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2024 NFL Combine

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Combine Notes (3/1): WRs, QBs take center stage

QB-WO-HELLMANNS

The New York Giants haven't produced a 1,000-yard receiver since 2018. Rome Odunze and Malik Nabers haven't not hit quadruple digits in three years.

The NFL is a different level, of course, but the point remains that Big Blue finished 31st in passing yards and last in completions of at least 10 yards in 2023. Those deficiencies played a part in the team's 6-11 record, which equated to the sixth overall pick for the Giants in the upcoming draft.

"If there's, at the right price or the right spot in the draft, a chance to upgrade," general manager Joe Schoen said about adding playmakers in his end-of-season press conference, "we'll definitely look at it."

That is what the staff is trying to figure out this week at the NFL Scouting Combine about, among others, Odunze and Nabers. They are two of the stars in what projects to be a loaded wide receiver class, headlined by Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner.

Odunze and Nabers, who were finalists for the award given to the nation's top receiver, are frequently tied to the Giants in mock drafts – and for good reason. Both players said they met with the Giants this week in Indianapolis.

"It was good," said Odunze, the No. 3 overall prospect in Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 behind Harrison Jr. and USC quarterback Caleb Williams. "It was good. The Giants are good people. We were laughing in there a little bit. They were quizzing me on some film, getting to know who I was and I was getting to know them. It went well. I was excited to meet them. … I feel like they are good dudes honestly. They just seem like they had joy in the room, that they were excited about the process, they knew ball of course, and were excited about their future as well. I think good things to come."

Go inside the New York Giants' suite at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Odunze, 6-3 and 215 pounds, helped lead Washington to a national championship game appearance this past season as he set a program record with 1,640 receiving yards, the most in the nation. His 92 receptions were second-most in Huskies history, just two shy of Reggie Williams' record.

Nabers, 6-0 and 200 pounds, finished No. 2 nationally in receiving yards (1,569) and led the FBS in plays of 20+ yards (34) and 30+ yards (17). He capped his LSU career as the school's all-time leader in receptions (189) and receiving yards (3,003).

Nabers, who said he feels coach Brian Daboll "really likes" him, could be the highest drafted receiver by the Giants in the Super Bowl era. Ike Hilliard, the No. 7 overall pick in 1997, owns that distinction. The next closest is Odell Beckham Jr., who went No. 12 in 2014 and is the last Giant to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

Maybe it's an LSU thing.

"Their head coach, they love dogs," said Nabers, who is Jeremiah's fourth-ranked prospect. "They are able to find those receivers that they really want. They've got a great plan going on to this season that I heard."

The question on everyone's mind, however, is what that plan includes at quarterback.

Schoen expects Daniel Jones to be ready for training camp as he comes back from a torn ACL, but he has been candid in saying the Giants must acquire another quarterback this offseason. Tommy DeVito is the only other quarterback the Giants have under contract. Tyrod Taylor, the top backup last season, is a free agent.

"We've had good conversations, and he understands where we are," Schoen said earlier in the week of Jones. "He understands that we're going to need to add at quarterback. He's coming off an injury. Tommy DeVito is under contract and Daniel, so we'll bring in either a veteran quarterback through free agency – Tyrod is in the mix there, too. We're going to talk to Tyrod's representatives this week, and Tyrod's a true pro. He has been really good for not only Daniel but Tommy DeVito and his progress throughout the year. He's a true pro. So, we'll address the position. Again, it can be through free agency, and it doesn't preclude us from doing it in the draft as well."

If Schoen takes the draft route at the top, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels is another name that gets penciled in at No. 6 next to the Giants in mock drafts. In 55 games (29 at Arizona State, 26 at LSU), he is the only player in FBS history to pass for 12,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards.

Daniels, the No. 6 overall prospect according to Jeremiah, noted how "energetic" the Giants' coaching staff was during his interview.

"They handed me the clicker, and we were just talking ball," Daniels said. "It's always fun. I love football. I'm very passionate about it, so whenever I get to talk ball, I love it."

And then there is North Carolina's Drake Maye, who sought out Eli Manning for pre-draft advice.

"Big fan," Maye said. "I think Eli would probably say he's probably seen me too much. I've been following him around. It was always on Zooms. I think the biggest thing is being a sponge, soaking it all in. I don't have all the answers, and I don't know it all just being up there with Eli, and like I said, David Moore, I've trained with him down there in Alabama; he was his backup at Ole Miss. So, just kind of the small world of connections and I'm just trying to soak it all up."

What was the two-time Super Bowl MVP's advice?

"Just be myself," Maye said. "Don't be somebody I'm not, and at the end of the day, don't give the NFL too much spotlight or credit. You know, just going out there playing ball."

Check out all the action from the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.