Giants Urged to Avoid J.J. McCarthy for More ‘Dominant’ Draft Prospect

J.J. McCarthy

Getty The New York Giants are urged to avoid J.J. McCarthy for a more "dominant" prospect in the 2024 NFL draft.

Selecting J.J. McCarthy in the 2024 NFL draft would be a “short-sighted” move for the New York Giants, who should instead take “dominant” wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. with the sixth-overall pick.

That’s the scenario put forward by The 33rd Team’s Ian Valentino. He believes the Giants “should want to get off the Daniel Jones train, but taking McCarthy over Marvin Harrison Jr. seems short-sighted given how dominant of a prospect Harrison is.”

Valentino also thinks McCarthy might not be there when the Giants pick at No. 6. Not if those above them are able to find trade partners: “The smoke around J.J. McCarthy going this high almost seems too convenient for the Cardinals and Chargers. Both teams want to trade down, but quarterbacks usually slide as teams opt for higher-end talents elsewhere.”

If that’s how things play out, the Giants would land arguably the most gifted wideout in this class. A pass-catcher capable of transforming one phase of their offense.

Marvin Harrison Jr. Would Make Bigger Impact for Giants

Harrison would perhaps make a bigger impact for the Giants in Year 1 than a rookie quarterback. Rather than having to let a first-year signal-caller learn on the job, the Giants would benefit from a game-breaking receiver who would surely let Jones get back up to speed after a down year in 2023.

Jones needs a true, go-to receiver. Harrison fits the bill after proving prolific during his final two years at Ohio State.

Harrison snagged 77 catches for 1,263 yards in 2022, before adding 67 receptions for 1,211 yards a year later, per Sports Reference. In the process, he caught 28 touchdowns and ran for another.

Many of those scores came within the red zone. Like this one against Maryland, highlighted by FOX College Football.

Harrison was the best of the best at the business end of the field, according to Mason Cameron of Pro Football Focus: “Inside the 20-yard line, Harrison racked up 10 receiving touchdowns and averaged 11.7 yards per reception, with the former leading all of this year’s prospects.”

If he wasn’t reeling in a tough catch beyond the 20, Harrison was content to keep the ball on the ground and still find the end zone. He did it against Michigan State, a run captured by NBC Sports.

Harrison proved he can make plays where it matters most on the field, but he also thrives when it matters, per Cameron: “Harrison flashed his clutch gene all season long by making crucial grabs in high-leverage, late-down situations. On third and fourth downs, Harrison racked up a class-leading seven touchdowns and nine receptions of 15 or more yards, and he averaged 3.29 yards per route run.”

The Giants need a wideout with these traits, no matter who plays quarterback moving forward.

J.J. McCarthy Development Too Big a Risk for Giants

McCarthy is a proven winner at football’s most important position after guiding the Wolverines to a national championship. He also directed a pro-ready and run-heavy offense during his collegiate days.

Those things are in McCarthy’s favor, but question marks remain about his game. Questions like is he too similar to Jones?

That’s the view of one unnamed scout interviewed by Ben Standig of The Athletic: “I don’t love (McCarthy). He’s a winner and has all the intangibles, but I wouldn’t say I like his arm and think the athlete is a little overrated. He reminds me of Daniel Jones.”

The Giants don’t seem to care. At least they’re intrigued enough to have taken a “closer look” at McCarthy, a process that involved a private workout during his pro day.

There are those, including the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy, who’ve been told the#Giants are targeting J.J. McCarthy,” despite conflicting rumors.

Taking a chance on another QB with this much uncertainty at 6, the way they did with Jones in 2019, seems too big of a risk for the Giants. Especially when general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll are entering a pivotal third season.

The assurance of a safer prospect like Harrison, and his NFL bloodlines from father Marvin Sr., a Pro Football Hall of Famer for the Indianapolis Colts, looks like a better bet.

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