He says he’s open to it, but let’s be honest with ourselves — New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman is allergic to trading down. In the words of NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, “I think we’ll see a right turn in a NASCAR race before we see Dave Gettleman trade back.” Although there are actually a few NASCAR races where right turns do actually occur… you get the picture.
Keeping that in mind, it’s far more likely the team opts to go the opposite route and trade up. Bill Barnwell certainly signs off on the idea. The ESPN analyst, who is no stranger when it comes to firing up the trade machine, is once again up to his old antics.
Barnwell has compiled a three-team trade proposal that would finally end the much-maligned tenure of tight end Evan Engram in East Rutherford. All while securing Big Blue a spot within the top-10 and a chance at filling the sudden Engram vacancy with arguably the best tight end prospect ever.
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Barnwell: Kyle Pitts is a Much More Impressive Version of Engram
According to Barnwell, Engram, this year’s first-round pick and the No. 42 overall pick is enough trade capital for the Giants to secure themselves the No. 7 overall selection in next week’s draft. However, the lone issue here is that the Lions have very little need for Engram — which is where the Buffalo Bills come in.
Here’s how the full three-team trade proposal shapes up:
- New York Giants receive:
- Round 1 (pick No. 7) (from DET)
- Detroit Lions receive:
- Round 1 (pick No. 11) via NYG
- Round 2 (pick No. 42) via NYG
- Round 2 (pick No. 61) via BUF
- TE Dawson Knox, BUF
- Buffalo Bills receive:
- TE Evan Engram, NYG
- Round 5 (Pick No. 153) via DET
The Giants also aren’t drafting a quarterback and don’t need a wide receiver after they signed Kenny Golladay in free agency. They just drafted a left tackle with the fourth overall pick last year, so they’re probably not trading up for Penei Sewell. We’re left with Kyle Pitts, who projects as a much more impressive version of Engram, the Giants’ current tight end.
So how would swapping Pitts for Engram work? If quarterbacks come off the board with the first four picks, the Bengals choose Sewell at No. 5, and the Dolphins go for Ja’Marr Chase at No. 6, Pitts would still be on the board. The Lions probably wouldn’t go for a second tight end in the top 10 after using their first-rounder on T.J. Hockenson in 2019, and the extra second-rounders would help fill out their roster. They would still be in position to draft the best available player at No. 11.
The Lions don’t really need Engram, who is a pending free agent after the season. One team that does want a receiving threat at tight end, though, is Buffalo, where Knox has been inconsistent as the primary option. Upgrading to Engram gives the Bills an athletic difference-maker over the middle of the field, which might be the last missing piece of their offense. If Engram doesn’t work out, the Bills would still be in line to get back a compensatory pick for the 2017 first-rounder in free agency.
Gettleman on Pitts: He’s a Different Breed of Cat
Where they currently sit (No. 11 overall), the odds of Big Blue getting their hands on Pitts come draft day are minuscule and would almost certainly rely on Gettleman moving up. Teams such as Atlanta, Miami, Carolina and Dallas (just to name a few) all currently select ahead of New York, and chances are they’d all likely welcome the blue-chip prospect with open arms.
Yet, as quarterbacks continue to trickle their way up draft boards, Pitts could potentially find himself take a moderate slide next Thursday as teams overthink/undervalue the position value of a tight end — even if his talents far supersede his designated position.
If this proves to be the case, expect the Giants to jump all over the reigning John Mackey Award winner (college football’s most outstanding tight end).
“He’s a uniquely talented player,” Gettleman told reporters of Pitts on Thursday. “You can’t characterize him as just a receiving tight end. He’s got a lot of blocking grit. … He’s a different breed of cat, now.”