Giants Rumors

Giants Could Wait For QB In Draft

APRIL 22: Adding to the idea New York could pass on a first-round signal-caller, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post notes the Giants could be prepared to move down if J.J. McCarthy were the top passer still on the board at No. 6. That could result in a trade-down maneuver and leave the team in range for one of the second-tier QBs. Dunleavy adds that a factor which could alter that approach is the possibility of acquiring Maye, which falls in line with the Meirov report.

APRIL 21: Ever since Daniel Jones tore his ACL last season, putting to rest any chances of rebounding from an abysmal start to lead his team to the playoffs for the second year in a row, there has been constant chatter in New York about committing a first-round draft pick to the quarterback position. According to Ari Meirov of the 33rd Team, the Giants may not be all-in on using their current top pick, No. 6 overall, to draft a passer.

The Giants rewarded Jones’ playoff season, in which he led the league in fewest interceptions per pass attempt, with a four-year, $160MM contract. His first year under the new deal obviously did not go according to plan, but New York has claimed on multiple occasions that it does not regret committing to Jones and isn’t quite ready to give up on him. Still, they let it be known that they had plans to add a quarterback in the future; Jones’ injury history necessitated it.

Now, they actually have to address how that will work. Most projections for how the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft will play out see a run of four quarterbacks opening the night. While that’s not guaranteed, if it occurs, the Giants would likely not see any of the quarterbacks they want fall back to them. That hasn’t stopped many mock drafts from predicting a quarterback to New York via a trade up into the Cardinals’ No. 4 overall slot.

Meirov tells us that league rumors state that North Carolina passer Drake Maye is the only one of the passers not named “Caleb Williams” that the Giants would consider going after if he started to slip. It’s expecting quite a bit to think that Maye could find his way down to the sixth pick, but this could be insinuating that New York would trade up to the fourth pick if the Commanders and Patriots both pass on Maye.

If not, though, Meirov believes that they could address another position, like offensive tackle or wide receiver, at No. 6 overall then wait until the second round to select a quarterback. It depends how things play out, but both Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix were thought of as Day 2 picks at some point. The run of passers at the top of the draft may mean that Penix and Nix hear their names a little earlier than their value (for instance, the Raiders have constantly been connected to Penix at No. 13 overall), but should either quarterback slip back into the second round, consider them top targets for the Giants.

If they particularly like Penix or Nix and see them starting to slip in the first round, they may decide to trade back into the first round, or they could leverage their No. 6 overall pick to trade back and collect more picks without addressing the offensive line or receiving corps then pick one of the two passers. If they miss out on both Penix and Nix they may have to reach (or trade back a little in the second round) for South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler, widely thought to have a third-round value or later.

Regardless, the Giants have lots of options. They remain committed to Jones but still feel the need to add a rookie to the room. Just how they decide to go about adding that rookie could say a lot about how they feel about Jones heading into 2024.

J.J. McCarthy Latest: Giants, Jones, Vikings, Patriots

Insistent they have not given up on Daniel Jones, the Giants have still put in plenty of work on drafting his potential replacement. Holding the No. 6 overall pick, the Giants may need to move up to land the passer of their choice.

One such passer may be losing steam with regards to being the target of a trade-up maneuver. The Giants do not appear to be in lockstep on being ready to trade up for J.J. McCarthy, Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano tweets. The Giants have met with McCarthy and put him through a separate workout.

They been linked to the Michigan passer for a while, but it is possible — barring, of course, a smokescreen effort is in the works — the extensive homework has led to the team determining the fast-rising QB is not who they would want. On the subject of smokescreens, multiple late-March reports point to the Giants indeed being interested in McCarthy. One suggested many around the NFL believe the ex-Wolverines standout would be Big Blue’s target.

This Giants pre-draft process, from Jones’ murky future to their QB-or-WR decision, has become quite confusing. Vacchiano expects the Giants to stay at No. 6 and draft a wide receiver; they brought in this class’ top three options for visits in March.

