Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft offers league-wide intrigue outside of the 31 players who will be selected.
There is curiosity if the Baltimore Ravens Lamar Jackson contract showdown will also be resolved why a team like the Indianapolis Colts, who hold the no. 4 overall, don’t make an 11th-hour game for the former MVP.
A handful of less obvious teams have quarterback situations that warrant a second look as well.
The San Francisco 49ers want to trade the former No. 3 overall Trey Lance. New England Patriots and Mac Jones they don’t seem like much time for each other.
The Miami Dolphins must know they need more insurance than Mike White for Tua Tagovailoa, who admitted he considered retiring after last season’s concussions.
And while the Washington Commanders don’t appear to be in the NFL Draft QB market with Jacoby Brissett and Sam Howell in the building, it’s hard to see why not.
Meanwhile, the giants extended Daniel Jones on a four-year, $160 million contract in March, so he’s focused Thursday on helping the team around him.
Here are three of the most likely scenarios for how the first round will play out for GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll and how it could impact the rest of their draft on Friday and Saturday:
CORNER IN SINGLE ROUND: The depth of this year’s cornerback class convinces some teams in their teens and early 20s to wait until the second and third rounds to address their secondary, and the Giants land Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks at pick 25. Coordinator Scheme defensive end Wink Martindale needs blocking, press -man, outside corners, and Banks, 22, projects like that at 6-foot, 197 pounds and runs a 4.35 40-yard dash. Going to corner here means Schoen is looking in the second round for a center or offensive weapon, maybe even in a trade. And Banks’ selection doesn’t prevent the GM from adding more corners and defensive backs in the later rounds.
CENTER, MAY QUESTION: The top corners are all coming off the board early, and Schoen weighs the value of representing his top center against the remaining corners and preferred offensive skill players at 25. No team is obviously in the middle market between the Giants’ 25th pick and the Steelers’ 32nd overall pick at the top of Round 2. So maybe Schoen trades Bills buddy Brandon Beane at the pick 27 to let Buffalo pass on Dallas for a player with offensive skills. But then Schoen takes Minnesota John Michael Schmitz Center, prioritizing the success and growth of QB Jones by adding a “blue-chip” player at a major position of need who can lead the Giants’ “complicated” offense. The GM can go early at center because this cornerback class is deep and the wide receiver class has middling value despite the lack of any obvious stars.
AN OFFENSIVE WEAPON: Schoen is likely to take a player with offensive skills if the top corners also disappear. That could happen if Schoen decides he’s content not to land the top center on his board, or if the Seattle Seahawks snag Schmitz instead in a trade at 20. Regardless, if the Giants take an offensive weapon at 25 years, don’t just think about the recipient. . Texas RB Bijan Robinson and Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs are both good pass catchers, and some league executives are eyeing Daboll sideways, believing the Giants could take either of them at 25 to line up both in the slot, as well as in the backfield. RB holder Saquon Barkley is in a contract impasse with the team and is not a dynamic enough receiver. So one of those backs would provide both insurance and a fill-in. Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba is expected to be long gone. The team also worked out the likes of Boston College’s Zay Flowers, USC’s Jordan Addison and TCU’s Quentin Johnston. The 6-2, 208-pound Johnston is the closest thing to the type of receiver the Giants don’t have. And never say never about Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer, although many people don’t expect him to be on the board when picking the Giants. Taking an offensive weapon in Round 1 would seem like it would make cornerback a must-have position in Round 2 given the Giants’ lack of talent and depth on the roster.
OTHER OPTIONS AND POTENTIAL DOMINOS: The interior defensive line and run defense have been priorities all season. Never rule out stacking talent there or at pass rusher if the value is there. … Reiterating something the Daily News has reported several times this offseason, Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis is a potential trade target if Buffalo doesn’t find an extension for the No. 2 pick, especially if Schoen doesn’t draft a big pass-catcher. in this project. Schoen helped Beane draft Davis in 2020 and has a high opinion of the player and the person. … On Barkley, neither the Giants nor their running back have indicated recently that a trade is possible or desirable during this contract impasse. But it’s worth monitoring if the team’s draft will put more pressure on Barkley or if it will try to create imminent pressure points in the negotiations. DT Dexter Lawrence also remains sidelined due to an issue with his contract situation.