UNC QB Drake Maye Giants’ New Focus?

There have been rumors aplenty in the last few weeks claiming that the Giants are extremely interested in drafting a quarterback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, so much so that they would be interested in trading up from the No. 6 overall pick. The rumors have had New York going in a lot of different directions with their trade up, and Ralph Vacchiano of FOX Sports has them going in another new direction with a focus on North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.

Only three days ago, Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post projected a trade up for the Giants that saw them taking LSU passer Jayden Daniels. He also claimed to be hearing that New York was highest on Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, but his projection had the national championship winner being selected one pick before by the Commanders. As a result, he predicted that the Giants would settle for the Heisman winner.

Earlier today, ESPN’s Jordan Raanan also connected Daniels to New York, this time claiming that he was one of the team’s favorites to look out for. According to Raanan, general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll both believe the LSU passer would be “an ideal fit in their offense.” He also noted McCarthy as a name to watch, especially if he’s still available by the sixth pick, rendering a trade up unnecessary.

Vacchiano posed a different view just two days ago. Vacchiano, like the others, points out that the Giants could certainly be tempted to trade up for a quarterback, but he specifies that it would need to be the right quarterback. He claims that Maye is the man who fits the bill. Vacchiano posits that if the Bears and Commanders select USC quarterback Caleb Williams and Daniels or McCarthy with their respective picks, the Giants would jump on the opportunity to trade up for Maye.

Maye has long been viewed as the top draft option following the near-certain No. 1 overall pick, Williams. Daniels was the first to rise quickly up draft boards and challenge Maye for that No. 2 spot, followed shortly by McCarthy. Now most mocks have all four of the picks to the open the draft being used on quarterbacks.

The biggest issue with most of these scenarios is that they assume the Patriots will be willing to move back. Like the Bears, Commanders, and Giants, while New England is home to multiple potential starters at the quarterback position, many have labeled passer as a position of need for the Patriots. Veteran Jacoby Brissett, last year’s backup Bailey Zappe, and former Canadian Football League star Nathan Rourke all bring something to the table, but there are many in the league who still believe the team will use their top draft pick to bring in a new competitor to start under center.

Regardless, with the big day still two and a half weeks out, everything is subject to change. Within the course of three days, we’ve seen different sources claim that McCarthy, Maye, and Daniels were all the preferred options for the Giants to pursue in a trade up at different times. Though the muddy waters often tend to clear up the closer we get to the draft, this year may be the exception as the waters seem muddy as ever.

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