Could Giants snag a franchise quarterback in 2nd round of 2024 NFL Draft?

syndication: the register guard, jayden daniels, new york giants
SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants currently host the 7th overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, but with a brutal stretch of games coming up as the 2023 season winds to an end, they may land back in the top five.

Just ahead of them, the Washington Commanders, Chicago Bears, and New York Jets have also won just four games, but the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, and Carolina Panthers all seem to be locked into a top-three selection. The Cardinals may sneak out another win or two, which would help the Giants’ chances, but some are focused on the playoffs, with Big Blue just two games out of the Wild Card.

Many are also focused on drafting a quarterback next year, but the Giants would likely have to trade up for Drake Maye or Caleb Williams. However, there is an avenue where they might be able to develop a quarterback during the 2024 season alongside Daniel Jones and then transition in 2025.

Jones will be coming off an ACL tear and could miss the first few weeks of the regular season, but the Giants have an out during the 2025 off-season after paying Jones $47.1 million next year. They can spread the $22.2 million in dead salary over the final two years of his contract, opening up substantial financial flexibility and inserting a new quarterback under center.

Some NFL analysts have LSU passer Jayden Daniels as a high 2nd-round pick, which would open up an idea for the Giants where they could take the best player available in the first round and wait for Daniels. Given they have two 2nd-round selections, they could trade up back into the first to land him if the consensus is that he will drop further than most anticipate.

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The Giants Need to Bet on Upside

Daniels is having a Heisman-winning season with LSU, throwing for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns, and four interceptions. In addition to his 40 passing touchdowns, Daniels also has 10 rushing touchdowns and 1,134 rushing yards. He’s a true dual-threat quarterback and has taken massive drives forward as a pocket passer. His electrifying mobility and off-script qualities make him a stimulating player who could develop into an NFL starter.

Some advanced stats suggest Daniels could be a fantastic player in the NFL: He hosts a 92nd-percentile turnover-worthy play percentage at 1.6%. He also ranks in the 79th percentile in self-created pressures, which is among the best in college football and ranks in the 97th percentile in big-time throws.

The Giants would have the luxury of developing him for a year before making him their starter. Who’s to say that he doesn’t take the job anyway, even if Jones returns to full health? The Giants could utilize him as their primary starter for the first few weeks of the season while Jones recovers and swap quarterbacks or stay the course if he’s performing well.

It is interesting to see that trusted analysts like Jordan Reid and Mel Kiper of ESPN believe that Daniels has a 2nd-round grade, but that doesn’t mean he will fall beyond the 32nd overall pick. The Giants can always trade up into the first round to lock in the fifth-year option if Jayden falls, but if a team falls in love with the quarterback, waiting and risking his selection is a dangerous game.