New York Giants Draft Rumors: Is Drake Maye the One?

New York Giants Draft Rumors: Is Drake Maye the One?

Have the Giants fallen in love with UNC QB Drake Maye enough to ensure they get him?

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

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The New York Giants have reportedly set their sights on drafting North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, which kicks off Thursday night.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that the Giants have identified Maye as their top desired quarterback. However, if the Giants want Maye, they will likely have to trade up in the first round to get him if he somehow falls to the third spot, currently held by the New England Patriots.

Graziano also adds that the Giants could have some competition if they want to move up from Maye in the form of the Minnesota Vikings.

“I’ve been told the Giants, and Vikings are the two teams that have been most active in discussions with the Patriots about the No. 3 pick and that if Washington takes Daniels at No. 2, the Giants would be very interested in trading up to No. 3 for Maye,” he said.

The Vikings, who have two first-round picks, could be better positioned to sway the Patriots to swap picks. And if that were to happen, Graziano says there is another quarterback the Giants might strongly consider.

“I’ve also been told in recent days that the Giants like (Washington’s Michael) Penix and might even be willing to take him as high as No. 6. There’s a lot of chatter flying around, but what is clear is that the Giants have done significant work on the quarterbacks and are very open, if not desperate, to come out of Thursday night with one of them.”

The Giants’ reported interest in Maye isn’t surprising considering the similarities between Maye and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, the latter of whom current Giants head coach Brian Daboll turned into an upper-echelon quarterback when he was the Bills offensive coordinator.

What’s probably more surprising is the reported interest in Penix, who, until recently, was viewed by draft analysts as a late Day 1/early Day 2 prospect. Penix, a southpaw, isn’t quite the athlete he was before his knee injuries, but he remains a talented thrower with a strong arm who can deliver a tight, catchable spiral to all areas of the field.

He can challenge tight windows and find receivers downfield for big plays. He also processes very quickly and doesn’t allow much pressure to turn into hits, resulting in an extremely low sack rate. The bigger concern is the long-term prognosis of his throwing shoulder and right knee.

Although Penix put to rest questions about his physical status during his medical checks, which is good news for him, it’s fair to wonder if he can hold up if asked to be a high-volume thrower at the next level or if he’s going to have to have his practice reps managed s he’s game-time ready.

There is yet one more caveat to the “QB or not QB” question for the Giants, and this one comes via Dianna Russini of The Athletic, who reported that team ownership might not be totally on board with the idea of trading up to get the next quarterback.

Russini, in an appearance on The Athletic Football Show, said, “It was explained to me that that was just a tough sell to ownership after giving Daniel Jones that contract last year. That we’re going to give up assets to replace a quarterback that we’re paying $40 million. I think there’s a really small chance that they do that. I think there’s a better chance that they trade out for more picks.”

That report, however, contradicts what team co-owner John Mara told reporters at the league meeting last month in which he said of general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, “If they fall in love with a quarterback and believe that it’s worth pick No. 6, or moving up, I certainly would support that.”

Mara also went as far as to favor a potential competition between Jones (assuming he’s cleared medically to start training camp, which is the goal) and a rookie. “Why not let them both compete? Let them both compete and let the better man win.”

Schoen and Daboll have both said that the expectation is for Jones to be the quarterback in 2024 once he’s cleared medically. Such a move makes sense if the team does indeed draft a quarterback (the likelihood of which is strong), as it would be expected that the rookie would sit for most if not all, his first season while Jones and/or Drew Lock handle the heavy lifting in 2024.

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