Giants Linked to Michigan Quarterback in 1st Round: ‘More than a few rumblings’

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) (New York Giants)
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have a number of paths they can take with the 6th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Many would agree that selecting a quarterback would be ideal, allowing them to reset the rookie window and offload Daniel Jones after the 2024 season to save substantial salary space.

The Giants can save a maximum of $30 million by cutting Jones next off-season, deferring the remaining dead money over the final two years of the contract. That would mean paying $11.1 million in dead salary for the 2025 and 2026 seasons. However, the team would be saving significant capital by paying a rookie quarterback and building around a new foundation.

The Giants Will Have a Tough Time Landing a Top-3 QB

It will be difficult for general manager Joe Schoen to land one of the top three quarterback prospects — Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels. Some believe that Maye or Daniels could slip or that the Patriots could move out, but that’s a low probability.

The Giants may elect to take a blue-chip receiver prospect like Malik Nabers out of LSU, but there are rumors starting to bubble that they could make a move for Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy. McCarthy is only 21 years old and is coming off a season where he won the National Championship with the Wolverines. The problem is McCarthy wasn’t a prominent piece in Michigan’s offense, relying heavily on the run game and seldom asking J.J. to lead a dominant passing attack.

McCarthy finished the season with 2,991 passing yards, including 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. He only had one game over 300 yards coming against a bad Purdue team and didn’t throw a touchdown in the contest.

McCarthy tested well at the NFL combine and had the second-highest velocity on his throw at 61 mph, just behind Joe Milton. There’s no doubt that McCarthy could develop into a quality NFL quarterback, but he needs more time and experience to reach his potential.

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Using Jones as a Bridge

The Giants could use Jones as a bridge quarterback next season, developing McCarthy behind him in preparation for the 2025 campaign. That is a very realistic option that would allow the Giants to keep their second-round draft and future first-round picks, investing in other positions while maintaining their draft capital. Schoen has indicated how important building through the draft is, so trading away future quality selections may not be his preference.

With that being said, Conner Hughes of SNY reported on Thursday that rumblings around the combine showed the Giants had an interest in McCarthy and could go in that direction.

Of course, this could be a smoke screen, and the Giants could be throwing out narratives to confuse opposing GMs and force other teams to recalibrate. The Giants have done a good job hiding their desires in the draft and manipulating the media to promote specific agendas.

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