Recent ties to Drake Maye have come out of New York, and it is possible the team has the North Carolina prospect — who has resided on or near the top QB tier much longer than McCarthy — graded higher. Adding to this,’s Daniel Jeremiah said recently (h/t Big Blue View) if the Vikings are not the McCarthy team near the top of the draft, he does not necessarily know who would be.

The Vikings, of course, would need to trade up from No. 11 to move within striking distance of this draft’s top QBs. They appear ready to do so. Minnesota’s desired QB is not known, though GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said the team would be OK with multiple options in this draft, calling this a “very deep class.” The Vikings, however, only have a placeholder QB — in Sam Darnold — while the Giants have Jones signed through 2026.

Year 1 of Jones’ second contract went poorly, even before the ACL tear, leading to this exhaustive research effort on locating a potential replacement. The Giants can break free of Jones’ contract with less than $12MM in dead money — in the event of a post-June 1 cut — next year. While Giants GM Joe Schoen called a report of the team having Jones buyer’s remorse “not true,” Jeremiah added during a recent TV appearance he believes the Giants are doing entirely too much work on QBs for the team to be committed to Jones moving forward.

Jeremiah suggested a Patriots-Giants swap, indicating the Patriots — who are believed to be high on McCarthy — could get what they want by moving down. That said, the Pats sliding from 3 to 6 would leave them vulnerable to missing out on the draft’s top four arms. The Cardinals and Chargers have both indicated they are open to trading out of Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, and Los Angeles has already entered talks about moving down. This complicates matters for the QB-needy (or QB-curious, in the Giants’ case) teams outside the top four.

Coming off a national championship, McCarthy has seen his accuracy, leadership and run in Jim Harbaugh‘s pro-style system move him up the board during the pre-draft process. Though, he has also been docked for lower-octane numbers when compared to the other QBs at or near the top of the 2024 crop. It still seems like McCarthy will end up on the Patriots, Giants, Vikings or Broncos, as Jeremiah does not see him sliding past No. 12 (Denver’s slot). But the Giants may not be the favorite to come away from this draft with the 21-year-old prospect.

Giants Receiving Calls On No. 6 Pick; Team Denies Buyer’s Remorse On Daniel Jones

This could be a defining draft for the Giants; if nothing else, it could determine the course of the Joe SchoenBrian Daboll partnership. The team has done extensive work on quarterbacks. This included “30” visits with Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy and Jayden Daniels.

Rumors have emerged connecting the Giants to both Maye and McCarthy. These come as the Giants’ party line continues to center around Daniel Jones being on track to be back by training camp and reclaim his starting job. A move up the board for a quarterback would be complicated, as the Vikings — and perhaps to a lesser extent the Broncos and Raiders — have been tied to trying to do the same. A climb up from No. 6 overall also would spell the end of Jones’ run as the team’s starter, as the Giants could get off Jones’ four-year, $160MM deal fairly easily (via a post-June 1 cut) in 2025.

[RELATED: John Mara OKs First-Round QB]

Internal concerns about Jones exist, according to’s Jordan Raanan, with the QB’s health history being the team’s main issue. But Schoen said reports of the team having buyer’s remorse on the 2023 contract are “not true.” Then again, it is not like a GM would reveal otherwise a week before a pivotal draft. But Jones’ status as New York’s unquestioned starter is up in the air as the draft approaches.

An expectation around the NFL points to four quarterbacks going in the top four, Raanan adds; that would mark an NFL first. With the Bears tied to Caleb Williams and the Commanders increasingly linked to Daniels at 2, the Giants may need to move up for Maye or McCarthy.

Recent reports indicated Maye is the player more likely of interest to Big Blue, but until the Commanders make it official with Daniels, no trade may be happening. The Patriots have begun discussions about moving down from No. 3, and the Cardinals are open to sliding down from 4. Although rumors about the Giants going QB in Round 1 have circulated for months, nothing is imminent yet.

