Hard Knocks confirms Giants’ interest in trading up in 2024 NFL Draft

Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen speaks during a press conference during the NFL Scouting Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

All offseason long, there were rumors surrounding the New York Giants and their reported interest in trading up at the top of April’s 2024 NFL Draft. Reports indicated that New York had discussions with teams as early as the NFL Combine in March and as late as the night of the draft in April. There were even reports that the Giants had offered the Patriots a future first-round pick on the night of the draft to move up three spots in the order.

But even still, reports and rumors could never be confirmed — until now. The second episode of HBO’s offseason edition of Hard Knocks featuring the New York Giants aired on Tuesday night, revealing general manager Joe Schoen’s interest in trading up with the New England Patriots for the No. 3 pick in April’s NFL Draft.

Hard Knocks shows Joe Schoen checking on the Patriots’ price for the No. 3 overall pick

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen speaks during a press conference during the NFL Scouting Combine at Indiana Convention Center
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The second episode of Hard Knocks focused heavily on the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, which took place from February 29 to March 3 of this year. With unprecedented behind-the-scenes access of the Giants’ process at the Combine, it was revealed that Schoen had a discussion with Patriots GM Eliot Wolf at the Combine about a potential trade for the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft:

Schoen “took a trek” down to the other side of the stadium to speak with Wolf and tell him to keep the Giants in the back of his mind before making any moves with the No. 3 overall pick. This footage of Schoen speaking to Wolf was featured in the episode shortly after the behind-the-scenes footage of the Giants’ Combine interviews with top quarterback prospects such as USC’s Caleb Williams (who went first-overall to the Bears), LSU’s Jayden Daniels (who went second-overall to the Commanders), and UNC’s Drake Maye (who went third-overall to the Patriots).

Whether or not the Giants truly had discussions with teams like the Patriots about trading up was highly debated throughout the offseason. But Hard Knocks has officially confirmed that Schoen was indeed interested in potentially making a trade to move up the draft order.

Who could the Giants have been targeting in a potential trade-up?

North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) (New York Giants prospect)
Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

All signs indicate that Schoen’s interest in the No. 3 overall pick was related to his interest in the draft class’s top quarterback prospects. He went to meet with Wolf shortly after interviewing the quarterbacks at the Combine and discussing his concerns about starting QB Daniel Jones’s future with his front-office executives.

Jones tore his ACL in Week 9 of the 2023 season, an injury which had Schoen looking at options to “protect” the Giants’ future in case injuries continue to be a problem for Jones. Schoen mentioned Jones’s injury in the second episode of Hard Knocks and pointed out during a phone call conversation that, if his quarterback is not ready to play in Week 1, the Giants needed to have another option — whether that be a free agent they signed or a quarterback they drafted.

Another highlight from the episode was the Giants’ interviews with the top quarterback prospects, namely UNC’s Drake Maye, who wound up being selected by the Patriots with the No. 3 overall pick. Maye’s interview was impressive, and the Giants seemed excited by what he demonstrated during that meeting.

It was reported on draft day that the Giants were attempting to trade up to No. 3 with Maye being their primary target. While the specificity of who they were interested in trading up for has yet to be confirmed, there are still a few more weeks of Hard Knocks episodes to be released. Perhaps some light will be shed on the Giants’ trade-up target in a future episode.

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