Giants Mailbag: Is J.J. McCarthy the target at No. 6 in the 2024 NFL Draft?

This is an interesting offseason for the Giants. They made the playoffs in Year 1 of the Joe Schoen, Brian Daboll tenure. It’s now Year 3. You’d think this would be a team readying for a Super Bowl run.

Instead, the Giants regressed quite heavily in 2023. They looked like the team most felt they’d be in Year 1. This roster has holes. They’re still rebuilding. So the playoffs, even this coming season, are likely a longshot.

So how will Schoen and Daboll approach this offseason? Will they treat this team like one still years away, continue building it the right way? Will they go for the quick fix in hopes it appeases a city starved for success most of the last decade?

You’ll tell when free agency begins next week.

Before we get there, though, we figured it was time for a mailbag — address your concerns on the state of the Giants post-NFL Combine, pre-free agency madness.

Away we go …

Do you think they’ll go after a veteran quarterback like Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson or Jameis Winston? -- @DanTheMan57

That’s the route they’d take if they believed in Daniel Jones as much as they say publicly. But that’s simply not the case. The player the Giants paid is not the one they have now. Jones’ resume is littered with medical red flags (two neck injuries, knee surgery). He’s not someone you can rely on or trust to play 17 (maybe 18 soon) games. It became very clear in Indianapolis that Schoen is ready to draft his guy — either at No. 6, or by trading up.

Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels are the two I heard linked to New York the most. Maye, specifically, they’re high on. The problem is that they’re likely to go some variation of No. 2 and 3 after the Bears take Caleb Williams. The Giants' only hope of landing one is if the Patriots pivot away from the quarterbacks and take phenom Marvin Harrison Jr. third overall. That would allow the Giants to move up to No. 4 (Cardinals).

I’m not sure I’d go this route, but there were more than a few rumblings at the combine tying J.J. McCarthy to the Giants. There’s just nothing about the Michigan quarterback I personally find tantalizing. Those I touched base with were mixed, too — both draft analysis and league personnel. We’ll see.

The Giants are sitting there at No. 6. Do they take J.J. McCarthy, Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze? -- @MikeKing00

Pre-combine I’d have said Nabers. Post-combine I feel McCarthy.

After the NFL Combine do you feel the Giants are actively looking for Daniel Jones’ replacement? - @JosephBartacus

Yes they are. That’s obvious at this point. It’s understandable, too. It’s not that the Giants don’t believe Jones can play. He’s a player that, when surrounded with a good supporting cast, can take you into the playoffs. He won’t be the reason the Giants win a Super Bowl, but there is belief he can be the quarterback of a team that gets there. The problem with Jones is his injury history. The Giants can’t trust him anymore.

I’ll repeat this: The Giants made the right move signing Jones when they did. Forget the argument of his past versus his one season. The Giants won a playoff game. Who were they going to replace Jones with last offseason who would have been as good or better? Not Derek Carr, Jameis Winston or Baker Mayfield. They weren’t in a position to draft someone. They couldn’t trade up to draft someone because their roster had other holes. They brought Jones back on a contract that ranks near the middle of the pack — a fair deal. He then suffered another neck injury and blew out his knee. You can’t prepare for that.

Now Schoen finds himself drafting in the top 10. This is likely going to be his only shot to get his guy. You get the sense he’s going to. Jones will be on the roster in 2024. He’ll likely be the Giants’ Week 1 starter. He won’t be with them in 2025 and beyond, though.

Which free agents should the Giants target? - @JP11238156

Some fans were mixed on this one when I wrote it early, but Gabe Davis could be a really nice player for this offense. He’d give the receiving group some size it doesn’t already have. He was much better under Daboll, too, compared to Ken Dorsey or Joe Brady. I feel there’s a lot of untapped potential. Running back Zack Moss (if Saquon Barkley leaves) and guard Mike Onwenu, too.

Defensively: Pass rusher Bryce Huff. I’ve watched a ton of him with the Jets. He legitimately has a pass rush win rate that rivals Micah Parsons (Cowboys) and is coming off a 10-sack season where he played under 45 percent of the snaps. He might actually be better as a 3-4 outside linebacker than the defensive end he played with the Jets. He’d be a great complement to Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Do you think the Giants are willing to spend at the top of the market for interior offensive linemen? - @guerard_chris

Absolutely. Schoen realizes his miscalculation of what he had up front sank the Giants’ season before it ever began. The Giants desperately need to improve there. I wouldn’t rule out them dabbling near the top of both the offensive tackle and guard markets. If they come away with a true right tackle, they can kick Evan Neal inside. This might be the Giants' best line combination they’ve had in some time: Andrew Thomas, Neal, John Michael Schmitz, Mike Onwenu, Jonah Williams. I doubly like the potential addition of Williams as insurance for Thomas going down. He’s dealt with lower leg issues at various points of his career.