I don’t think anyone is ready to move right now,” Schoen said. “I know people are listening. We’ll all do that, from teams behind us or moving up. Those exploratory talks and conversations will happen here shortly. … Those conversations will happen, over the next 42 or 78 hours those will start happening. You’ll get a feel for who is open to moving and who is no.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Giants’ No. 6 choice has generated a few calls. The Giants not trading up for a quarterback would put them in ideal position to address their longstanding wide receiver need, and the team has hosted the top three in this draft (Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze). But Schoen said teams have called to discuss the Giants moving down from 6. With Schoen adding (via the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard) he does not view the Giants as simply one or two players away, the team could consider moving down.

Surprisingly at 6, we’ve gotten a lot of calls from people behind us,” the third-year GM said. “I didn’t think I would have as much as activity from 6 from people behind me as we’ve gotten. So those are options too as we look at: If we go back, how far back do we want to go?

The Giants, who have not seen a 1,000-yard receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018, taking a receiver at 6 could put Jones in the clear. While the 2019 No. 6 overall pick being unchallenged for a job in his sixth year would be a bit odd when considering his resume, the Giants also hosted Bo Nix and Spencer Rattler on pre-draft visits.

That marks five QB meetings out of 30 allotted visits, and a Nix move could potentially come in Round 2. Though, it might take the Giants trading up from No. 47 to acquire the Oregon QB. Rattler is not viewed as a candidate to go in the first round; the Senior Bowl MVP should be expected to be available when the Giants go on the clock in Round 2.

Even one of these passers being chosen would mean a competition — at some point — involving Jones, who will see a $12MM injury guarantee shift to a full guarantee in March 2025. Jones said this week (via Raanan) he has not experienced any setbacks during his ACL recovery and called his 2023 neck injury “just a stinger.” Concerns about Jones’ neck would be valid, as the five-year Giants starter missed much of the 2021 season — ahead of a 2022 surgery — due to a neck injury.

Jones’ future in New York probably hinges on the Giants’ draft moves, but as of now, he is the clear-cut starter ahead of Drew Lock and Tommy DeVito. Jones is doing quarterback drills now, per the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy, and has resumed throwing. Whether he returns to full work as the team’s unquestioned starter once again or is suddenly a lame duck after the Giants select a QB will be one of this year’s defining draft storylines.

Draft Rumors: 49ers, Corley, Commanders, Bears, Alt, Giants, Eagles, Seahawks, Steelers, Vikings, Lions

No Brandon Aiyuk trade request has emerged yet, separating this situation from the Deebo Samuel saga from 2022. Samuel receiving an extension later that year complicates matters for Aiyuk, who has needed to wait longer to enter extension territory due to being a former first-round pick. As this remains a storyline to monitor ahead of the draft, the 49ers scheduled a notable visit. Western Kentucky wide receiver Malachi Corley stopped through team headquarters, per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, just before the deadline for “30” visits this week.

Playing a role in the Hilltoppers’ Bailey Zappe-led aerial fireworks in 2021, Corley enjoyed a more prominent position in the mid-major team’s passing attack over the past two years — each 11-touchdown campaigns.’s Lance Zierlein threw out Samuel as a comp for Corley, who is projected to be a second-round pick. Though, he will be unlikely to be available by the time San Francisco’s No. 63 slot arrives. With big-ticket expenses at three other skill-position spots (and Brock Purdy eligible for a re-up in 2025), the 49ers have a major decision to make with Aiyuk soon.

Here is the latest from the draft ranks:

