Word is that the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles both covet players they traded out of back in March.
The Dolphins had eyes for Florida TE Kyle Pitts when they moved out of pick No. 3 to No. 12 with the 49ers, then came back up to No. 6 in a trade with Philly.
The Eagles saw the board working out differently when they slid back six spots behind the Dallas Cowboys and Giants. Now, Howie Roseman fears Alabama wideout Jaylen Waddle is going to go closer to his original pick.
This is just the word on the street that is cluttered with gossip, truths and untruths in the hours leading up to Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft.
For the Giants, the Eagles’ restlessness should cause them no panic.
If Roseman wants to trade back up for Waddle, the Giants probably would be happy taking Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith. If Smith went first, the Giants would probably be happy with Waddle. Both speedsters would upgrade Daniel Jones’ arsenal significantly.
Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, South Carolina corner Jaycee Horn and Alabama corner Patrick Surtain II also are possibilities depending on how the board falls. The Giants have options.
Then there is the real unknown: What if a player like Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell falls? Would the Giants trade up? What if Dave Gettleman trades back for the first time in his life?
Barring something unforeseen, however, trading up is unlikely because the Giants only have six draft picks. They’d prefer to have more, not less. Trading back is unlikely, too, because of Gettleman’s track record and because of how this draft is shaping up.
While five QBs in the top 10 would push good position players down the board, several teams don’t see many more than 15 players worthy of a first-round grade in this bunch.
The Giants are looking for an immediate contributor. The best way to get one is to trust their evaluation and make the pick, which is how this conservative organization normally operates anyway.
Of course, if the Atlanta Falcons shock everyone and take a quarterback instead of Pitts at No. 4, then all bets are off.
If the 49ers do an about-face and take North Dakota State QB Trey Lance at No. 3 over Alabama’s Mac Jones, it would shake the board.
Forget it if the Jaguars and Jets don’t go Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence and BYU QB Zach Wilson 1-2. Social media would collapse.
Ohio State QB Justin Fields’ fate will be followed closely, as the most hotly debated passer and prospect at the top of this draft.
The Falcons could trade out of No. 4, and Denver at No. 9 is a team that needs a quarterback. The Patriots, Bears, Washington and Saints all are in the market for the right passer, as well.
New England might get Jimmy Garoppolo back in a trade from San Fran once the Niners select their QB at three.
Word is the Lions and Panthers both would like to trade out of the Nos. 7 and 8 slots, so those are possible targets for trades up. The Saints at No. 28 have started to make noise, though that might be too pricey a move.
Meanwhile, the Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson watches continue. That is, it bears watching which teams continue to load up on future assets to possibly take a run at the Texans QB once his legal troubles conclude — or at Wilson if he gets his split from Seattle.
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The Eagles, Dolphins, Panthers and Bears are all teams who could be lurking for those quarterbacks, if not for this season than for 2022.
The Giants won’t be as focused on Thursday on their division rivals, though, as they will be on themselves. And they could end up drafting a Heisman Trophy winner (Smith) for the first time since they took Ron Dayne 11th overall in 1999.
Parsons would become the first Giants first-round linebacker since Carl Banks in 1984.
A trade back would be Gettleman’s first in his ninth NFL draft as a GM and the first by any Giants GM since Ernie Accorsi in the 2006 first round (the Steelers came up for Santonio Holmes at No. 25; the Giants took Mathias Kiwanuka at No. 32).
Regardless if the Giants go offense or defense, their intention is to add an impact player who helps Joe Judge’s team and Jones’ offense in 2021.
They can do that with an offensive player or a defensive player. But admit it: Smith or Waddle would add some fireworks at MetLife Stadium, where the fans hope to be out in (something close to) full force this fall, as well.