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2024 NFL mock draft: Giants get LSU QB Jayden Daniels at No. 5 in three-round mock

Can the Giants lay the foundation for a new offense in 2024 and beyond?

Florida v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The New York Giants season hasn’t quite played out yet, and they still their season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles yet to play.

But it’s also draft season for the Giants, as they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs and are locked into a Top 10 pick. We recently released our initial Top-50 Big Board, and thought it would be fun to follow that up with a three-round mock draft for the Giants.

For simplicity’s sake, I used the mock draft simulator over at Pro Football Network.

Raptor’s Thoughts

First round (5th overall) - Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
In a fairly hilarious turn of events I had Marvin Harrison Jr, Jayden Daniels, Olu Fashanu, and Joe Alt all available at fifth overall. That’s thanks to the New England Patriots picking Malik Nabers (WR, LSU) and the Arizona Cardinals taking Dallas Turner (edge, Alabama).

I could say that I opted to take Daniels because it would be a fairly stunning development for MHJ to be available at fifth overall. However, I took Daniels without considering MHJ for more than a few seconds to chuckle at mock draft machines. As I’ve said a few times lately, I consider wide receiver to be a cornerstone position along with OT, CB, and EDGE — basically, the positions with the ability to directly impact the passing game. However, I consider quarterback to be the foundational position on an NFL team. And if you don’t have a rock-solid foundation, it’s like trying to build a house on sand.

While I don’t want to put this on the young man, Daniels bears a certain resemblance to Lamar Jackson due to his athleticism, running ability, arm talent, and slighter-than-ideal frame. He also had a Joe Burrow like emergence at LSU (so, Joe Burreaux) this year and has Burrow’s penchant for generating explosive plays. That’s some impressive company and Daniels upside appears to be in that range.

I’ll be doing a lot of homework on the QBs this year, and I’ll be looking to see evidence that Daniels’ work this year is a result of natural progression or if he’s a one-year-wonder. If Daniels is the real deal and can carry his 2023 success into the NFL, he could turn the Giants into a truly explosive team.

Second round (39th overall) - Donovan Jackson, OG, Ohio State
I was torn between adding to the offensive line and adding a wide receiver here. I decided on addressing the guard position due to the number of talented receivers still on the board. Adonai Mitchell (Texas), Emeka Egbuka (OSU), and Troy Franklin (Oregon) were all available at this point, and I decided to roll the dice that one would last another seven picks.

Jackson is a big, powerful blocker at 6-foot-4, 320 pounds. And while he doesn’t have elite athleticism for the position, he probably has enough to execute most blocking schemes. He also reportedly has 36-inch arms and a 7-foot wingspan — while still putting up 28 reps at 225 on the bench press before his sophomore season. Not all of the Giants’ offensive woes can be blamed on the offensive line, but improving their play up front needs to be a priority. Jackson could make a fearsome pairing with Andrew Thomas and make John Michael Schmitz’s life easier as well.

Second round (46th overall) - Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State
My patience paid off here and I still had a choice between the two receivers I was considering at 39th overall. I ultimately went with Egbuka over Franklin because I think he’s more versatile and already does a lot of the things the Giants ask from their receivers. He’s a savvy, nuanced route runner who’s both athletic and a technician who can attack all areas of the field. He can be lined up all over the offensive formation, be dynamic as an X, Flanker, or Slot, and thrive in an offense that gets the ball to him in space.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Egbuka winds up with first round hype once people look past Marvin Harrison Jr.

Third round (70th overall) - Byron Murphy II (iDL, Texas)
My choice here came down to two Texas players, Murphy and tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders. I was tempted to take another potential receiving weapon for the Giants’ offense, but I also wanted to get some help for the defense.

Murphy is a compact, muscular defensive lineman who plays with an edge. He has an explosive first step and can be a disruptive force in the middle of a defense (as evidenced by his 5.0 sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss this year). Murphy is highly competitive and plays through the echo of a whistle, and would be a real headache lined up next to Dexter Lawrence.