  • The Giantsquarterback-or-wide receiver decision at No. 6 figures to be one of this draft’s most important, but the team did bring in some first-round prospects who do not play those positions. Tackle Joe Alt and edge rusher Dallas Turner visited the team recently, per the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz. Highly unlikely to draft Turner due to the Brian Burns trade and Kayvon Thibodeaux‘s status, the Giants could conceivably consider Alt. The All-American Notre Dame left tackle would need to be moved to the right side, however, and Schwartz reaffirms a recent report that indicates the team has not given up on keeping 2022 No. 7 overall pick Evan Neal at tackle.
  • Now that Cooper DeJean went through a workout following a broken fibula suffered in November, a few teams brought him in for visits. The Iowa cornerback met with the Bills previously, and’s Ian Rapoport notes the Seahawks, Steelers and Eagles hosted the talented cover man on “30” visits before Wednesday’s deadline. Our Ely Allen recently examined the first-round-caliber CB’s prospect stock.
  • Staying at corner, both the Vikings and Lions brought in the well-traveled Terrion Arnold for pre-draft visits,’s Tom Pelissero tweets. The Alabama corner, who slots as the top player at the position (No. 9 overall) on Daniel Jeremiah’s big board, also met with the Cardinals, Titans, Falcons and Jaguars during the draft run-up. The Lions, whose CB situation changed after the Cameron Sutton arrest/release, also brought in Arnold teammate Kool-Aid McKinstry recently.
  • Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson, he of a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, made two more visits before visit season ended. The Bears and Commanders brought in the intriguing DE prospect, Rapoport adds. In need of D-end help after trading Montez Sweat to the Bears, the Commanders hold the No. 40 pick as a result of that trade. Washington carries Nos. 36 and 40, while Chicago does not have a second-round pick this year. Linked to a potential WR-or-Brock Bowers call at No. 9, the Bears may not be in the value range for Robinson, whom Jeremiah slots as this draft’s No. 21 overall talent.
  • The Seahawks met with Bo Nix and have a clear connection to Michael Penix Jr., with new OC Ryan Grubb having coached the latter at Washington. With Geno Smith on a flexible contract that runs through 2025, Seattle brought in South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler for a pre-deadline visit, per Schultz. Slotted as the No. 7 QB on Mel Kiper Jr.’s big board, Rattler met with the Giants this week as well. The former Oklahoma recruit earned Senior Bowl MVP honors in January.

Giants’ Darius Slayton Staying Away From Workouts, Seeking New Deal

APRIL 18: As could be expected, no Giants-Slayton extension talks have taken place. Although understanding the wide receiver’s pursuit, GM Joe Schoen confirmed (via Raanan) nothing is brewing on this front as the draft nears.

APRIL 17: Darius Slayton went from needing to take a pay cut on his rookie contract to leading a playoff team in receiving. The former fifth-round pick repeated that feat last year. Slayton is no stranger to being Daniel Jones‘ top target; he has led the Giants in receiving in four of his five NFL seasons.

Attached to a two-year, $12MM deal that calls for a $2.5MM 2024 base salary, Slayton is staying away from the first phase of Giants offseason workouts. The sixth-year wideout is seeking a new contract,’s Jordan Raanan reports.

This comes shortly after it became known Courtland Sutton, who effectively leapfrogged Jerry Jeudy to become the Broncos’ No. 1 target once again last season, was staying away in hopes of a better deal. Neither receiver can be fined for being absent from offseason workouts until the teams’ respective June minicamps. Unlike Sutton, Slayton is signed for only one more season; he is due for free agency once again in 2025.

Slayton, 27, responded to the Giants’ late-summer pay cut by leading the 2022 team in receiving by more than 150 yards. With the Giants missing badly on wide receiver investments Kenny Golladay (free agency) and Kadarius Toney (Round 1) in 2021, Slayton became vital for Brian Daboll‘s first roster. The Giants lost Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson to season-ending injuries that year, increasing their reliance on Slayton, who went from being buried on the depth chart to accumulating 724 yards to boost the ’22 team to the divisional round.

The Giants circled back to Slayton in free agency, giving him that $12MM deal to go with a Shepard re-signing and a Parris Campbell addition. The latter two wideouts made little impact last season, and Slayton continued to be Big Blue’s top receiver. Even with Darren Waller acquired, Slayton led last year’s team (770 yards) by nearly 200. In his prime earning period, Slayton will make an early attempt to do better ahead of Year 6.

Like Sutton, Slayton has been consistently in the 700-yard range. Slayton has four 700-plus-yard seasons but no 1,000-yard years. Similarly to Sutton, Slayton has not enjoyed great circumstances. Jones’ $40MM-per-year contract notwithstanding, he has not given the Giants a strong option at quarterback. Issues along the offensive line have hurt the team, but Jones has just one QBR season in the top 16 and has cleared 15 TD passes in one of his five campaigns. Slayton leading the team with his run of 700-yard years is emblematic of the Giants’ aerial struggles. The Giants have not boasted a 1,000-yard receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018.

