Joe Judge & Giants GM Sound Off on Eagles Poaching DeVonta Smith

Giants react to Eagles trade that landed them DeVonta Smith

Getty DeVonta Smith poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected 10th by the Philadelphia Eagles during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft.

It’s safe to say the New York Giants have a bit of a reputation of telegraphing their draft preferences. While this year was not nearly as bad as say 2016, when everyone and their mother knew the team wanted either Jack Conklin or Leonard Floyd, it was pretty apparent that Alabama wideouts Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith were high on Big Blue’s wish list on Thursday night.

Waddle, who many, including ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, pegged as the team’s “most likely” selection, came off the board earlier than many mocks projected. Waddle landed with the Dolphins at No. 6 overall. With both he and top receiver prospect Ja’Marr Chase already off the board, there were three picks standing between the Giants landing the obvious next-best receiver in the class — DeVonta Smith. Everyone knew it, including NFC East foe and wide receiver needy Philadephia Eagles. The Birds traded directly ahead of the G-Men, snatching Smith away from the Giants with the No. 10 overall pick.

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Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge Talks Eagles-Cowboys Trade

While speaking to reporters following the first-round, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman downplayed the Eagles-Cowboys trade that facilitated the Heisman Trophy winner to Philly, saying “it’s not a big deal.” Gettleman refused to delve further into his feelings about the fallout from the deal, instead alluding to the idea that the Giants’ top priority all along — even if Smith remained on the board —  may have been to ultimately move back.

“Howie’s not afraid to trade with anybody,” Gettleman said, via The New York Daily News. ”I had a conversation with him earlier in the week and he said, ‘Dave, do you have any problems trading with me?’ And I said no, if it works for both of us, it works for both us. So they made the trade and we decided to trade back at that point.”

While Gettleman was more reserved in his willingness to delve into the Eagles’ trade, head coach Joe Judge was a bit more forthcoming.

“Normally doesn’t happen within the division,” Judge said. “But hey, look, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. They made a move that worked for them and that was a good business move.”

Giants Get a Haul

While the Giants will now be met with the task of covering Smith for two games a year for the foreseeable future (good thing they beat out the Eagles for Adoree’ Jackson, huh?), their decision to trade down and acquire trade capital has been mostly applauded in draft circles.

Readily mocked for his perceived begrudging refusal to trade back, Gettleman struck a deal with Chicago to allow the Bears to move up to No. 11 to acquire what they hope to be their quarterback of the future in Justin Fields. In return, New York moved back nine spots, while also netting themselves a 2022 first-round pick and 2022 fourth-round pick.

With the 20th overall pick, the Giants surprised many by snagging Florida wideout Kadarius Toney — less because of his talent (which is tantalizing) but rather the Giants’ already somewhat budding receiving corps. Still, Toney puts a stamp on the reworked receiving group which also added Kenny Golladay in the offseason and gives the team their most explosive receiver since Odell Beckham Jr.


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