Giants take alternative approach to find next quarterback in three-round mock draft

American quarterback Spencer Rattler of South Carolina (2) throws the ball during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium (New York Giants draft prospect)
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are expected to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason. Plenty of speculation surrounds the team’s first-round draft pick. However, picking No. 6 overall, landing one of the class’s top quarterback prospects might prove to be a challenge.

Alternatively, the Giants could aim to land their next quarterback in the middle rounds of the draft. In this three-round mock draft (made using Pro Football Focus’ Mock Draft Simulator), the Giants manage to bolster their roster while finding a developmental quarterback with the last of their top-100 picks.

First Round: Pick No. 6 – Giants take the best playmaker available

In this mock draft, there was a run on quarterbacks early, then a run on playmakers. With all three of the top quarterback prospects and the top two wide receivers off the board, the Giants take Washington wideout Rome Odunze.

Although Odunze is the consensus No. 3 wide receiver prospect in this class, he is still considered a top-10 talent. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah gave Odunze high praise recently on X (formerly known as Twitter):

“Everyone has their own definition of a number 1 WR. For me, it’s this– on 3rd down & in the RZ, everyone in the stadium knows where the ball is going and the defense can’t do anything about it. Rome Odunze is a number 1 WR.”

Jeremiah is not alone in his analysis. Scouts feel like Odunze will be a game-changer at the next level. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Washington playmaker hauled in 75% of his contested catch attempts this past season en route to 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns on 92 receptions. Odunze would be a game-changing draft choice for the Giants in the first round.

Second Round: Pick No. 39 – Adding a pass-rushing specialist

With their first of two second-round picks, the Giants draft Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson in this mock draft. Robinson is a 6-foot-3, 245-pound pass-rusher with rare tools and a quick first step off the line of scrimmage.

According to Pro Football Focus, Robinson led the Big Ten in 2023 with a 20.8% pass rush win rate. His 92.3 Pass Rush Grade last season was also the best in the Big Ten. He finished the campaign with 4.0 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss in 10 games.

The Giants need to add a second pass-rusher to the lineup opposite Kayvon Thibodeaux. Robinson might not be a polished run-defender, but he could be a flamethrower as a pass-rusher off the edge, filling a major need in New York’s defensive lineup.

Second Round: Pick No. 47 – Building a dominant defensive front

After taking an edge rusher with their first second-round pick, the Giants double-dip on the defensive line with pick No. 47, taking Michigan interior defender Kris Jenkins. Pairing Jenkins with second-team All-Pro Dexter Lawrence would be a dream come true for new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen.

Drafting Jenkins would fill the void in the Giants’ lineup left behind in the wake of the team’s mid-season Leonard Williams trade. With the pick the Giants got in exchange for Williams, they target Jenkins as his replacement.

Jenkins is the fourth-ranked interior defender on PFF’s Big Board, making him a solid value selection in the second round. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound lineman excels against the run and is developing as a pass rusher. He totaled 37 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks for Michigan’s National Championship-winning defense in 2023.

Third Round: Pick No. 70 – Giants find their developmental quarterback of the future

After failing to land a quarterback in the first round of this mock draft, the Giants circle back to address the position here in the third round, selecting South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler. A standout performer at the Senior Bowl, Rattler has tools and traits that are rare to find on day two of the draft.

Rattler’s draft stock has been on the rise ever since the Senior Bowl where he was named the game’s MVP. He went 4-of-4 for 65 yards and one touchdown in his limited action at the exhibition game.

His collegiate stats may not stand out, (3,186 yards, 19 TDs, 8 INTs in 2023), but Rattler will enter the NFL with plenty of experience behind a bad offensive line at South Carolina — a weakness the Giants’ roster also possesses. Rattler’s comfortability playing under pressure will give him an edge over other developmental quarterbacks in this year’s draft for the Giants, as will his strong arm and ability to make plays with his legs (seven rushing touchdowns over his past two seasons).

While Rattler may not stack up against the draft class’s top quarterback prospects, he could be worth taking a chance on with a day-two selection. The Giants, at the very least, need depth behind Daniel Jones, who continues to miss time with injuries nearly every season. Rattler could be a high-upside developmental prospect to sit behind Jones and hopefully grow into a starting role down the line if Jones is unable to re-establish himself as the team’s franchise quarterback.

Giants three-round mock draft takeaways

This may not be the flashiest mock draft, but there is a sense of realism to this one. The Giants don’t get everything they want in this mock, but they do improve their roster by a significant margin. Their offense gets an elite playmaker, their front seven is bolstered, and they get some high-upside depth behind Daniel Jones.

This draft would likely only be viewed as a success if the Giants are able to upgrade their offensive line in free agency. Otherwise, it would be a safe bet to assume Big Blue will take an offensive lineman with one of their top 100 selections.

The draft is right around the corner and mock drafts will be abundant. This mock draft highlights an alternative approach that the Giants could take to the offseason compared to those that have them going all-in on a top quarterback prospect.

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