The Giants, of course, do not have to adjust Slayton’s contract. And the 6-foot-1 target’s place in the Giants’ receiver hierarchy may soon change, should the team address its receiver need by using the No. 6 overall pick on one of this draft’s top options. An offense featuring Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze would shift Slayton to the WR2 role. Unless this Giants regime has come around on Slayton — after reducing his pay from 2.54MM to $985K two years ago — the Dave Gettleman-era draftee may need to prove it again ahead of free agency in 2025. Harrison, Nabers and Odunze each visited the Giants in March.

If the Giants draft one of the top three receivers, Slayton would undoubtedly see his role change. The team used a third-round pick on outside option Jalin Hyatt, and Robinson remains under contract for slot work. Unlike Jones, Slayton would stand to benefit from the Giants using the No. 6 pick to trade up for a quarterback while tabling their receiver need to Day 2.

More Bill Belichick Fallout: Kraft, Falcons, Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, Commanders

Plenty has emerged in the wake of Bill Belichick going from eight-time Super Bowl champion to unemployed, but as the legendary coach regroups, some additional information about what went down in Atlanta — along with other teams’ coaching searches — has come to light.

Connecting some dots based on what has previously come out this offseason,’s Don Van Natta, Seth Wickersham and Jeremy Fowler report in an expansive piece that Falcons execs dissuaded Arthur Blank from hiring Belichick and Robert Kraft played a major role in the process that ended up veering away from an overqualified candidate who had initially appeared the favorite for the job Raheem Morris now has.

On the morning of the day Morris became the pick, Belichick still viewed himself as likely to land the job. Blank confirmed the 24-year Patriots HC did not ask him for personnel control, but power brokering — given Belichick’s outsized influence and experience — is believed to have still gone down in Atlanta’s front office. As a result, Belichick felt “blindsided” by the Morris hire.

CEO Rich McKay and GM Terry Fontenot did not want to work with Belichick, according to ESPN, which adds the six-time Super Bowl-winning HC was willing to work with the fourth-year GM (while confirming he and McKay’s less-than-stellar relationship). A previous report pointed to Belichick’s concern with Fontenot and the Falcons’ overall power structure. Fontenot, McKay and Falcons president Greg Beadles were part of the Falcons’ second Belichick interview.

Going so far as to reveal Falcons brass’ final rankings for the HC job, Fowler, Van Natta and Wickersham indicate Belichick did not finish in the top three for the Atlanta position. Beyond unanimous top choice Morris, Mike Macdonald and Texans OC Bobby Slowik respectively slotted second and third in this process.

Kraft is believed to have played a role in Blank backing off his initial hope to hire Belichick. A conversation between Blank and his longtime friend came after the Jan. 15 Blank-Belichick yacht meeting, and ESPN reports the Patriots owner warned the Falcons boss not to trust the accomplished HC.

Seeing as this comes during an offseason that has seen more information come out — via the much-discussed The Dynasty series — about Kraft’s issues with Belichick, it is hardly surprising the longtime Pats owner would provide such a warning. Robert Kraft, who considered ousting Belichick after 2022 (before son Jonathan Kraft advised against), referred to Belichick as “very, very, very arrogant, per ESPN. A Robert Kraft spokesman denied the owner, who was naturally complimentary of the game’s second-winningest HC upon the January separation, disparaged Belichick to Blank.

Belichick had already assembled a coaching staff, with some familiar names indeed believed to be part of it. Beyond plans to bring Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge aboard, former Texans VP (and Patriots staffer) Jack Easterby was on the radar to be part of a Belichick Atlanta staff. Falcons execs expressed reservations about this staff, with ESPN adding Blank also questioned why this group failed elsewhere. Belichick reportedly responded by saying this group was comprised of “better soldiers than generals.” Judge has since joined Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss staff. The Texans moved on from Easterby in 2022.

