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2024 NFL Draft watch: New Year’s top-50 big board

Our first look at how the top of the 2024 draft stacks up

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

A new year is upon us and it’s draft season for the New York Giants. It’s time to start looking more closely at draft prospects and see where the strength of the 2024 NFL Draft lies.

The Giants currently own four picks in the top 75, with picks 5, 39, 52, and 70. I don’t usually use vertically stacked big boards, but we thought this would be a nice way to look at some of the players the Giants could have on their radar in the first two or three rounds. This is a very preliminary list and the order will likely change pretty dramatically over the coming weeks and months.

In fact, not all of these players have even declared for the upcoming draft. With that in mind, I tried to avoid including red-shirt sophomores unless they’ve declared (as in the case of Drake Maye).

I also broke he Top 50 up into rough neighborhoods so I could offer thoughts on each group of players.

1. Caleb Williams (QB, USC)
2. Drake Maye (QB, USC)
3. Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR, Ohio State)
4. Jayden Daniels (QB, sr, LSU)
5. Olu Fashanu (OT, Penn State)
6. Joe Alt (OT, Notre Dame)
7. Malik Nabers (WR, LSU)
8. Brock Bowers (TE, UGA)
9. Jer’Zhan Newton (iDL, Illinois)
10. Rome Adunze (WR, Washington)

The draft is always unpredictable, and this is obviously early, but these are the players I feel the most confident will be drafted in the top 10.

Obviously, things can change between now and the end of April, looking at how things stand now, I’m not sure any of these players slip into the middle of the first round. Bowers and Newton are the two most likely candidates to slip out of the top 10, but they could also make teams regret passing on them. Bowers has been a star since his true freshman season thanks to his rare playmaking ability as a receiver, but he’s also being a capable blocker. Newton is an undersized but explosive and violent pass rushing defensive tackle who reminds of nobody quite so much as Ndamukong Suh coming out of Nebraska.

11. Nate Wiggins (CB, Clemson)
12. Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB, Alabama)
13. Keon Coleman (WR, FSU)
14. Chop Robinson (EDGE, Penn State)
15. Jared Verse (EDGE, Florida State)
16. Laitu Latu (EDGE, UCLA)
17. Dallas Turner (EDGE, Alabama)
18. Cooper DeJean (CB, Iowa)
19. Bo Nix (QB, Oregon)
20. Michael Penix Jr. (QB, Washington)

This is a chunk of players full of wildcards and if anyone slips out of that Top 10 group, I could see any of these next ten taking their place. Which of these edge defenders gets drafted first could come down to the final draft order. They’re all good and have diverse skill sets, though each will appeal to different schemes.

The two quarterbacks, Nix and Penix, will be the biggest wildcards in this group of wildcards. I was tempted to put them at the top of the group instead of the bottom. Either of them could be prime candidates to be drafted early in a run on quarterbacks. Both Nix and Penix are accurate and efficient passers with traits that translate well to the next level. However, they both have some considerable red flags, namely Penix’s health and Nix’s history of inconsistency.

21. Denzel Burke (CB, Ohio State)
22. Kamari Lassiter (CB, Georgia)
23. Emeka Egbuka (WR, Ohio State)
24. Taliese Fuaga (OT, Oregon State)
25. Amarius Mims (OT, Georgia)
26. J.T. Tuimoloau (EDGE, Ohio State)
27. Bralen Trice (EDGE, Washington)
28. Leonard Taylor III (iDL, Miami)
29. T’Vondre Sweat (iDL, Texas)
30. Tyler Nubin (S, Minnesota)
31. J.J. McCarthy (QB, Michigan)
32. Michael Pratt (QB, Tulane)

There’s a bunch of very interesting players in this group, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the ones in the low to mid-20s go higher.

The corners, Egbuka, and tackles all have the potential to be top-20 picks depending on their pre-draft process plays out.

The defensive tackles, Nubin, and the two quarterbacks, meanwhile, could be second round players or sneak into the bottom of the first round. McCarthy has yet to declare for the draft, and teams will want to do their homework on him if he does. He’s a great athlete and has a very strong arm, and also reportedly has a very high football IQ. However, his stats don’t seem to line up with his traits and teams could be concerned with his size and stature.

33. Edgerrin Cooper (LB, Texas A&M)
34. Troy Fautanu (OL, Washington)
35. Graham Barton (OL Duke)
36. Jordan Morgan (OT, Arizona)
37. Troy Franklin (WR, Oregon)
38. Brian Thomas Jr. (WR, LSU)
39. Devontez Walker (WR, UNC)
40. Kamren Kinchens (S, Miami)

This is another group of players who could be “first-second” round player — that is, players who could land at the bottom of the first round or the top of the second.

Cooper could wind up being the top off-ball linebacker in the draft, while Fautanu and Barton could be high-ceiling interior linemen at the next level. Troy Franklin, Brian Thomas Jr., and Devontez Walker all have length and athleticism, which could make them great value picks if they slip through the cracks.

41. Quinyon Mitchell (CB, Toledo)
42. Zak Zinter (OG, Michigan)
43. Jermaine Burton (WR, Alabama)
44. Blake Corum (RB, Michigan)
45. Trey Benson (RB, FSU)
46. Xavier Worthy (WR, Texas)
47. Xavier Legette (WR, South Carolina)
48. Adonai Mitchell (WR, Texas)
49. Tyleik Williams (iDL, Ohio State)
50. Kris Jenkins (iDL, Michigan)

This is where we start to see how deep this draft is at some positions. We have another batch of receivers who might not be “WR1” type players, but can get behind the defense and make game-changing plays. Likewise, Blake Corum and Trey Benson are two of the best, and most consistent, runners in the nation. Zak Zinter is something of a placeholder here. His spot could also go to a guy like Cooper Beebe (Kansas State) or Christian Mahogany (Boston College). I wanted to put Zinter in the Top 50 because he might slip below some people’s radar thanks to the broken leg he suffered against Ohio State. However, he is a very good player when healthy and some team could get a steal if he happens to slip in the draft order.