no guts, no glory" recently when asked about the possibility of trading up. One NFL source said the team to watch there is the Buffalo Bills at 9, especially if they believe they can still drop down and get one of the draft's top offensive linemen at 17.
Another factor could be how quickly the quarterbacks are taken, because the Giants also are believed to be very high on Missouri's Drew Lock -- and to a lesser extent Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins. Almost everyone now expects the Arizona Cardinals will take quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1. But if another team trades up into the Top 5 to take the next quarterback off the board -- or if the Raiders do it at No. 4 -- any team that wants a quarterback could suddenly get antsy.
In that case, if the Giants want to guarantee they'd get a Quarterback of the Future in this draft, they'd have to make their move.