New Commanders GM Adam Peters, a Patriots scout in the 2000s, discussed the HC position with Belichick. Minority owner Magic Johnson pushed for Washington to hire the Maryland native, but Josh Harris — who spoke to Kraft about Belichick in December — had decided he would not make that move. We had heard previously the NBA and NHL owner wanted a more collaborative approach, which many current NFL owners prefer, rather than handing the keys to one person. With Harris wanting a front office-oriented leadership structure, Peters has final say on Commanders football matters. Belichick was not interested in the Chargers.

The three other NFC East HC jobs may well be open in 2025, and ESPN notes Belichick would be interested in the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants positions — should they open up. The Eagles did work on Belichick before determining Nick Sirianni would stay, with Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman viewed as fans of the future Hall of Famer, and the former has been close with Jerry Jones for many years. Lurie looks to have joined the Falcons in expressing hesitancy in greenlighting a Belichick move that would bring major changes while qualifying as a short-term fix.

Belichick, who turned 72 on Tuesday, is now six years older than the oldest HC ever hired (Bruce Arians). Any team that considers a 2025 hire would be adding someone who will turn 73 before coaching his next NFL game.

A Belichick confidant also expressed doubt the former Giants DC would earn another HC job unless Jones signs off on a Cowboys hire. Mike McCarthy‘s lame-duck status will keep Belichick rumors going, it would seem, but for now, a TV gig appears in the works. Belichick is expected to join Peyton Manning‘s Omaha Productions for analysis-based work. ESPN’s Pat McAfee also announced Belichick will be part of his show’s draft coverage (video link).

Fifteen wins shy of Don Shula‘s career record, Belichick is believed to have informed allies he expects to land at least one interview next year. While the NFC East jobs are worth monitoring, the bumps the Patriot Way has taken — coupled with Belichick’s age and implied threat to organizations’ status quos — leave it far from certain he will have a third opportunity to lead an NFL team.

Giants Meet With Bo Nix, Spencer Rattler

While consistent rumors have connected the Giants to trading up from No. 6 for a quarterback, other teams outside the top three will be interested in doing so as well. This could lead to the Giants going elsewhere at 6 and still eyeing a QB investment later in the draft.

On this note, two quarterbacks that are not viewed as in play to go in the top 10 met with the team this week. Oregon’s Bo Nix and South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler stopped through New York for “30” visits,’s Mike Garafolo tweets.

Nix’s itinerary has featured a few meetings already — with the Raiders, Seahawks and Vikings — and Broncos connections have persisted. A rumor about the Giants circling back to Nix or Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. emerged recently, however, even as the Giants have done continued work on this draft’s top QB tier (non-Caleb Williams division).

As we covered in the most recent Trade Rumors Front Office installment, the Giants face a big-picture decision centering on whether they can go into another season with Daniel Jones as the unchallenged starter or if this No. 6 pick needs to be used to acquire a replacement. The Giants also have failed in their attempts to give Jones an upper-crust wide receiver.

Considering the QB needs that will be filled to start the draft, the Giants are guaranteed to have one of this draft’s receiver top tier available to them if they stay at 6. The receiver route would leave Big Blue’s QB position with an uncertain future, but the team can also attempt to move back up for a Nix-type prospect.

The Giants have met with Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels and J.J. McCarthy. A reality in which each of these passers is unavailable — due to the Cardinals perhaps accepting another team’s trade offer to climb to No. 4 — is not difficult to envision. While the Giants have been mocked recently to be the team that trades up to No. 4, the Vikings, Broncos and Raiders also loom as contenders. Minnesota acquiring a second first-round pick makes the NFC North team the logical top threat to a Giants path up the board.

Mel Kiper Jr.’s big board slots Nix and Rattler, respectively, as the draft’s sixth- and seventh-ranked QB prospects. Daniel Jeremiah’s offering places Nix 29th overall, with Rattler not in the top 50. A recent rumor suggested the Broncos not nabbing Nix could induce a Will Levis-like slide down the draft board. This would benefit the Giants, who do not pick again until No. 47. The team traded No. 39 to the Panthers for Brian Burns. The team holds one third-round pick as well. Dane Brugler’s mock draft for The Athletic has Nix remaining on the board until No. 52 (Rams) and Rattler going to the Broncos in Round 3.

