Could the Giants trade up and steal top cornerback prospect in Day 2?

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The New York Giants kicked off their first day of the 2024 NFL Draft by adding a true number one at the receiver position in the form of Malik Nabers. Hopes are high for the LSU product, but now the question becomes what Joe Schoen and company will do next. There are many holes to fill on this roster, and while you can’t address all of them, the goal is still to try and add game-changing players at key positions on the gridiron. Last night we saw the staggering fall of some interesting players, most notably at the cornerback position.

Cooper DeJean out of Iowa was graded as the top corner in this draft class by PFF, but his leg injury might have been a red flag for teams, as he fell out of the first round. With the Giants’ needs in the secondaries, could we see the aggressive Schoen pull off a day-two trade to land an impact corner?

Giants Might Be Able to Get a Steal in Cooper DeJean

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It’s not groundbreaking analysis to say the New York Giants were bad last year, there’s a reason why they had the sixth overall pick in this draft class. Their secondary took a huge hit when they lost Xavier McKinney, who was one of the top safeties in the NFL last year as he put together a career-best season. Deonte Banks impressed many in his first season at the professional level, and the Giants could pair him with another young dynamic ballhawk in the second round.

After trading their second-round pick to the Carolina Panthers in the blockbuster that brought Brian Burns to New York, the Giants are left with the 47th overall pick to try and land a difference-maker. On the board remain some quality options like Alabama corner Kool-Aid McKinstry or receiver Adonai Mitchell, but it’s a matter of how close the Giants could get to potentially landing one of these falling studs.

What Joe Schoen could do is package some of his picks to try and move up a few spots, and DeJean would be an incredible second pick to pair alongside Malik Nabers. With those two as your first picks in the draft, you have completely transformed the offense and defense, as these are All-Pro caliber talents.

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Among cornerbacks targeted at least 40 times last season, Cooper DeJean ranked in the 99th Percentile in QB Rating when targeted (37.8) and the 98th Percentile in Catch Rate against (43.5%) thanks to his excellent athleticism. On his pro day, he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, with his RAS score at a strong 9.89 entering the draft. From a size, speed, and agility standpoint there’s a lot to love, and I believe the Giants should be all-in on trying to grab him.

Something that could make them less aggressive however is the depth at the cornerback position in Day 2, as there are plenty of strong options to go with. The difference to me is that there was a top-15 grade on DeJean, it’s a chance to get a talent that should have certainly gone in Day 1 while not expending the value expected to land him. A wrinkle in this is that teams are not obligated to make a trade with the Giants, and they aren’t blind to the fact that he’s on the board.

Cooper DeJean might be the best cornerback in this draft, and if New York can find a way to move up and grab him, it would bring an incredible amount of talent to this roster. There simply aren’t enough stars on this Giants’ team, and while the quarterback position is their most glaring issue, they have to take the best players available, and the Iowa corner fits that profile and more.

If the Giants were to move up, it would potentially drain them of their limited pool of picks this year, which might deter them away from making a deal. Other teams with more draft capital in the later rounds of this draft might be able to outmatch what Joe Schoen can offer unless he expends picks from the 2025 draft class. It might not be that bad of an idea, especially given the talent currently available on the board.

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