Could the Giants target the other dynamic LSU wide receiver in a first-round trade-down?

Brian Thomas Jr., Giants

The New York Giants are likely to address their offense with the No. 6 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Giants do need help at wide receiver, and that need could point them toward LSU wideout Brian Thomas Jr. in a surprise move.

Could the Giants target LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr. in Round 1?

Brandon Olsen of Giants Country made the case for and against New York investing their first-round pick on the 21-year-old talent, saying in part:

“Thomas Jr. is raw, but he’s shown enough to make a team believe in his ability to become a legitimate top option in their offense. His route-running will need plenty of work, but his ability to get over the top and create big plays, as well as be a quick pitch-and-catch option, gives him early playing ability with room to grow,” Olsen said.

Thomas Jr. can certainly make big plays above elite defensive back coverage. The 6-5, 198-pound pass-catcher averaged a staggering 17.3 yards per reception in 2023. His size and athleticism make him an attractive option on many fronts. For one, the Giants’ 6.5 yards per attempt ranked No. 27 among all passing attacks in the 2023 NFL season.

While he would be an exciting addition to the Giants’ offense, taking Thomas Jr. at No. 6 would be considered a reach with greater wide receiver talents projected to be on the board. However, in a potential trade-down scenario, Thomas Jr. could be a potential home-run selection.

Thomas Jr. could help the Giants in the end zone next season

Giants tight end Darren Waller’s potential retirement adds to their need for another sizable dynamic option downfield. While he’d remain at wideout, Thomas Jr. would gift Daniel Jones or whoever lines up under center for the Giants next season with a big body to rely on for first downs.

Thomas Jr. would help most in red zone opportunities. He did nothing but lead the nation with 17 receiving touchdowns last season.

He is projected to go in the top 32 on draft night. The Giants don’t get on the board again until their No. 47 overall pick in the second round. By then, it may be too late for them to snag the prototypical receiver talent. They’ll have to decide if one of their current quarterbacks is worth marching into 2024 with, and if Thomas Jr. would allow them to play at their highest level for an offense in re-tooling mode.

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