Like Nix, Rattler transferred after three seasons (at Oklahoma). Unlike the eventual Pac-12 standout, Rattler did not post elite numbers at his second school. Rattler’s best season came back with Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma in 2020. Not eclipsing 20 touchdown passes in either of his two Gamecocks seasons, Rattler did complete a program-record 67.5% of his passes last season. Scouts mentioned Levis and Sam Howell as potential comps for Rattler.

QB Prospect Notes: Williams, Patriots, Commanders, Giants

Caleb Williams is still expected to hear his name called first during next week’s draft, but the USC quarterback didn’t make the best impression on teams during the pre-draft process. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Williams’ interviews with teams were described as “good, not great” and “just OK.”

As Fowler notes, Williams declined medical exams and only did a handful of interviews, where he didn’t show the same poise and preparation as his fellow QB prospects. Naturally, some teams assumed this was a “byproduct of being a player who knows he’s going No. 1.” While Williams’ pre-draft strategy wasn’t considered a personality red flag by scouts, one AFC executive believes Williams left the door open for the Bears to pivot.

“I don’t think he’s had a great spring,” the executive told Fowler. “He’s still going first. That’s pretty much a done deal. But while he was a no-brainer three months ago, there’s at least a conversation now. Even still, I think he’s a smart kid, a good kid. He just knows where he’s going.”

Perhaps partly due to Williams’ offseason showing, there are some coaches who have actually graded LSU’s Jayden Daniels over the USC QB, per Adam Caplan of Of course, the only opinion that matters belongs to the Bears, but this recent grading adjustment at least leads Caplan to surmise that Daniels will be selected ahead of North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

While Maye is an underdog to be selected in the top-two, it’s no longer a guarantee that he’s even chosen with the third-overall pick. As Albert Breer of notes, there’s a “healthy debate” in New England between Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. While there’s still a chance the Patriots trade out of the No. 3 spot in pursuit of future picks, Breer believes owner Robert Kraft “views this as a rare chance to get a quarterback at this level.” The organization has certainly made it clear they’re eyeing all of the top-tier prospects, as the Patriots have met with Daniels, Maye, and McCarthy.

Washington is currently sitting with the second-overall pick, and they’ve been equally active in scouting QB prospects. Interestingly, the team will be hosting all of Daniels, Maye, McCarthy, and Washington’s Michael Penix for their top-30 visits at the same time, per Breer. This stems from GM Adam Peters‘ experience from San Francisco, where the 49ers would bring in groupings of prospects to see how they interact with peers.

With the Cardinals and Chargers likely out of the running for a top QB prospect, the Giants are next in line at the position behind Chicago, Washington, and New England. There’s been recent buzz that the Giants could look to move up (per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post) or even move back (per Fowler, via WBG84), but either way, it’s pretty clear the organization is targeting a signal-caller.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic believes the Giants are high enough on Maye that they’d swing a trade up the draft board. The writer also believes the organization isn’t enamored with McCarthy, perhaps necessitating a trade back if the Michigan QB is there at No. 6. If the Giants do end up trading back, Duggan could see a scenario where the team is actively pursuing Penix or Oregon’s Bo Nix in the back half of the first round.

Draft Notes: Newton, Lions, Latu, Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets, Eagles, Broncos, Cardinals, Commanders, Giants, Panthers

Wednesday marks the final day for “30” visits during this year’s cycle. Illinois defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton is on the way back from a January surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his foot. Newton went through a belated pro day in Champaign on Tuesday, per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, who noted more than eight teams were in attendance. The Lions are not one of the teams Schultz named, but the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett notes Newton did go through a visit with the defending NFC North champs. A first-team All-American and reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Newton played through his foot injury last season — a 7.5-sack slate. The acclaimed DT, who ranks as the No. 32 overall prospect on Daniel Jeremiah’s big board, also recorded 14.5 tackles for loss in 2022.

