The New York Giants might’ve signed quarterback Daniel Jones to a four-year, $160 million contract extension, but they are still scouting passers in the 2023 NFL draft. The Giants gave Jones $81 million guaranteed at signing and $92 million guaranteed over the contract, averaging $40 million per year in salary.
The team managed to keep his cap hit down to $21 million for the 2023 season, opening up a bit of salary space to utilize elsewhere. Nonetheless, the Giants have completely shifted their draft strategy compared to recent years, when they avoided specific positions and didn’t even do their due diligence.
General manager Joe Schoen is keen on being the smartest one in the room and understanding the value each individual prospect has, especially Heisman Trophy finalists like Hendon Hooker out of Tennessee.
The Giants are bringing Hendon Hooker in for a visit:
Hooker is still rehabilitating from a torn ACL he suffered during the 2022 season, playing in 11 games, accruing 3,135 yards and 27 passing touchdowns. As one of the best quarterbacks in the country, Hooker operated out of a spread offense that curated separation for receivers on the outside and gave him plenty of opportunities for explosive plays. Hooker finished this most recent season with a 69.6% completion rate, and having played four years at the collegiate level, he’s ready to make the jump to the NFL but likely won’t start immediately.
It is possible that if Hooker didn’t tear his ACL, he’d be the top quarterback off the board, but the injury hurt his stock, and the Giants may have an opportunity to land him later on as an insurance policy for Daniel Jones.
However, Hooker is likely a first or second-round selection, so the Giants would have to utilize one of their premium picks to acquire his services, essentially letting him develop behind the scenes and sit on the bench. The team needs more support now at key spots, notably wide receiver, cornerback, and on the offensive line.
While Hendon is a phenomenal talent and would certainly be a nice piece to develop behind the scenes over the next few years, he is a luxury selection, and the Giants don’t have the draft capital to spend on a player that won’t make an immediate impact.
However, when it comes to quarterbacks, having more knowledge is always beneficial. There could be a scenario where the Giants may trade their pick to a team looking to draft Hooker. If that is the case, they can cash in and add more capital this year, but understanding his value and how far along he is with his ACL rehab will give them even more information to work with.