Giants could pivot to QB4 in the first round if all else fails

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The New York Giants have several options in the 2024 NFL draft. General manager Joe Schoen has noted receiving more calls than expected about the 6th overall pick and the possibility of trading back for additional draft assets.

The Giants are likely looking to move on from Daniel Jones and reset with a rookie quarterback. This would free up significant salary space for future seasons and could herald a new era for a team that has struggled over the past decade.

The Giants Will Let the Draft Come to Them

However, it appears unlikely they will be able to move up to the 3rd overall selection, where they could potentially choose from quarterbacks like Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, or even Jayden Daniels if he slips. If Schoen is convinced about one of these top quarterbacks, he might be aggressive in trying to secure a higher pick.

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (New York Giants prospect)
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Nonetheless, it’s possible that he could acquire McCarthy from Michigan with minimal draft capital to move up a few spots, as there is considerable buzz around him.

“I would say the biggest surprise, even though it’s not necessarily a surprise because he’s gaining momentum, but just J.J. McCarthy. Teams really are sold on him,” Jeremy Fowler said Friday on The Rich Eisen Show.

Last season at Michigan, McCarthy wasn’t asked to shoulder the entire offensive load but still managed to throw for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns, and only four interceptions. He recorded a 2.9% turnover-worthy play percentage and was sacked just 19 times.

On the ground, McCarthy added 340 yards and three rushing touchdowns. While not primarily a runner, he is capable of moving the chains with his legs.

Betting on Upside

Despite Michigan’s focus on the run game, McCarthy was not the primary offensive focus but still made all the necessary throws and has a proven track record of success. Teams appreciate that McCarthy knows how to win games and can perform when needed. However, considering his limited passing experience, the Giants might consider developing him behind the scenes for a season, potentially using Daniel Jones as a bridge quarterback.

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) (New York Giants)
Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With an injury clause in Jones’s contract that guarantees his 2025 salary if he suffers another season-ending injury in 2024, the Giants might avoid playing him entirely. Drew Lock could start the season, with McCarthy (or any other quarterback) prepared to step in if he doesn’t secure the starting role during training camp.

While Maye would be the preferred choice if available, the Giants face tough competition for a signal caller, especially from teams like the Minnesota Vikings, who have multiple first-round picks this year and are also looking to move up.

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