Giants 2024 NFL Draft Grades For Every Pick

The New York Football Giants are at a crossroads and needed to make a splash with their premium picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Giants didn’t take a quarterback in the first round as many expected them to do. Instead, they opted for a superstar receiver from LSU, a school that has gained a reputation as a receiver factory in recent years.

Keep reading for individual Giants’ draft grades on each pick the team made in this year’s class, as well as an overall grade.

Round 1, Pick 6: Malik Nabers, Wide Receiver, LSU

One common critique is that the Giants didn’t take a quarterback with this pick. It’s a fair debate, as the QB is the most important position on the field. However, one of the worst things that you can do is to compound a mistake by making another mistake while trying to fix what you did wrong in the first place.

Reaching for a quarterback and taking the wrong guy while wasting a top-10 draft pick can set a franchise back by years. The Giants already made their initial mistake by signing Daniel Jones to a massive contract instead of giving some of that money to Saquon Barkley.

If they panicked and drafted a second-tier quarterback with a premium pick, it would have doomed their team even worse. Instead, the Giants got the player who profiles perfectly as an X wide receiver.

Jalin Hyatt is an explosive player who will make some highlight-reel plays, but he needs a true WR1 next to him to maximize his speed. Malik Nabers is that WR1. He has blazing speed, incredible route running skills, can get open against anyone in man coverage, and can take the top off a defense on any play. Outside of Marvin Harrison Jr., he has arguably the best hands in the class.

Nabers also has an unteachable skill: his intensity and passion for the game. While this has been misconstrued as a character flaw according to rumors during the pre-draft process, you want a receiver with self-confidence.

While the Giants are currently without an impact player at the quarterback position, there will be opportunities to address this. They could go after a veteran on the trade market, perhaps Kirk Cousins after Atlanta’s gamble on taking Michael Penix Jr. with the 8th overall pick.

While next year’s draft class is viewed as weak for quarterbacks, there are at least two promising prospects in Quinn Ewers and Shedeur Sanders. There will likely be one or two more players who make themselves known throughout the upcoming season.

The Giants will likely have another top-10 pick next year. If they fall in love with Ewers or Sanders, they’ll have the ammo to trade up and get their guy. Regardless of who the next franchise quarterback will be in New York, he’ll be stepping into a much-improved situation with Nabers on the outside as a go-to target.

Grade: A+

Round 2, Pick 47: Tyler Nubin, Safety, Minnesota

Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Tyler Nubin (27) celebrates a stop against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the fourth quarter at Huntington Bank Stadium. Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants had a slightly underrated defense last year, as that unit was quietly one of the team’s strengths and the only reason they were competitive in many games. That said, New York still needs impact players on that side of the ball.

Tyler Nubin can be a star in their secondary for years to come. Although this year’s safety class was unheralded overall, the former Minnesota star was the best player at the position on my big board and he has the potential to be a difference-maker for the Giants. Nubin has elite range due to his combination of speed, flexibility, and instincts. He’s a playmaker who will come down with interceptions and help cover up any mistakes made by the team’s cornerbacks on the outside.

In terms of play style, the former Gopher could fill a similar role to what Earl Thomas did for the Legion of Boom. This isn’t to say he’ll ever be as good as Thomas, but that’s a nearly impossible bar to reach anyway. If he can have half of the impact that Thomas had playing the same role, the Giants’ overall defense will be much better due to his contributions.

Grade: A+

Round 3, Pick 70: Andru Phillips, Cornerback, Kentucky

Andru Phillips is a talented cornerback, but the problem is that he’s most likely destined for a slot role in the NFL and the Giants desperately need a reliable outside corner. Maybe the Giants see something special in Phillips and believe they can convert him to a corner who can play outside in the NFL.

He is an instinctual player, and if he’s capable of matching up with top receivers on an island he could be a steal. With the addition of Nubin, perhaps Phillips as an outside corner in a primarily zone scheme makes some sense.

This isn’t a bad pick, it just might not have been ideal given what New York needed. Personally, I would have gone with Khyree Jackson.

Grade: C

Round 4, Pick 107: Theo Johnson, Tight End, Penn State

With this pick, it sure seems like the Giants are preparing for life without Darren Waller. Theo Johnson isn’t a bad pick by any means, but he needs to grow as a pass catcher to make a real impact on the team. Cade Stover might have been a better choice, and he was still on the board at this time.

If nothing else, Johnson has great size for the position at 6-foot-6 and should be able to carve out a role as a red zone weapon and make life easier for his quarterback. In order to really break out and make a name for himself, though, Johnson will have to improve his route running and become a weapon who can be a factor in the downfield passing game.

Grade: C+

Round 5, Pick 166: Tyrone Tracy Jr., Running back, Purdue

Purdue Boilermakers running back Tyrone Tracy Jr. (3) runs with the ball against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrone Tracy Jr. should instantly find a home on the Giants as a returner on special teams. He’s a dependable running back capable of breaking away for a home run play and he’ll consistently fight for extra yards.

The running back position has been devalued in recent years, and Tracy Jr. should be a solid contributor as a late-round pick. That in and of itself should make him a valuable selection, but it’s unlikely he’ll do enough to make Giants fans forget about Saquon Barkley anytime soon.

Don’t be surprised to see New York circle back and take a halfback in the second or third round next year. Look for Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson to be a potential addition to Big Blue.

Grade: B-

Round 6, Pick 183: Darius Muasau, Linebacker, UCLA

Darius Muasau lacks some physical tools, but he is an instinctual player who does an excellent job of identifying plays and picking his spots to shoot the gap and bring the opposing ball carrier down in the backfield. He’s a solid depth pick.

Grade: B+

Overall thoughts and final grade

The real value for the Giants in this year’s draft comes from their top two selections. The rest of their picks aren’t necessarily bad, but certainly won’t make for a memorable class. Luckily for the Giants, though, they absolutely crushed their first two picks.

Sure, they’ll get some heat from pundits for not taking a quarterback. JJ McCarthy was the trendy pick and was heavily linked to New York during the pre-draft process. Disregarding the unlikely chance of Caleb Williams falling, Drake Maye was the only quarterback the Giants really should have considered. If rumors are to be believed, New York did make a genuine attempt to trade up with the New England Patriots and acquire the third overall pick to add Maye.

Alas, a deal was not to be had and the Giants stood pat at number six. They didn’t reach for a quarterback and instead used that pick to add one of the best non-quarterback players in the class. Nabers has a claim as the second-best skill position player behind Marvin Harrison Jr., and according to rumors, some teams even believed Nabers to be a superior prospect to the Ohio State superstar.

This was a great pick for New York, and while Nabers might not dominate this year, this choice should pay dividends as soon as the Giants find their next franchise quarterback. the next step for the Giants is to acquire a quarterback in next year’s draft, even if that means mortgaging the future to trade up. They have added other pieces and that quarterback will be stepping into a much better situation than previously imagined.

Tyler Nubin could end up being a bit of a steal in the second round, as he has elite ballhawking ability and could have gone in the late first round. Look for Nubin to be an impact player in the defensive backfield as a rookie, and develop into a star in the years to come.

Overall grade: A-

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