John Mara’s Comments Suggest Giants Could Still Pursue a Top Quarterback in the Draft

The Giants' chances of landing a premier prospect at the No. 6 pick is being contested, but team ownership is ready to let the front office pull the trigger to land their future quarterback.

President of the New York Giants, John Mara, is shown at MetLife Stadium before his team hosts the
President of the New York Giants, John Mara, is shown at MetLife Stadium before his team hosts the / Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

For all those who think the New York Giants are beginning to slide out of favor with the quarterback market in the final month before the NFL Draft, John Mara might want you to think again. 

In the wake of what the team owner deemed a “disappointing” 2023 season, the Giants have long been considered a team in the running to bid on one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft. With the No. 6 pick and a fading trust in starter Daniel Jones, who has multiple injuries on his resume, New York has had more than enough reasons to pursue the next gunslinger of their future. 

However, it is smoke season in the NFL and recent reports have tried to suggest that the Giants may not be seated high enough to land a piece of the pie. Caleb Williams is expected to be a lock at No. 1 to Chicago while the Commanders and Patriots will have their choice of Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye in the following two selections. 

Once the board gets to the fourth pick, owned by the Arizona Cardinals, things could get interesting. The Cardinals could trade the pick to one of the franchises below the Giants to allow them to hop New York and snag the next arm off the board. This has led to concerns that the Giants won’t be able to land a guy like Michigan’s JJ McCarthy at their current slot and will have to either move up or sell out for a quarterback pick in the later rounds. 

Mara, while saying he would not meddle with the ultimate decision of Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll on draft night, doesn’t believes the Giants are not out of the reach of a star quarterback and said he is willing to play the moving up game if that’s what the organization wants to do. 

“I certainly would support that,” Mara told reporters from the NFL’s annual owners meeting in Orlando, Florida. “I’m certainly not going to stand in the way of them.”

For most of their history, the Giants have been extremely reluctant to move up the draft board, unless it’s for a prospect they really love and view as the game changer for their franchise. Mara recalled the days of his father’s reign of the team when there was hesitancy to trade up for future Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning in the 2004 draft. 

While the Manning move ultimately panned out for the Giants, they may be more hesistant to pull the trigger this time around. Along with needing a future quarterback, the roster is still missing a few positions that need to be filled via the draft, such as cornerback, safety, running back and offensive line that is always in need of depth. 

The draft will have to be the place where they do most of that, as the cap space has been soaked by free agent signings with only enough capital left for cheap veteran and rookie contracts. Yet, if the Giants feel their newest franchise quarterback is within reach if they just gamble some and the value outweighs that of waiting till later on, Mara is fully on board with supporting the decision. 

“If they have a conviction on a quarterback and they fall in love with a quarterback, I’m certainly not going to stand in the way of them,” Mara said. 

The biggest issue will be exactly what or how much draft capital that will gamble in an exchange. As it stands now, the Giants only hold six total selections in April after one of their second-round picks via Seattle was sent to Carolina as part of the Brian Burns deal. That could leave the Giants forced to ship away future picks or even in-house assets, something that isn’t ideal during a rebuild. 

Regardless, the Giants need to address the future of the quarterback position as soon as they can. The expectation is for Daniel Jones to start Week 1 if he is healthy and be backed up or replaced in the interim by Drew Lock. Those two have shown enough promise in their careers to be the long-term solution for the Big Apple’s passing famine. 

With one of the most talented quarterback pools in recent time, the Giants must get this one right. They can’t afford to pass up on a pro ready player if the chance is there, and the entire organization, including Mara, is realizing this and ready to act on it to flip the script of their draft history. 

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