The New York Giants have one of the worst records in the NFL right now, and they’re putting out one of the weakest on-field products we’ve seen on offense. It’s time to talk about possibly making a change at quarterback. At this point in the process, the conversation revolves around whether the Giants are in quarterback draft range, but which quarterback would they take?
The top quarterback options in this draft are USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye. Incumbent Daniel Jones was extended before this season, but there’s flexibility for the Giants to cut ties with Jones after the 2024 season.
That’s the main reason that, while I hate the Daniel Jones contract, it’s a contract that I can live with. There would be a solid cap hit, but the Giants can draft a quarterback in the 2024 draft with the intention of parting ways with Jones after the season.
The Giants could immediately go to the rookie, or they could let Jones start until they feel the rookie is ready or has a better-supporting cast. If Jones does start in 2024 over a rookie, he could perhaps increase his value for a team, maybe looking for a veteran option in 2025.
With Jones dealing with a plethora of injuries in recent years on top of him being an average quarterback at best, there’s no reason for the Giants not to look at taking a quarterback if they’re picking in the top two or even trading up if they need to get in position for a quarterback.
But for now, let's weigh the options between Williams and Maye. Right now, it's simply personal preference at this point, as physically, there isn’t a single thing that Williams and Maye can’t do for an offense.
The biggest selling point for Williams is his ability to extend plays with his legs and create plays out of structure. That’s not all he can do, but he excels there, and in a league where creativity and play-making ability have never been more valued from the quarterback position, it’s easy to see why Williams has been so highly regarded.
The two primary concerns for Williams are that defenses have decided to rush only three and drop eight into coverage, giving Williams fits as a passer, as I spoke about previously, and that he tends to make risky decisions, as evident by his 4% turnover-worthy play rate. Whether that’s holding onto the ball too long and taking unwarranted sacks or forcing the ball into coverage, it’s a concern for me when watching Williams play.
Maye isn’t as athletic, although he can get the job done. He's also the best passer in the country, in my opinion. Where Maye thrives is as a vertical passer, pushing the ball downfield along the sidelines.
My concerns surrounding Maye are that his mechanics need work; specifically his footwork, and his processing is inconsistent. His offense, under the two coordinators for whom he’s played, has made him either make top-down reads looking for vertical routes or work with one-read concepts.
Both quarterbacks will likely need a little bit of time, whether that’s an offseason, preseason, or regular season games, to adapt to a more pro-style offense. Neither of the moves will be too drastic, and both quarterbacks should have offenses catered to their needs, featuring concepts they’re comfortable with from college but slightly adjusted.
When looking at which of these players the Giants should draft if they have the opportunity, the answer is whichever one is available. It’s likely that these quarterbacks are going to be the first and second overall picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. They both have the physical tools to become franchise quarterbacks at the next level. However, Joe Schoen and the Giants brass will likely favor one over the other. If they can't get the one they favor and the other one doesn't have the second-highest grade on their board, it's certainly feasible that the Giants will go in a different direction.
For me, Maye is QB1 right now in the entire draft class, but it’s a close enough call where it simply comes down to personal preference for the coach. Williams has a higher ceiling but is the bigger risk compared to Maye.
If the Giants fall out of the top two, I hope that Schoen calls up whoever is in the top two to trade up and grab one of these quarterbacks. Owning the Seahawks' second-round pick in the 2024 draft should give the Giants the necessary ammunition to move up.
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