Giants could execute draft-day trade to land WR1

Brandon Aiyuk, new york giants
Jan 1, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) makes a catch against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have been looking to find themselves a true top receiver for quarterback Daniel Jones to utilize. After extending Jones on a four-year, $160M deal, including $92 million guaranteed, boosting the offense and giving him quality weapons to work with is essential.

General manager Joe Schoen executed a trade for TE Darren Waller, who provides WR1-level production when healthy, but finding a true pass catcher would be ideal. Many teams have traded for proven commodities in the past, notably AJ Brown with the Philadelphia Eagles and Stefon Diggs with the Buffalo Bills.

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The New York Giants could trade the 25th pick for a WR1:

The Giants could do something similar instead of drafting one of the top receivers, given any are available with the 25th overall pick. One name that has bubbled to the surface this off-season is Brandon Aiyuk of the San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco utilizes a heavy run-based offensive scheme, which has held him back in some ways. He recorded his first 1,000 yards season in 2022, enjoying eight touchdowns and a 68.4% catch rate to go with it.

At 24 years old, Aiyuk still has two years left on his contract before requiring an extension, giving the Giants plenty of time to expand upon his talents.

Of course, the 49ers would likely want the Giants’ 25th overall pick in return for Aiyuk, a proven receiver with some of the best route-running qualities in the league. At 6 feet and 200 pounds, Aiyuk is capable of playing inside and out. He enjoyed 75.4% of his snaps out wide last season and 24.6% in the slot, right in line with his career averages. He’s never hosted a drop rate above 7.7% and posted a 6.7% rate in 2022, accumulating six drops across 121 targets and 84 exceptions.

Brandon has agility, speed, and tremendous hands, all essential variables that constitute a top receiver on any given team. As mentioned before, the 49ers focus predominantly on the running game and short passing concepts. In contrast, the Giants are looking to improve their explosive playmakers and get the ball downfield, where Aiyuk can dominate.

Last season, Aiyuk was targeted 18 times on throws 20+ yards downfield and 41 times on medium-range throws. Incredibly, Daniel Jones only attempted 26 throws 20+ yards downfield in 2022, but the Giants are looking to boost that number, and adding several speedsters this off-season should help in that regard.

The Giants may draft a young pass catcher they can mold and develop on a rookie deal, but if they want a proven player that can help the team win now, Aiyuk could be a tremendous addition if the 49ers are interested in moving him.