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. In fact, the source added that the Giants were even sweating out the first few picks of the draft, worried that Jones wouldn't even make it to 6. They thought the Washington Redskins were trying to trade up with the Jets or Raiders for the third or fourth pick to take Jones for themselves.
There did seem to be some rationale behind that fear. The Redskins ended up taking Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins at 15, and a source told SNY they did briefly discuss a possible trade with the Jets. Also, according to reports, there was a divide in the Redskins organization over whether they should draft Haskins or Jones - with the coaching staff reportedly pushing for Jones.
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They were wary of other teams as well - most notably the Bengals (at 11) and Dolphins (at 13), neither of whom took a quarterback in the first round. But the Redskins were the team that worried them the most, the source said, which is why the Giants felt they had to make their move.
Had they not taken Jones, the pick would've been Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen, a source confirmed. Gettleman said the Giants had the same grade on Allen and Jones. Asked if he could have taken Allen at 6 and still gotten Jones at 17, Gettleman said "You never know. I wasn't willing to risk it."