Trading down for Quenton Nelson a realistic option for Giants in NFL draft

Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson could be a target for the Giants in the draft if they choose to move down. Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

In three weeks, the NFL draft will be upon us. Until then, so much speculation, so many reports, so many rumors. It’s silly season.

With that in mind, let’s assess some draft situations and more in this week’s Giants mailbag.

Absolutely. Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson is realistic in a trade-back scenario for the Giants. In fact, if they move back -- and I think there is a decent chance of that happening -- my belief is Nelson would be the target. He’s exactly the type of mauling guard that new general manager Dave Gettleman prefers, and he fits the description of the potential “gold jacket” player the Giants are looking for with their top pick.

Two personnel evaluators recently told me that Nelson was the “real deal.” He’s one of the best true guards to come out in years. So the Giants can get that prospect they envision being a Hall of Fame player and compile more assets for trading the No. 2 pick. Of course, this is all contingent on them not wanting a quarterback, or at least the quarterbacks that are available when it’s their turn at No. 2.

As for the number of offensive linemen the Giants select, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see two of their Top 64 picks being from that position group. Gettleman loves his "hog mollies."

It's no secret that the Bills are desperately trying to move up in the draft. They want a quarterback. I've heard that; just not sure they have the ammunition to get up to No. 2. That's a massive jump. Just look at what the Eagles paid for the No. 2 pick two years ago to land Carson Wentz; they basically gave up the No. 8 pick, a future first-rounder, a second- and a third-round pick for No. 2. The Bills have the 12th and 22nd picks in the first round. Is that even enough as the centerpiece for a deal? Dropping from two to 12 would be a massive drop for the Giants and greatly decrease their chances of landing a gold jacket guy. I haven't heard anything about the Broncos trading up with the Giants; not sure they are as desperate for a quarterback as some seem to believe. At least not now, and not to the point of having to trade up to land their desired choice after signing Case Keenum this offseason.

Bad move. It just doesn't seem to be the right move, given their leverage with other teams in desperate need of a quarterback. It will also mean they likely take Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick. In my opinion, that is a mistake. Running back is one of the easiest positions to fill. The NFL's leading rusher (Kareem Hunt) was selected in the third round last year. The Offensive Rookie of the Year (Alvin Kamara) was also selected in the third round. And then there is the financial aspect. If the Giants take Barkley, he immediately would rank among the NFL's highest-paid running backs and would be at the top of the list with approximately $30 million -- his entire rookie contract -- guaranteed. Staying at No. 2 to draft a running back when there are QB-needy teams out there that need to trade up would be a wasted opportunity.

There is not much going on in free agency at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants add a defensive lineman at some point, but they're not looking to add any substantial salary. And I'm not sure adding another 30-plus player -- the Giants will already have nine after Nate Solder celebrates his birthday this week -- is the right way to go.

It’s early. There will be a competition on the field this spring and summer, with plenty of options getting a chance. But my odds-on favorite out of this group would be Donte Deayon. He’s always played well when given the opportunity. He's just a bit undersized and was always stuck behind Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

B.W. Webb, meanwhile, is on his sixth team in six years, Curtis Riley wasn’t tendered by the Tennessee Titans as an exclusive rights free agent, Teddy Williams wasn’t on a roster last year and William Gay served as a fourth or fifth cornerback with the Steelers and is in the twilight of his career. Maybe somebody will surprise, but none inspire much confidence as a pseudo-starter in the slot.