The Giants.com crew gives early impressions of the 2024 NFL Draft, which is scheduled for April 25-27 in Detroit:
John Schmeelk: This draft will be all about the offensive side of the ball. As Matt Citak writes about below, there's a decent chance the first 10 picks will all be on offense. But the dominance of the offensive side of the ball extends into the second half of the first round and into the second round. In Dane Brugler's most recent mock draft via The Athletic, 21 of the first 32 picks are on offense, including 11 offensive lineman, five wide receivers, four quarterbacks, and a tight end.
The Giants have two second-round picks (39th and 47th overall), so it's important to see the type of players who might provide value with those two picks. Brugler has another 15 offensive players going into the second round, including six wide receivers, five offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, one tight end, and a lone running back. In total, that's 36 of 64 total picks (56%) on offense, with 11 receivers and 16 offensive linemen among them. Those are two big needs for the Giants that should be available with their first three picks.
On defense, of the 28 players, nine are cornerbacks, six are edge rushers, five are defensive tackles, two are linebackers, five are safeties, and there's one moveable defensive lineman. The Giants could have needs at defensive tackle, cornerback, safety, and edge rusher this offseason. It's a strong draft where the Giants should be able to find players to help them in the present and future.
Dan Salomone: Our impressions are meaningless. The only one that really matters in the grand scheme of things is Joe Schoen, and we got our first peek into the general manager's mind back at his bye week press conference.
Two things stuck out that day. The first was about addressing the quarterback position, whether that's through the draft or free agency, in case Daniel Jones isn't ready for Week 1. The second was a response to a question about why he made the mid-season trade of Leonard Williams to the Seahawks.
"Draft compensation," he said. "When Seattle called and offered a second-round pick for a 29-year-old player that was on an expiring contract, we had nine games left. It just made the most sense long-term, in terms of the build."
Both points are linked. When asked about his assessment of the 2024 class less than two months later, Schoen again brought up the idea of "currency" in his end-of-season press conference, as the Giants hold four picks in the top 70.
"Again, that's a way to impact the roster and it also gives you currency if you want to move around, or move up, move back, whatever it may be," he said. "Those are tools that you can use to continue to execute whatever the plan may be."
We'll have to wait and see if that plan is using all those picks to amass as many impact players as possible or bundling them up to get a higher concentration at the top.
View photos of the previous 25 players selected with the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft.
Lance Medow: Every year, there's only one position that heavily influences the draft, and that's quarterback. But this year in particular, we could see a high volume at that position early, similar to 2018 when four quarterbacks were selected in the top 10: Baker Mayfield (No. 1), Sam Darnold (No. 3), Josh Allen (No. 7) and Josh Rosen (No. 10). The Jets, Bills, and Cardinals all traded up that year to select a quarterback. We could see a similar trend again, but if you evaluate the draft order as is, it's not difficult to make a case for several teams heading in that direction.
The Bears have Justin Fields but also own the top overall pick thanks to a trade with the Panthers last year. Fields is entering his fourth season in the NFL and, if he remains with the team, will have his third offensive coordinator during that span. I could see Chicago go in multiple directions, so you can't eliminate them from the quarterback dialogue. After the Bears come the Commanders and Patriots, two teams that could easily choose a quarterback. Both organizations will have new coaches and general managers in 2024, so any players at that position they inherit automatically have question marks attached. Sam Howell and Mac Jones are both still young in their development, but based on league history, that doesn't hold much weight or carry much job security given the high turnover rate. It's not a stretch, without any trades, for the first three teams to take quarterbacks.
The Cardinals will be on the clock at No. 4 after welcoming back Kyler Murray from a torn ACL, followed by the Chargers, who should have no complaints with Justin Herbert. That's all the activity before the Giants will make their pick, but I'd watch out for the Falcons at No. 8 and the Broncos and Raiders at No. 12 and 13, respectively. All three clearly need answers under center, and it wouldn't surprise me if they try to move up to accomplish that goal. It's possible these five quarterbacks could go in the first round: Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (UNC), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Bo Nix (Oregon), and J.J. McCarthy (Michigan). When you take that into consideration as well as the QB-needy teams, there will be an early run on that position.
Matt Citak: As we've come to learn over the years, things can change drastically in the months leading up to the draft. Guys who look like locks to go early in the draft will fall, and others who are currently projected to go on Days 2 or 3 will work their way into the first round. With the Senior Bowl, Shrine Bowl, combine and college pro days all still to come, in addition to prospect visits, first-round projections right now should not be locked in. With all of that being said, as things stand today, the early part of the draft, and the first round in particular, is shaping up to be extremely offense-heavy.
For starters, it would not surprise anyone to see the first 10 picks of the draft all be on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterbacks Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels look like they could make up the first three picks. Then you have wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze, who will not have to wait much longer after the quarterbacks to hear their names called. The same goes for offensive tackles Joe Alt and Olu Fashanu and tight end Brock Bowers, as those nine players make up the top of most boards by draft analysts in the media. Meanwhile, some early mock drafts, including Dane Brugler's in The Athletic, have 11 offensive linemen going in the first round, while others, such as PFF's Trevor Sikkema, have as many as five quarterbacks selected in the first. And then you have the wide receiver class, one of the deepest we've seen in recent years, which many believe could easily have 10-15 players selected within the first two rounds.
While the first few rounds of the draft appear to be leaning heavily towards the offensive side of the ball, it's interesting to note that there might not be a single running back taken within the first two rounds. Not only that, but other than Brock Bowers, the only other tight end that as of now seems to have a good chance at being selected within the first two rounds is Ja'Tavion Sanders from Texas. This means that almost all of the offensive players taken within the first two rounds of the draft might consist of just quarterbacks, wide receivers, and offensive linemen, all of which are positions the Giants could look to address in some fashion this offseason. While free agency will obviously serve as an avenue to fill some of their roster needs, the Giants have three selections within the first 50 picks of the draft and four in the top 70. This year's draft class could go a long way in helping the Giants take a big step forward in 2024.
View photos of notable players selected with the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft.