The New York Giants’ Sixth Overall Draft Pick Will Define Their Future


The New York Giants’ Sixth Overall Draft Pick Will Define Their Future

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The NFL Draft begins Thursday evening, and few teams have as big of a decision to make as the New York Giants. After a surprise playoff appearance in 2022, the team sputtered to a 6-11 record last year, and inconsistency at the quarterback position was a main culprit. Now they have to decide whether to build around Daniel Jones or select his successor.


Jones was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft, and after three losing seasons and numerous injuries, he started 16 games in 2022, throwing for 15 touchdowns with only five interceptions while rushing for 708 yards and seven scores. The Giants rewarded him with a four-year, $160 million contract with $82 million guaranteed.



In the first year of the new deal, he played only six games, throwing just two touchdowns with six interceptions. The team went 1-4 to starting the season with him under center before he reinjured his neck and missed three contests. In his first game back, he tore his ACL and was lost for the rest of the season. The team is committed to him as their starter in 2024—in no small part due to his contract—but have the option to move on from him after the season.


Now the Giants will pick sixth overall once again—if they don’t make a trade. Four quarterbacks—Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and J.J. McCarthy—are likely to go in the top ten, and possibly even in the first four picks. However, New York’s group of offensive skill position players might be the weakest in the NFL. They’re desperate for weapons, particularly at wide receiver, and there are three great receiver prospects in the draft class—Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze.



Theoretically, the Giants can stay put with the sixth pick and be assured one of those seven players will be available, but if they want a specific quarterback, they will most likely need to trade up. Some reports indicate Maye is the player they want the most. Whether they go for a quarterback or wide receiver is one of the draft’s biggest variables, and will determine the future of the franchise.


Quarterback Pros And Cons

Jones wasn’t drafted originally by general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, but they did sign him to the extension. His cap hit for 2025 will be $41.6 million, but if they cut him, they’ll eat $22.2 million in dead money.


The Schoen/Daboll regime is under pressure in their third season after significant regression last year. If they no longer believe they can build around Jones—either because of his frustratingly inconsistent decision-making or his injury history—they might be in a better position to draft their own guy this year rather than next. The 2025 draft class of quarterbacks isn’t perceived to be as strong, and there’s no telling where the Giants will pick.


Moving up for a passer won’t be easy. The Chicago Bears are almost certain to take Williams first overall and the Washington Commanders look like they’ll select a quarterback with the second pick, most likely Daniels. The New England Patriots pick third, and they’re also a quarterback-needy team. Barring any major surprises, only one of the top four passers will be available when the Arizona Cardinals are on the clock with the fourth pick, and they’ll have several trade suitors competing for the opportunity to take him.



The Giants’ pick isn’t far from the Cardinals’, but they don’t have many other draft assets to offer in a trade up. Their next pick is the 47th overall, and they can also offer next year’s picks. They might not have the ammunition to outbid the Minnesota Vikings, who have the 11th and 23rd picks in the first round, or other interested parties.


There are also financial and roster-building factors to consider. The benefit of having a quarterback on a rookie contract is that the club isn’t tied to the going rate of more than $40 million for a starter. That money can be reinvested elsewhere on the roster. If the Giants pick a quarterback this year, they’re still hung up by Jones’ $47.9 million cap hit this season and the dead money in 2025. They wouldn’t be able to reap the financial benefit until 2026, and the young quarterback would be extension-eligible after that.

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