Giants could reach hard for QB4 with the 6th overall pick

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (New York Giants prospect) (9) runs the ball against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium, new york giants
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The 2025 NFL draft is expected to have a weak quarterback class, which suggests that the New York Giants may try to target one of the top passers in the upcoming draft, a class that sports the likes of Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels.

Assessing the Giants’ Draft Strategy

While it is still unlikely the Giants will splash to grab one of the top three QBs, they could look to the fourth-best option, J.J. McCarthy, out of Michigan.

Recently, McCarthy’s stock has been rising up the first round after previously being considered a top of the second-round prospect. McCarthy led a run-heavy offense with Michigan, throwing for just 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He posted a 2.9% turnover-worthy play percentage and an 80% adjusted completion percentage with 20 dropped passes.

Fortunately for McCarthy, his offense sported the best running game in college football and arguably the best offensive line in the game. He showcased some flashes of NFL competence with his conversion rate on third down and the ability to make several difficult throws, but he doesn’t have many elite traits.

McCarthy’s Draft Stock and Potential

McCarthy has a slightly above-average arm, good athleticism, and solid processing despite an underwhelming sample size. Given McCarthy‘s yardage, he only averaged 9 yards per attempt, whereas Jayden Daniels, out of LSU, averaged 11.5 yards per attempt, producing 40 passing touchdowns and four interceptions over 332 attempts. The difference between the two players is astronomical in terms of production, but NFL analysts and scouts love McCarthy’s makeup and upside as a prospect.

If the Giants are desperate for a quarterback, they could take the risk of drafting him sixth overall, which would be a bit lofty given how significant his stock has skyrocketed over the past few weeks.

Giants’ Draft Dilemma and Future Decisions

Taking a player out of need is never a good idea, and the Giants have passed on blue-chip prospects before, notably in the deal that landed them Kadarius Toney. Former general manager Dave Gettleman passed on Rashawn Slater and Micah Parsons, both of whom have developed into superstar talents on their respective teams. As for Toney, he now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs and has been benched for every playoff game this year, including the Super Bowl on Sunday evening.

The truth is, the Giants need help, so mortgaging the future in a big move to the first overall pick may be out of the question, but reports have indicated that the New England Patriots could move back if their player of choice doesn’t fall. The Giants would be happy to have any of the top three quarterbacks, especially given Daniel Jones’s contract and their inability to move freely in free agency because of his salary cap down the line.

General manager Joe Schoen knows his future depends on Jones, a player who is coming off an ACL tear and is one neck injury away from his career coming to an end. Betting on his comeback in 2024 is a risky hand, and it could lead to Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll departing if the team doesn’t turn things around.

Objectively speaking, drafting a quarterback would give them a bit more slack and likely lock them in for at least another two years to help develop the young player. However, McCarthy’s stock has impressed many, and behind closed doors, teams are falling in love with his tangible tools and winning mentality. With that being said, the offense he ran at Michigan covered up a lot of his flaws and it is unlikely he can operate a high-octane passing attack early in his career, so he will need to sit for at least a season, which could make sense for the Giants with Jones expected to return for the start of the 2024 campaign.

It would certainly be a gamble, but the Giants don’t have many options unless they trade up, which is possible but remains unlikely.