Dave Gettleman was playing things very safe during Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft — a little too safe, many on the internet decided.
The draft kicked off in unusual fashion on Thursday with Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing picks from a studio in his basement and general managers based out of their homes as the coronavirus prevented an in-person draft. While many turned their offices or basements into something of a traditional war room, it appeared that the New York Giants general manager brought a desk and television into his living room and made the No. 4 overall selection while next to his couch.
The setup earned a bit of mockery, but not nearly as much as Gettleman’s choice of personal protective equipment. The Giants GM donned a medical face mask as he made the pick, which is what public health experts recommend people wear whenever traveling out in public in order to avoid spreading the coronavirus — but not necessarily within the safety of one’s home.
Many took to Twitter to share pictures and have a bit of a laugh at Gettleman’s abundance of caution.
“I will treasure forever the few seconds of Dave Gettleman struggling to put on his N95 to sit alone at his desk in his home,” tweeted writer Amanda Mull of The Atlantic.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 24, 2020
Dave Gettleman: “whatever, I heard computers have viruses.”
— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) April 24, 2020
It wasn’t just the mask or the living-room war room that earned Gettleman criticism on the opening night of the NFL Draft. Others took issue with his decision to pick Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. The choice was seen as a safe one, but maybe a little too safe for Mike Francesca.
“Not a bad pick but Gettleman could have done better,” the New York radio host posted on Twitter.
The New York Post saw the pick as a little more useful, noting that it helps build on the offensive-heavy drafts of the past two years for Gettleman.
“In his first two drafts running the show for the Giants, Gettleman took [Saquon] Barkley, a running back, and [Daniel] Jones, a quarterback, with his first-round picks and watched as the Giants won a total of nine games the past two seasons,” the report noted. “With the addition of Thomas, perhaps the holes will open more widely for Barkley and the pocket will stay clean longer for Jones.”
Even if the selection of Thomas may have been a bit less exciting that the quarterbacks who were taken in the first round, it was certainly seen as safe — though not as safe as the mask-wearing Gettleman himself.