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If the Giants land one of the consensus three highest-graded prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, it will be because general manager Joe Schoen made a bold trade.
The Giants will draft No. 6 in the first round — one spot lower than where they were projected at the start of Sunday as a result of surprisingly beating the Eagles, 27-10, to finish the regular season with a 6-11 record.
It will be the sixth pick inside the top-eight of a draft since 2018 for the Giants, and the third made by Schoen.
The Giants won a tiebreaker with the Titans (6-11) by virtue of a worse strength of schedule.
The final day of the season began with some Giants’ fans rooting for a loss and the pipe dream of moving up to the No. 2 pick.
Odds on that scenario were less than 1 percent, according to ESPN analytics, and bottomed out once the Patriots lost to the Jets to finish a 4-13 season.
The Giants also were out of contention for No. 3 based on strength-of-schedule tiebreakers by the time the rest of the games in Sunday’s 1 p.m. window ended.
Had the Eagles won and everything else stayed the same around the league, the Giants would have been drafting No. 5.
In other words, just outside of the likely range needed to grab either of the top two quarterbacks — Caleb Williams and Drake Maye — or generational receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.
The Giants enter the offseason with no shortage of needs, some of which will be plugged prior to the draft in free agency.
But finding at least two starting offensive linemen, a No. 1 receiver, a starting cornerback and a quarterback to compete with rehabbing Daniel Jones is a lot — and that’s before other holes that could arise if the Giants decide to let their top offensive playmaker and one of their best defensive players (Saquon Barkley and Xavier McKinney, respectively) leave in free agency.
Quarterback could be the hardest to get based on the top of the draft order.
The Bears clinched the No. 1 pick (via the Panthers) last week.
They face a difficult franchise-changing decision of whether to start over by drafting Williams or Maye or stick with promising Justin Fields, who is entering the final season of his rookie contract.
If the Bears stay with Fields, the next decision is whether to draft receiver Harrison or become the first team ever to trade out of No. 1 in back-to-back years after passing up quarterbacks Bryce Young and likely Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud to trade back to No. 8 in 2023.
The Commanders (No. 2) and Patriots (No. 3) — either of whom could be coached by Bill Belichick — will be in the quarterback mix.
The Cardinals (No. 4) and Chargers (No. 5) are expected to stick with Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert, respectively.
If the Giants don’t trade up — “scared money don’t make money,” general manager Joe Schoen said when making a mid-round deal last year — then the next crop is expected to include Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels, offensive tackles Joe Alt and Olu Fashanu, receiver Malik Nabers and edge-rusher Dallas Turner.