Here is the latest from the draft scene:

  • Speaking of the Lions, they are also believed to be high on NC State linebacker Payton Wilson, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman notes (subscription required). Last season’s Bednarik award winner (given to Division I-FBS’ top defender), Wilson ranks 41st on Jeremiah’s big board. In need at linebacker, the Cowboys are also believed to be intrigued by Wilson, though Feldman adds some teams are too concerned about his medical history to consider drafting him. Season-ending knee and shoulder injuries halted Wilson in 2018 and 2021, respectively, but the six-year Wolfpack cog has been healthy over the past two years.
  • The Bills have brought in two likely first-round defenders, hosting edge rusher Laiatu Latu and cornerback Cooper DeJean (via Schultz and’s Ian Rapoport). Holding the No. 28 overall pick, Buffalo saw a concerning season from Von Miller (zero sacks after a second ACL rehab journey) and did not re-sign Leonard Floyd. The Bills also released Tre’Davious White and have not replaced him. While wide receiver is the buzz position in Buffalo given the exits of longtime performers, the Bills also have some needs to address on defense.
  • A fourth team booked a visit with Alabama tackle JC Latham. The first-round-level tackle will meet with the Jets tonight and Wednesday, according to’s Adam Schefter. One of seven tackles Jeremiah places among his top 25 overall prospects, Latham has already met with the Cardinals, Titans and Bears. The Jets have been linked to an O-line investment, and the prospect of moving down from No. 10 has also come up for Gang Green.
  • Both the Alabama cornerbacks expected to go off the board early in this draft booked more visits before the Wednesday deadline. Terrion Arnold met with the Titans on Monday, Rapoport adds, while Kool-Aid McKinstry visited the Eagles (via the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane). With Darius Slay and James Bradberry set to begin the season north of 31st birthdays, the Eagles have been tied to corners. The Titans acquired L’Jarius Sneed via trade and signed Chidobe Awuzie; this would seemingly take Tennessee out of the early-round CB mix. Though, the team did lose Sean Murphy-Bunting and has seen ex-first-rounder Caleb Farley prove undependable.
  • Although the Texans have taken multiple fliers on former top-10 corners (Jeff Okudah, C.J. Henderson), they may be interested in bolstering their cornerback corps with a higher-upside player. Houston hosted Missouri’s Ennis Rakestraw on Monday, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. A Texas native, Rakestraw (Jeremiah’s No. 28 overall prospect) allowed just one touchdown on 28 targets last season, per Wilson. The 5-foot-11 defender broke up 11 passes with the Tigers in 2023.
  • This draft features a number of tackles set to go off the board in Round 1, but the second round could produce some investments at the position. The Giants, Jets and Commanders scheduled late visits with Arizona’s Jordan Morgan,’s Jordan Raanan tweets. Jeremiah’s No. 49 overall player, Morgan also visited the Bills, Broncos, Cardinals and Panthers, Wilson adds, noting also the three-year Wildcats starter worked out for the Texans during the pre-draft process. Morgan earned first-team All-Pac-12 recognition last season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/15/24

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: OL Lorenz Metz

Washington Commanders

Today marks the first day for teams with holdover HCs to begin offseason programs. That date frequently coincides with restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents officially coming back into the fold. McCloud’s signing and Rams left tackle Alaric Jackson inking his second-round tender leaves 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings, also given a Round 2 tender, as the lone unsigned RFA. McCloud will be tied to a nonguaranteed $2.99MM salary.

A former UDFA out of Michigan State, Bachie has been with the Bengals for the past three seasons. The young linebacker has been a regular special-teamer in that time; over the past two seasons, Bachie has been on the field for more than 60% of Cincinnati’s ST plays.

The Commanders signed Tyler Ott in free agency. The longtime Seahawks snapper spent 2023 with the Ravens; the veteran staying in the Mid-Atlantic region will lead to Addington — a three-game Washington long snapper in 2023 — being moved off the roster.

Murtaugh and Metz are coming to the NFL via the league’s International Pathway Program. Murtaugh hails from Australia and has a background in Australian Rules Football. He spent a bit of time with the Lions in 2023. A German, Metz spent time with the Bears last year but did not make their roster. He was not with a team during the season. If Murtaugh and Metz fail to make their respective team’s 53-man roster, they can be carried as a 17th practice squad player via the IPP program.