The New York Giants are positioned to land a high draft pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. At 3-8, Big Blue’s season is an utter disappointment and many fans have turned their primary attention toward draft season. Currently, the Giants hold the fifth-overall pick in the draft, though, that is subject to change through the final weeks of this regular season.
Currently third overall in the draft order is the New England Patriots, the Giants’ upcoming Week 12 opponent. This matchup has significant ramifications on the draft order and could be the reason one team does or doesn’t land a top-two pick (and a top-two quarterback) in the draft.
What a win/loss means for the Giants’ draft stock:
The New England Patriots are 2-8 and coming off a bye week. They will be well-rested for this match and, considering the questions regarding HC Bill Belichick’s job security, the team will be hungry for a victory. However, as are the Giants, who earned their third win of the season last weekend and show no signs of slowing down.
These two hungry and bad football teams will face off in an ultimate “tank bowl” this weekend. For fans hoping to see their team finish the season with a high draft pick, the winners will feel like losers and the losers will feel like winners.
According to ESPN Analytics, the Giants’ chances to earn a top-two pick in the draft increase to 47% with a loss against the Patriots. However, their chances would plummet to 11% with a win over New England.
Why might losing this game be beneficial?
The Giants will never lose games intentionally, though, some fans believe they should. Big Blue has a massive question to answer at the quarterback position this offseason with Daniel Jones having surgery on his ACL. Considering his struggles with injury and his struggles on the football field this season, New York could aim to draft a rookie quarterback.
Landing a top quarterback prospect in this class, however, would likely require a top-two overall draft pick. Hence, the reason why fans want their team to lose this decisive game against New England.
Inversely, players do not play to lose. They have a job to do: win football games. As do the coaches. The Giants need to string together wins to ensure that coaches keep their jobs and players get extended to stay with the organization. Winning in a lost season can still do some good for a bad team.
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A fear of repeating recent New York sports history
However, there are recent examples of teams winning games that cost them in the long run. The Giants don’t have to look far to find an example; just into the locker room on the other side of MetLife stadium.
After winning a meaningless Week 15 game over the Los Angeles Rams in 2020, the New York Jets lost themselves the first-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, thus fumbling the opportunity to land QB Trevor Lawrence. Instead, the Jets drafted Zach Wilson, one of their biggest draft busts in franchise history.
Giants fans live in fear of having this happen to them. Although, Giants fans should also recall the 2004 NFL Draft in which their team possessed the fourth-overall pick and used it to trade for QB Eli Manning, who then, of course, went on to win their franchise two Super Bowls.
Many franchise quarterbacks are found outside of the top-two selections; something of which the Giants’ front office is well aware. The Giants will not intentionally lose this game with the Patriots, but if they do, their chances of landing a top-two draft pick increase exponentially.