Giants Pick Wideout After Failing To Move Up In The 2024 NFL Draft

NFL Draft 2024
Published by NYSB Staff
Last Updated: 08. May 2024.

The New York Giants had their sights set on the No. 3 pick and North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye in the opening round of the 2024 NFL Draft in Detriot last week. Unfortunately, the New England Patriots rebuffed the Giants' appealing offer and scooped up the potential franchise quarterback.

Settling for Malik Nabers: A Strategic Choice

The G-Men eventually settled for standout receiver Malik Nabers with the sixth pick, which Giants general manager Joe Schoen said was their original plan.

"Malik was our guy," Schoen said after the first round of the draft. "He's the guy we targeted. With the other players on the board, we took Malik Nabers."

While Nabers is an outstanding talent who surpassed 3,000 receiving yards during his collegiate career, several credible reports had the Giants targeting Maye with their first-round selection.

Sports Illustrated NFL journalist Albert Breer reported the Giants offered their 2024 and 2025 first-round pick to the Patriots in exchange for the third overall pick. The NFL Network also reported the Giants made a "last-minute" offer to pry the No. 3 pick from the Patriots. 

"I think I said last week we were going to have conversations in front of us. We actually had conversations behind us. There was an opportunity for us to move out of the pick. So, we had conversations," Schoen said. "We had different plans in place. And we're excited to have Malik Nabers here, so we're real happy with the way it worked out."

Analysts' Take on the Giants' Draft Decisions

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. was stunned the Giants failed to address their biggest need on offense with several quarterbacks still available with the sixth pick.

"I had heard for the last couple of months the Giants were looking into the quarterback," Kiper Jr. said. "You're sitting at six, they can trade up to get J.J. McCarthy. Don't forget about Daniel Jones, you're going to hang him out to dry? You're not going to take any of the explosive receivers when you haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2018? You have no explosive plays, and you have Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze sitting there. You're going to take the quarterback? I kept hearing, 'Yeah, yeah, they're interested in a quarterback,' and they didn't have to move up.

"They sat at six and there's J.J. McCarthy. So I'm thinking, 'OK, what have we been hearing? What's the chatter been for the last couple of months?' They didn't take McCarthy, they took the receiver Malik Nabers to help Daniel Jones, who they inherited. Most times, GMs, the head coaches, want their own guy. And Daniel Jones is coming off injuries and he had some struggles because the offensive line was bad and they didn't have explosive receivers. So, I think the Giants may have surprised some people."

Although the Giants failed in their efforts to trade up and grab Maye, Nabers is an excellent consolation prize that could reap huge benefits this upcoming season. The speedy receiver ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 and ended his three-year stint at LSU with 189 catches for 3,003 yards and 21 touchdowns.

New York had a choice between Nabers and Washington's Rome Odunze with the sixth pick. The Giants had Nabers graded higher than the Huskies' receiver, whom the Chicago Bears selected with the ninth pick.

"At the end of the day, Malik's toughness, separation, speed, not that Rome doesn't have those things, Rome's a very good player, too," Schoen said. "When it came down to it, what we were looking for, Malik checked a lot of those boxes."

The Impact of Nabers on the Giants' Offensive Lineup

Nabers will immediately step into the No. 1 receiver role and significantly upgrade a receiver room that includes Darius Slayton, Jalin Hyatt, and Wan'Dale Robinson. The Giants struggled mightily on offense last year and ranked near the bottom of the league in scoring with 15.6 points a game.

A versatile pass-catcher who can line up inside or outside, Nabers will have a chance to contribute early in his rookie season similar to another LSU receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. But the talented wideout is only focused on his legacy.

"I'm not trying to come in and replace Odell, I'm just trying to lead into my own legacy," Nabers said.

New York head coach Brian Daboll is also not interested in comparing his newest offensive weapon with Beckham or anyone else.

"I'm not going to compare him to anybody," Daboll said. "I think he's a fantastic player, a lot of good attributes, starting with his personality, his demeanor, his competitive stamina and toughness. He's a dog on the field. I'm excited to work with him."

Round-by-Round: A Summary of the Giants' Draft Picks

The Giants drafted safety Tyler Nubin with their second-round pick and Kentucky cornerback Andru Phillips the following round. The former Minnesota Golden Gopher will replace Xavier McKinney, who inked a free-agent deal with the Green Bay Packers, while Phillips adds much-needed depth to a thin defensive backfield.

Looking Forward: The Giants' Prospects After the Draft

New York might have uncovered a gem in the fourth round with the selection of Penn State tight end Theo Johnson. A projected second-round pick, the 2023 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention team performer caught 75 passes for 922 yards and 11 touchdowns during his time with the Nittany Lions. Johnson provides the Giants with insurance if veteran tight end Darren Waller opts to retire.

Purdue running back Tyrone Tracy Jr. was chosen in the sixth round. Tracey transferred to Purdue from Iowa after the 2021 season and rushed for 854 yards on 130 carries in 25 games with the Boilermakers. The former Decatur Central High School standout was tabbed a Second Team All-Big Ten selection last year and was a member of the Academic All-Big Ten squad.

The Giants selected UCLA linebacker Darius Muasau with their final pick in the seventh round. A two-time First-team All-Mountain West performer while suiting up for Fresno State, Muasau was named Second Team All-Pac-12 last year.

As the Giants integrate their new draft picks into the team, anticipation is high for the upcoming NFL season. With the draft complete, legal NFL sportsbooks are now adjusting their odds, reflecting the potential impact of their new roster. Malik Nabers and the other selections may significantly shift the team's dynamics, providing much-needed strength on both offense and defense. This change has fans hopeful that the Giants will climb out of their recent scoring slump and make a stronger showing in this year's games.

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