Could the Giants take QB prospect with rising draft stock at No. 6?

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) (New York Giants)
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants were once thought to be out of range to draft any of the top-ranked quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. Only three quarterbacks were expected to be drafted in the top 10, however, it seems like the NFL has determined that a fourth signal-caller is also worthy of that value.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy was previously believed to have a late first-round or early second-round prospect projection in this draft. However, recent reports suggest that McCarthy is moving up draft boards and could wind up being a top-10 selection when it’s all said and done.

J.J. McCarthy is now receiving top-10 buzz

McCarthy is rumored to go much higher than the media initially expected in this year’s draft. Early mock drafts and prospect projections this offseason had McCarthy comfortably as a day-two selection. But now it seems like McCarthy could be a top-10 pick.

NFL Insider for A to Z Sports Destin Adams recently shared that he had a direct source tell him that a team in the NFC has McCarthy as their QB2 in this draft class. This report surfaces amidst other reports that also suggest McCarthy could be an early day-one pick.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic also shared an early draft projection for McCarthy:

“I don’t think he’ll make it beyond the top 15.”

An NFL Scout compared McCarthy to one of the league’s best quarterbacks in a discussion with ESPN’s Matt Miller:

“J.J. McCarthy would be Joe Burrow if he were on a team that threw the ball,” the scout told Miller.

At the beginning of this offseason, McCarthy seemed like an option for the Giants in the second round. That possibility seems more like an impossibility at this juncture. If the G-Men want McCarthy, they will likely need to pony up and take him with the No. 6 pick in the draft. However, such a selection would be viewed as the most controversial in the draft.

Could the Giants take McCarthy at No. 6?

Drafting a quarterback in the first round is “at the very least, on the table” for the Giants, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. But holding the No. 6 pick in the draft, selecting the signal-caller that general manager Joe Schoen prefers will not be an easy task. There are at least three quarterbacks expected to go in the top 10 and there are at least three quarterback-needy teams ahead of the Giants in the draft order.

The consensus rankings for the draft’s top quarterbacks seem to peg USC’s Caleb Williams, UNC’s Drake Maye, and LSU’s Jayden Daniels as the big three. McCarthy is sneaking his way into some team’s top-three rankings, however, which could put him in play with the No. 6 pick in the draft.

McCarthy led Michigan to a National Championship this season, throwing for 2,991 yards and 22 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He wasn’t asked to throw the ball much (332 attempts) but McCarthy proved to be a capable passer this season. Scouts seem to love his tape, even if the stat sheet isn’t all that impressive.

Game film is paramount in quarterback evaluations and NFL teams seem to be in awe of McCarthy’s tape. The Giants may want to take a quarterback at No. 6 but could be taking the fourth quarterback off the board with the selection. McCarthy could end up being that fourth quarterback taken, potentially going to Big Blue to develop behind Daniel Jones before taking over as the eventual starter.

The last time the Giants held the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, they took Jones back in 2019. That pick was considered to be a massive reach for a quarterback who began the offseason with a day-two projection before rising up boards in the months leading up to the draft. A similar story seems to be coming together for McCarthy, but will it have the same ending?

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