Many expected the New York Giants to make a big splash at wide receiver this offseason at the start of free agency. The Giants have added some talent to the position, but their big splash came in the way of trading for TE Darren Waller.
Though New York’s receiving corps is an improved unit, they are still without the dominant, number-one wideout that they entered this offseason seeking. As the Giants turn their attention toward the 2023 NFL Draft, the wide receiver position still stands out as one of the top priorities.
Picking 25th overall in the first round of this year’s draft, there is a chance that all the top receiver prospects are off the board by the time New York is on the clock. The Giants may want to consider trading up in the first round if they want to land the receiver of their choice.
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Should the Giants trade up to land the top WR prospect?
Many analysts still predict that the Giants will draft a wide receiver in the first round of this year’s draft, despite signing Parris Campbell and extending Darius Slayton in free agency. Pro Football Focus recently predicted that Boston College WR Zay Flowers would be the pick at 25. However, some mock drafts have Flowers going way earlier in the first round.
DraftWire recently had the Giants taking TCU’s Quenton Johnston with the 25th pick, however, there are some experts that have Johnston as a top-10 talent in this year’s draft, meaning he could be selected way before the Giants are on the clock.
A player like Johnston makes perfect sense for the Giants. He has the size and strength to play on the outside, and his rare blend of athletic traits gives him the highest ceiling of all the wide receiver prospects in this class. But New York would need to trade up to land Johnston and potentially any of the other top wideouts in the first round.
There is precedent for a trade-up from the back end of the first round into the top-15 for a wide receiver. The Detroit Lions made a similar deal just last off-season. Detroit traded up from the 32nd overall pick to draft WR Jameson Williams with the 12th overall pick (NFL.com). The Lions traded picks 32, 34, and 66 to the Minnesota Vikings for picks 12 and 46.
If the Lions’ trade for Williams is any indication, the Giants may need to part ways with a second or third-round pick to get high enough in the first round to draft Johnston.
Trading up for a top receiver will be expensive. However, if HC Brian Daboll believes a young, dynamic wide receiver is the last piece to the puzzle of his offense, then GM Joe Schoen should get on the phone and find the New York Giants their first-round playmaker.