Giants Draft Rumblings Hint at 1 of 2 QB Plans: Insider

NFL insider's draft rumblings talk Giants' QB plans.

Getty An NFL insider's latest draft rumblings revolved around the New York Giants.

The New York Giants are a major topic of conversation with the NFL draft approaching quickly on April 25.

As ESPN staff writer Bill Barnwell noted on April 8, the Giants could easily trade down from No. 6 in the order, trade up from it, or stay put and make their selection. Few NFL franchises have that many options on draft night, and a lot of that revolves around the quarterback position — and whether or not Big Blue plans to address it in round one.

The Athletic’s lead insider Dianna Russini provided the latest NFL draft rumblings during an article on April 8, and the Giants’ “QB plans” were the headliner once again.

“The Giants are a team showing strong interest at the QB position,” Russini informed. “Over the last 10 days they hosted Michael Penix Jr. and privately worked out Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy.”

This late quarterback push led Russini to draw two potential outcomes for readers.

“Either (1) [The Giants] want to draft a quarterback, or (2) They want teams to think they need to trade with the Giants if they want one,” the insider deduced.

So, in Russini’s eyes, NYG general manager Joe Schoen is either gearing up to draft a quarterback of the future in round one — which could involve trading up to secure one of the premium QB prospects — or they’re creating a massive smokescreen that forces another team to trade up with Big Blue in order to get one.

Neither of Russini’s scenarios appear to suggest that the Giants will stay put at No. 6 and select a wide receiver like LSU’s Malik Nabers, which has been a common prediction for the G-Men all offseason.

Why Would the Giants Consider Trading Down in NFL Draft?

Russini seems to be suggesting that the Giants could end up trading down on draft night, let’s say a QB-needy team paid a hefty price to move up to No. 6. But is that a strategy Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll can afford risking ahead of a prove-it campaign?

Barnwell discussed what a Giants’ trade down might look like with ESPN on April 8.

“Like the [Arizona] Cardinals, the Giants are both in need of a No. 1 wide receiver and squarely in the quarterback trade splash zone, which makes their predicament difficult,” Barnwell acknowledged.

Explaining: “A lot depends on what happens above them at Nos. 4 and 5. If the Cardinals and [Los Angeles] Chargers both stay put and take wide receivers, the Giants would be drafting the third-best wideout in the class and also be in position to benefit from those teams that want the QB4.”

“In that scenario, New York would be staring down the opportunity to land multiple first-rounders to pass on a receiver such as [Rome] Odunze,” he went on. Advising: “In a [WR] class this deep, that’s a risk it needs to be willing to take.”

This draft result would jive with part two of Russini’s NYG QB conclusions. If Nabers and Marvin Harrison Jr. are both off the board, and the Giants have been bluffing about wanting the QB4 of the class (likely McCarthy or Maye), they would then become a prime candidate to trade down.

Perhaps, they end up with Penix or LSU wideout Brian Thomas Jr. in this trade down scenario — or both. There are still several highly touted second-tier prospects at both QB and WR.

Bill Barnwell Believes Giants’ Trade Up Still Possible as Well

As stated in the open, the Giants were one of the only teams that Barnwell could see trading down, up or staying put in round one of the draft. In fact, they were the only NFL franchise that the long-time columnist could not decide on.

After discussing Nabers and Odunze as the main “stay put” candidates at No. 6, Barnwell detailed a trade up scenario for NYG.

“What if the Giants want McCarthy or Maye or [Jayden] Daniels for themselves?” He began. “Daniel Jones suffered his second neck injury in 2023 even before tearing the ACL in his right knee, and he has only $11 million fully guaranteed remaining on his deal after 2024. (It’s entirely possible the Giants shut him down at some point during 2024 to avoid having the rest of his 2025 salary that is guaranteed for injury trigger, as the [Las Vegas] Raiders did with Derek Carr and the [Denver] Broncos did with Russell Wilson.)”

“If they want McCarthy, they probably need to talk with the Cardinals at No. 4,” Barnell forecasted. “Arizona could move down two spots and still ensure it would be in position to land either Harrison or Nabers, while New York would beat everyone else to the punch for its quarterback of the future.”

No matter what the Giants end up doing at No. 6 overall, one thing is clear — draft season is ramping up, and Big Blue appears to be at the forefront of it all in 2024.