Giants Taking ‘Closer Look’ at Draft QB After Jayden Daniels Visit - Sport News

Giants Taking ‘Closer Look’ at Draft QB After Jayden Daniels Visit

The New York Giants are meeting with Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, but Big Blue plan on taking a “closer look” at national champion J.J. McCarthy ahead of the 2024 NFL draft.

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Daniels is meeting with the Giants on Thursday, March 28, but McCarthy will have a “private workout” with the team on Easter Sunday, according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. Leonard also noted assistant general manager Brandon Brown and quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney “were at McCarthy’s pro day,” but the Giants will conduct further research on the Michigan star.

The due diligence is proof the Giants are committed to at least exhausting every possible option at football’s most important position. Head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen still expect incumbent Daniel Jones to be the starter once he’s healthy, but team president John Mara has given the okay to draft a QB, even if it means trading up in Round 1.

J.J. McCarthy Within Giants’ Sights at No. 6
What’s significant about McCarthy’s planned workout is the Giants might not have to trade up to select him. There’s a good chance he’ll still be on the board when the Giants pick first at sixth overall.

Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Daniels are the marquee names in this class. The trio will likely to go to the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots in some kind of order.

McCarthy’s potential availability for the Giants is one reason why “we can at least dismiss the notion that their QB interest is a ‘smoke screen,’” per Dan Duggan of The Athletic. As Duggan put it, “Time is too valuable to travel around the country in a misdirection attempt.”

It’s also not as if the Giants don’t have room for a potential franchise quarterback. They paid Jones like one when they handed him a $160-million contract last offseason, but turnovers and neck and ACL injuries wrecked his 2023 season.

Jones needs to prove he can stay healthy and protect the football. Those are two ominous question marks for a QB1 to still have to shed entering his sixth season.

Daboll and Schoen might not wait for the answers if they’re impressed enough by McCarthy. The latter ought to have earned a glowing review from Brown and Tierney after impressing at his pro day, per WXYZ Detroit’s Brad Galli (h/t The 33rd Team).

J.J. McCarthy, Jayden Daniels Fit QB Profile for Giants
Daboll won with Jones in 2022 by unleashing the QB’s mobility. A running quarterback is a profile Daboll knows well from his days helping Josh Allen become a Pro Bowler for the Buffalo Bills.

The same profile also fits the would-be rookie signal-callers the Giants are assessing this year. Daniels was a rushing sensation for the Tigers, amassing 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground in 2023.

McCarthy isn’t the same kind of dynamic athlete on the move, but he still averaged 3.9 yards per attempt and rushed for 10 touchdowns during three years at Ann Arbor. More than his individual numbers, McCarthy is a winner, who went 27-1 as a starter.

He often leaned on Michigan’s powerful rushing attack and dissected coverage off of play action. The 21-year-old was exceptional in the play-action game in 2022, per PFF College.

That was the same year Jones produced 984 yards from 141 play-action attempts, according to Pro Football Reference. The playing styles match, so it’s not a stretch to think Daboll and Schoen will talk themselves into waiting for McCarthy or even trading up to get him on draft day.

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