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2024 NFL Draft

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GM Joe Schoen talks 'deep' class at receiver, quarterback

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Seemingly millions of Americans publicly release NFL mock drafts, and that legion of football fanatics is mostly divided into two separate but unequal camps concerning the Giants' intentions in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

The majority have the Giants keeping the sixth selection in the first round next Thursday and taking their highest-rated available wide receiver. A smaller camp has the Giants trading up to the third, fourth or fifth picks to add a quarterback.

General manager Joe Schoen didn't reveal his innermost thoughts at his annual pre-draft news conference. But as he prepares for his third draft as the Giants' G.M., Schoen spoke highly of the candidates at both positions.

The top wideouts are Ohio State's Marvin Harrison, Jr., LSU's Malik Nabers and Washington's Rome Odunze. Harrison has generally been regarded as the top wideout among those outside NFL personnel offices who study the players. But all three could well go in the top 10.

"I do think it's a deep receiver draft," Schoen said. "They come in different shapes and sizes and speeds, but I do think it's a deep wide receiver draft from top to bottom, depending on what you're looking for.

"Some added value with guys, the new kickoff rules, the guys that can also do returns. I think there's an added element there too, and there's some receivers that can wear multiple hats, not just as a receiver but also as a returner. Yeah, I do think it's a good draft. … However people have them ranked, I think it is a good draft from the receiver position. I think there will be several taken in the first round."

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his updated ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Giants are widely considered to be in the market for a premier receiver. Schoen likes the wideouts on the roster, but well understands the benefit in adding a receiver that will cause opposing defenses to shudder.

"It can really help you out, especially the way we're constructed now," Schoen said. "Jalin Hyatt can take the top off, Wan'Dale (Robinson) working in the slot. I think you can really see what he was able to do late in the season when he was finally healthy. Darius Slayton has been uber consistent during his time.

"If you add another wide receiver there, whether it's in the top 10 or later in the draft because of the depth of the class, I do think it gives you options and it's going to help the offense in general. We have to score more. At the end of the day, we need to score more points. Adding, if it's a No. 1 receiver, whatever you want to call it, just a better receiving weapon is going to help everybody."

Schoen reiterated that Daniel Jones, who played in just six games in 2023 because of injuries, is "on track" to be ready for training camp and thus start the season as the Giants' quarterback. Because of that, drafting a quarterback in the first round would likely not deliver the immediate boost they'd get from a receiver, but would provide competition and options for the future.

The Giants also have veteran Drew Lock and second-year pro Tommy DeVito in their quarterback room, a threesome Schoen would be happy to go to camp with.

"I don't think (we want or need to add a quarterback)," Schoen said. "I think with Drew's experience, he has started games and played, and Daniel's experience. And what Tommy did last year, another year in the system, Tommy's come a long way. I think we could go into the season with the three that we have and be comfortable with that."

The top quarterbacks in the draft are USC's Caleb Williams, universally expected to go No. 1 to the Chicago Bears; 2023 Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels of LSU; North Carolina's Drake Maye; and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy.

"I think it's a good quarterback class, and I think it's deep," Schoen said. "You look at some of the guys and the amount of games some of these guys have started and played, it's impressive. Really haven't seen a class like that with some of the quarterbacks that have started and played as many games as they have at a high level.

"It's been really fun getting to know these guys. Again, it's a unique position. There's only so many people walking planet earth that can play that position at a high level. So really getting around these guys, we like to do it every year, and getting to know them, I think is important."

Much of the intrigue and speculation before any draft is on the potential for trades, either up or back. The Giants currently have six selections in the seven-round draft and might look to add more. In addition to No. 6, they own picks 47, 70, 107, 166 and 183. They do not have a seventh-round draft choice.

In his first Giants draft two years ago, Schoen traded back twice in the second round. Last year, he traded up in the first and third rounds to secure cornerback Deonte Banks and Hyatt.

What might he do next week?

"My job is to do what's best for the franchise," Schoen said. "If there's an opportunity to go up, move back, stay, whether it's in the first round, third round, fifth round, that's what we'll do.

"You take all that into account when you're making those type of decisions. That's some of the planning and strategy and meetings we'll have over the next couple of days, the what ifs and if this/then. You go back and forth on it. The good news is, after the first round on Thursday, you can regroup going into Friday before the second and third rounds and have those conversations again. The draft being over a three-day period helps you in terms of when you have those meetings and strategy sessions, when you decide if you're going to go up, down, which players you like."

Which means much can happen before and during the draft.

"We could go several different ways," Schoen said. "There's several different options that we can take, and we're going to be okay. I'm comfortable where we are in terms of whatever we do."

Players have returned to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the offseason workout program.


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