Dave Gettleman (pictured), who was hired by New York in late December, has plenty of holes to fill on a Giants team that finished 3-13. The former Carolina Panthers' GM views the Combine as one of many building blocks leading up to the draft. Photo courtesy of New York Giants/Twitter
Dave Gettleman is well aware of the importance of evaluating the top prospects at the upcoming NFL Combine.
The being said, the new general manager of the New York Giants also knows that he cannot let his strategy for the NFL Draft be shaped by what he sees this coming week in Indianapolis.
"Absolutely not," Gettleman told Newsday when asked if he expected the Combine to solidify his plans for the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft. "There is a whole lot more information to gather. I've heard stories about teams setting their boards in February and that's where they sit. That's not my philosophy. I want all the information so I can make an informed decision."
Gettleman, who was hired by New York in late December, has plenty of holes to fill on a Giants team that finished 3-13. The former Carolina Panthers' GM views the Combine as one of many building blocks leading up to the draft.
"I don't have any preconceived notions, I just let the process play out," Gettleman told the newspaper. "You have to respect the process, and the process doesn't end until you've done Indy, gone out to the Pro Days, had visits with kids both here and at their campuses, and then we gather up all the information.
"I'm a firm believer in respecting the process. You take short-cuts, you're going to make mistakes. I can't sit here in early March and decide who I'm taking with the second pick in the draft. It's silly."
Gettleman, who turned 67 last week, is familiar with the way the Giants approach the draft, spending 14 seasons in their personnel department before serving as general manager for four seasons in Carolina (2013-16).
Calling himself an "inveterate people watcher," Gettleman said his main focus for the Combine, which gets underway Tuesday, will be to observe.
"A lot of it is just watching how guys carry themselves and how they interact with other people and how they are on the floor," Gettleman said. "It's another piece of the puzzle."
The Panthers went 40-23-1 during Gettleman's tenure, winning three AFC South titles and advancing to the Super Bowl following the 2015 season. He was dismissed in July 2016 in the wake of a 6-10 season.
With incumbent Eli Manning having just turned 37 and a draft that features a bevy of top quarterback prospects, there's a natural assumption that New York is leaning toward taking a signal caller at No. 2.
That's an assumption summarily dismissed by Gettleman.
"The purpose of free agency is to set yourself up for the draft," Gettleman said. "You do the UFA signings and then you see where your roster is, and then you move forward. In the ideal world you don't have to go into the draft with a forced need.
"You don't want to be in a position where you have to take a 'fill in the blank.' You can go in where you can legitimately take the best player available at each pick."