Latest On Giants’ WR Interest; Team Considering Michael Penix Jr. At No. 6?

If the Giants do end up passing on a quarterback to fill their longstanding wide receiver need, Daniel Jones probably should not be too comfortable going into his sixth season with the team. New York has done exhaustive work on this draft’s QB class, and rumors continue on this front with the draft barely a day away.

Drake Maye is believed to be the Giants’ preference among the top-tier options in this draft, with’s Dan Graziano further confirming the North Carolina prospect should be considered higher on the team’s board than J.J. McCarthy. The Michigan product was believed to have momentum with the Giants for a while; that surge appears to have stalled.

The Giants join the Vikings as the teams who have been most aggressive about negotiating with the Patriots for No. 3 overall, per Graziano, who adds an interesting wrinkle. While Maye being there at 3 (as he is expected to in the likely event Washington chooses Jayden Daniels at 2) would drive Giants interest, the team also could be open to drafting Michael Penix Jr. as high as No. 6.

The Giants like Penix, though the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard notes they did not bring him in for a “30” visit. Maye, McCarthy and Daniels did trek to New York for official meetings. This is interesting due to a March report indicating the team did, in fact, schedule a visit with the Washington product.

Penix at 6 would be seen by many as a reach, given the knocks on his health and mechanics, but coaches are believed to be higher on the former Washington and Indiana QB compared to scouts. A report earlier this week also pointed to the southpaw passer going earlier than expected — perhaps even as high as No. 8 to the Falcons. Though it would be shocking to see the Falcons invest what they did in Kirk Cousins and then use a first-round pick on a passer, it is looking possible Penix could wind up in the top half of the first round. Teams eyeing the national championship game starter as a consolation prize — potentially via trade into the latter half of Round 1 — may not ultimately be able to execute such a contingency plan.

While not bringing Penix in for a visit, the Giants appear comfortable with his medicals. Penix suffered four straight season-ending injuries, before putting together back-to-back healthy seasons at Washington. Giants brass had dinner with Penix in Seattle, per Leonard, and QBs coach Shea Tierney worked with him closely at the Senior Bowl while serving as an offensive coordinator in the all-star game. Some teams have a second-round grade on Penix, others likely view him as an acceptable Round 1 option.

It does appear Penix looms as a potential Giants contingency plan, in the event efforts to move into the top four fail. However, the Giants also could have a Maye-or-bust (at QB, at least) approach in place. Most teams believe the Giants would pivot to staying at No. 6 and drafting a wide receiver if Maye proves out of their reach, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini adds.

Ranking last in the NFL in yards after catch last season and not seeing anyone accumulate 1,000 receiving yards since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018 (Eli Manning‘s final starter year), the Giants have certainly done extensive work on this draft’s top WRs. A recent report pointed to the team eyeing Malik Nabers at 6, though The Athletic’s Jeff Howe adds the team has shown “real interest” in Marvin Harrison Jr. Of course, the Cardinals have been closely tied to the Ohio State prospect; Arizona would stand to have first WR dibs if it does not trade down from No. 4. Howe still mocks Maye to the Patriots and McCarthy to the Giants.

Maye going to New England would seemingly test how serious Joe Schoen and Co. are about finding a Jones replacement. Jones going into a sixth season as an unchallenged starter would be one of this era’s stranger examples of QB staying power, but the Giants could also finally equip their embattled QB with a high-level pass catcher for the first time if they stay at 6. A major decision will loom for the team once the Commanders turn in their pick. Both the Patriots and Cardinals are prepared to discuss trades up to going on the clock.

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