4 reasons why New York Giants need a top receiver in 2024 NFL Draft


The 2024 NFL Draft is just days away and the expectation is that Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, and Drake Maye will be the first three players selected.

This means when the New York Giants are on the clock, they can either select one of the next-tier quarterbacks such as J.J. McCarthy, or take one of the top three wide receivers (Marvin Harrison Jr, Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze) in this draft class.

Opinions on this topic vary and it’s unclear on which direction general manager Joe Schoen will go. But we’ll give four reasons why the Giants must select a top wideout instead of a ‘second-tier’ quarterback.

Rookie receivers pan out more than quarterbacks

New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York’s passing game has been putrid over the past several seasons. They haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Odell Beckham Jr in 2018, and they’ve had the 31st-ranked passing offense in two of the last three seasons. Acquiring one of the top three wideouts can finally give the G-Men a number-one receiving target.

The draft is a crapshoot as there have been countless players labeled as can’t-miss prospects who never lived up to their billing. However, if you look at the receivers taken with a top-10 overall pick over the last three years, they’ve all fared well.

Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, Devonta Smith, Drake London, and Garrett Wilson were all taken with a top-ten overall pick over the past three seasons, and all of them except London have at least two 1,000-yard receiving seasons on their resume.

If you look at quarterbacks taken in the top ten over that span (Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud) only Lawrence and Stroud have proven thus far that they were worthy to be taken in the top ten.

Playing quarterback is obviously a tougher position than receiver, but based on what they accomplished in college, Harrison Jr, Nabers, or Odunze would seem to be a safer option to live up to their pre-draft hype as opposed to taking the fourth-best quarterback in the draft.

New York Giants need someone to help win this season

Oct 8, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) walks onto the field prior to the game against the New York Giants at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

From what Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen have said this offseason, Daniel Jones will be the starter Week 1 if he’s healthy. If that’s true, that would mean the quarterback New York would take in the first round would seldom see the field, if at all, this season.

After going 6-11 a year ago, Schoen and Daboll can ill-afford another double-digit loss season, or else they could be out of a job. So they need to select a player that can help them win now and show ownership that the team is moving in the right direction. As we mentioned previously, over the past several seasons, rookie receivers have come into the league and have immediately become the focal point of an offense.

Related: Ranking the top five options for the New York Giants for the Round 2 of the NFL Draft

Giants can take a quarterback later in the draft

Oct 22, 2022; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) passes against the Texas A&M Aggies in the first quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

If the Giants decide to take a receiver in round one, that doesn’t mean they can’t draft their quarterback of the future in a later round. The Giants have done extensive work evaluating quarterbacks in this draft class, including Oregon’s Bo Nix and South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler.

New York hosted both Nix and Rattler on pre-draft visits, and it’s possible Nix could still be on the board when the team makes their second-round pick (47th overall), or they could take Rattler sometime on Day 2 of the draft.

Many feel Daboll is a quarterback guru, and if that’s the case, fans should feel confident that he can help groom a quarterback prospect who’s not taken in the first round.

Darius Slayton will be a free agent after the 2024 season

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As a general manager, you always have to be thinking two or three moves ahead, which means he has to have his eyes on upcoming free agents.

One of those players is Darius Slayton, who is entering the final year of his contract. Although he’s never had 800 receiving yards in a season, he is currently the team’s number-one wideout. Although he’s expressed how much he enjoys being a Giant, he didn’t attend voluntary workouts this week, and he might want a richer contract than the front office is willing to offer.

By taking a receiver in the first round this year, not only will they be poised to supplant Slayton as the number one option in 2024, but they won’t feel the void as much if Slayton leaves via free agency in 2025.

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft: 6 QBs in Round 1 with Raiders, Vikings and Broncos trades

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