Giants GM’s career history suggests he could make a blockbuster trade for top quarterback prospect

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants appear to be sitting just out of reach for one of the 2024 NFL Draft’s top quarterback prospects. With one game left to play, the Giants have a slim chance of finishing with a top-three pick in the draft order. If Big Blue wants to get the top quarterback on their board, they will likely need to trade up to land him.

But trading up for a top quarterback prospect is a move that general manager Joe Schoen is all too familiar with. The Giants’ GM was a key component of the Buffalo Bills’ front office when they made two blockbuster trades to move up in the 2018 NFL Draft and land QB Josh Allen.

Schoen’s history of aggressively trading draft capital to land certain prospects suggests he and the Giants could be making a blockbuster trade for a quarterback this offseason.

Why Giants GM Joe Schoen could make a trade for a QB

Back in 2018, the Buffalo Bills held the No. 21 overall pick in the first round of the draft, sitting far out of reach to land one of the class’s top quarterback prospects. But GM Brandon Beane and his assistant general manager at the time, Schoen, were determined to move up and snag their desired quarterback.

Schoen reportedly worked the phones on draft night to find suitable trade partners and move the Bills up the draft order to select QB Josh Allen.

The Bills made two trades in that draft, moving up from No. 21 to No. 12 first, then again moving up from No. 12 to land the No. 7 pick in the draft and take Allen.

What the Bills traded away for QB Josh Allen in 2018:

  • No. 21, LT Cordy Glenn, R5 pick FOR No. 12, R6 pick
  • No. 12, 53, 56 FOR No. 7 (Josh Allen)

In all, the Bills sacrificed a well of assets to move up and select Allen in 2018. The move paid off in a major way as Allen developed into a superstar quarterback, leading the Bills to a winning record in each of the last five years, placing top-three in MVP voting twice, and earning a 4-4 postseason record with three Divisional Round appearances and one Conference Championship appearance.

“Trader Joe” has already demonstrated his aggression as the GM of the Giants

Schoen’s history of making aggressive trades extends to his time in Buffalo, but they do not end there. Just last offseason, Schoen earned the nickname “Trade Joe” from Giants fans after pulling off two trades in the first three rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft to move up and land two highly-coveted prospects.

The first draft-day trade that Schoen and his front office made was to move up one spot in the first round of the draft, landing the No. 24 overall pick (CB Deonte Banks, Maryland) in exchange for the No. 25 overall pick, the Giants’ fifth-round pick and seventh-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Schoen and company then made a trade on day two to draft for Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt in the third round. The Giants traded No. 89 overall and their fourth-round pick (No. 128) to the Los Angeles Rams for No. 73, which they used to draft Hyatt.

The Giants also traded down twice in the 2022 NFL Draft to accrue more assets to build out their roster. Another notable trade they made last offseason occurred during free agency when Big Blue acquired TE Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for one of the Giants’ two third-round picks.

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What could a trade for a top quarterback prospect look like?

Trading up for a higher draft pick in 2024 will be no easy task. With multiple quarterback-needy teams ahead of the Giants in the draft order, they will have plenty of competition to move up and draft their guy in April. The Washington Commanders, New England Patriots, and potentially even the Chicago Bears all might be interested in drafting a quarterback and are currently all in front of the Giants in the draft order.

To move up and draft their quarterback, the Giants will hope for the Bears to become sellers of the No. 1 pick in the draft, which they have already clinched (via the Carolina Panthers). If the Bears do decide to stick with QB Justin Fields and trade the first-overall pick, the Giants might be interested, but they would need to give up a king’s ransom for a trade up to the top spot.

In the latest mock draft from CBS, the Giants traded up to the first-overall pick to land USC quarterback Caleb Williams. Chris Trapasso of CBS constructed this mock trade:

Giants receive:

  • 1st overall (Caleb Williams)

Bears receive:

  • 5th overall
  • 39th overall
  • 105th overall
  • 2025 1st round pick
  • 2025 3rd round pick
  • WR Darius Slayton

The asking price for the No. 1 overall pick has skyrocketed after the Carolina Panthers traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and WR DJ Moore to move up and draft QB Bryce Young last offseason. History could repeat itself once again this spring as the Bears might look to trade down from No. 1 for the second year in a row.

Should the Giants make a trade for the No. 1 overall pick?

Sacrificing so many assets might be difficult for the Giants and their fanbase to get behind — especially after witnessing Young struggle as a rookie in Carolina as the Panthers have stumbled their way to a putrid 2-14 record this season.

But Schoen is a general manager who loves to take risks. Sometimes, taking risks pays off, as it did when the Bills traded for Allen in 2018. Other times, taking risks can burn a team, as it did when the San Fransisco 49ers moved up for Trey Lance in 2021.

Schoen must weigh the pros and cons of a potential trade-up to the first-overall pick in the draft. Williams could be a game-changing quarterback that transforms the Giants’ offense, similar to how Allen changed the course of the Bills’ future. This possible outcome may entice Schoen to make a Godfather offer to the Bears this offseason.