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Gettleman, Judge: Giants are open to trading No. 4 pick | amNewYork

Gettleman, Judge: Giants are open to trading No. 4 pick

Joe Judge. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

For a third-straight year, the New York Giants have prime real estate within the NFL Draft.

Following a 4-12 season — their third successive campaign with five wins or fewer — the Giants have a top-six pick in the draft once again.

Two years ago, they took Saquon Barkley second overall out of Penn State.

Last year, they shocked the football world by taking Daniel Jones out of Duke with the No. 6 pick.

This year, they might not even use their No. 4 pick.

At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday, both general manager Dave Gettleman and new head coach Joe Judge admitted the Giants were open to trading away their first-round pick.

“Our ears are open right now,” Judge said.

“We’re open for business,” Gettleman added. “There are a lot of high-grade players. It’s a pretty strong draft.”

That No. 4 pick, however, presents the Giants with an opportunity to fill one of their several needs with a franchise-altering talent.

Amongst initial prospects linked to the Giants is Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, Alabama offensive lineman Jedrick Wills, and Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah.

Simmons is considered by many to be the best all-around talent available in the draft.

While he’s listed at linebacker, the sterling athlete can play multiple positions, including safety or even defensive end.

It would give the Giants the defensive difference-maker they’ve been needing for years while providing a return to its organizational roots. The most successful Giants teams have always been a team predicated on strong defense — a concept Gettleman and Co. have shied away from in recent seasons.

Okudah would also help with that notion, bringing some organization to a secondary in disarray. The Giants allowed the fifth-most passing yards last season and the eighth-most passing touchdowns.

Investing in the offensive line would also be a worthy cause at the draft.

One of the first promises laid out by Gettleman upon taking over as GM was to fix the offensive line. He has yet to do so — further shortening the career of Eli Manning, creating more opportunities for turnovers for Jones, and making running lanes for Barkley inconsistent and hard to come by.

While moving down from the No. 4 pick would take away an opportunity to draft an elite talent, the Giants could take advantage of a team desperate for a quarterback and attain multiple first-round picks to address multiple needs.

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