New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman earns ‘Trader Dave’ nickname after multiple trades in NFL draft

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New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has a new nickname as a result of his actions over the first two days of the NFL draft.

The Giants’ trading down from each of their first two selections this year — the first time in his career as a GM that Gettleman has ever traded back — has those in New York’s draft room and around the NFL calling him “Trader Dave.”

It’s a new and unexpected nickname that seems to have everyone cracking jokes.

“You could say that there’s been a little ribbing. ‘Trader Dave’ has brought some excitement to the room, so it’s been fun,” Giants director of college scouting Chris Pettit said Friday. “‘Trader Dave’ is hearing it from a lot of people throughout the league, so it’s been fun. There’s been a little ribbing. Like I said, it’s not like we haven’t tried [to trade down in the past]. Dave said it, I’ll say it. It worked out. It’s exciting. It gave a little juice. It’s been different. The room is different without all our people in it.

“We were limited to only 10 people, but there was enough ribbing with the 10 people to keep it exciting.”

Gettleman and the Giants made trades before each of their three picks so far in this draft.

New York surprisingly moved back from pick No. 11 in the first round Thursday night after the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles jumped them to take wide receiver DeVonta Smith. The Giants pocketed the 20th overall selection, a fifth-round pick and 2022 first- and fourth-rounders from the Chicago Bears, who moved up nine spots to take quarterback Justin Fields. The Giants selected Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney at No. 20.

On Friday, the Giants moved back again with their first pick — from No. 42 to 50 — before landing Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari. New York also acquired a third-round pick in 2022 from the Miami Dolphins in that trade.

“We were busy,” Gettleman said. “I’m learning to make right turns in NASCAR.”

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That was in reference to a joke made earlier this month by NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who said he expected to see right turns in NASCAR before a trade back by Gettleman.

Consider it a streak-buster for Gettleman, who had never traded back in any of his previous 54 selections as a GM in eight drafts with the Carolina Panthers and Giants.

“Let me tell you something, you never know. You never know,” Gettleman said. “You know, listen, it’s all about if the opportunity is right. It’s about your board. It’s about value meeting need. It’s all those things.

“And like I told you guys last week, I’ve tried in the past and it just hasn’t worked. We thought we got just really good value here.”

“Trader Dave” made it 3-for-3 with trades this year when he moved again in the third round Friday night. This time, however, the Giants traded up, sending picks Nos. 76 and 164 (the fifth-rounder obtained from the Bears) to the Denver Broncos for No. 71, which they used on UCF cornerback Aaron Robinson.

It wrapped a whirlwind two days of drafting that perhaps changed the perception of the notoriously old school Gettleman. The deals might have been more familiar for second-year coach Joe Judge, who is significantly more familiar with this trade-happy approach after spending the previous eight seasons with the New England Patriots, who had made more draft-day trades entering this year (82) over the past two decades than any other team.

“I’m sure Dave has got a concussion or something,” Judge joked. “So make sure we check on him overnight, and we’ll get back to work [Saturday].”

“Trader Dave,” Judge and the Giants have three picks remaining Saturday on the final day of the draft.

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