The Giants got a big-play threat in Malik Nabers. Now Daniel Jones needs to be ready for the season

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants got a much-needed big-play wide receiver when they grabbed Malik Nabers early in the NFL draft, and now they have to hope quarterback Daniel Jones and his surgically repaired ACL are ready to deliver the ball when the season opens in September.

The Giants really didn’t have much of a choice. They had the sixth pick overall, and the consensus was there were three can’t-miss quarterbacks and three elite receivers at the top of the board.

Any of those players would have helped the Giants’ anemic offense, which finished 31st in passing yards, 30th in scoring and 29th overall in a disappointing 6-11 season.

While general manager Joe Schoen wanted to move up and grab a quarterback, the asking price was too high, and New York selected Nabers. The LSU wideout averaged a nation-high 120.7 yards receiving, finishing with 89 catches for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Coach Brian Daboll described the 20-year-old as a generator, or a player who can hit a home run and score on any down.

Whether that happens depends on Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in 2019. He has led the Giants to one postseason berth (2022) in five seasons, missing time with injuries in 2021 and ’23.

His knee rehab is a concern because behind him are veteran Drew Lock and second-year pro Tommy DeVito. Jones said his goal is to be ready for training camp

“I said it in January after the season,” Schoen said. “Our expectation was Daniel would be our starter and we brought Drew Lock to be his backup and Tommy is a backup, so that’s where we are and that’s how we’ll move forward this season.”

The Giants have to hope Jones, who has three years left on his $160 million contact, has no setbacks, especially after they didn’t draft a quarterback.

New York had five other picks and they all went to fill more pressing needs. Free agency rebuilt the offensive line and Schoen engineered a trade with Carolina for edge rusher Brian Burns.

The Giants selected Minnesota safety Tyler Nubin in the second round, Kentucky cornerback Andru Phillips in the third, Penn State tight end Theo Johnson in the fourth, Purdue running back Tyrone Tracy Jr. in the fifth and UCLA linebacker Darius Muasau in the sixth.


After losing safety Xavier McKinney to Green Bay in free agency and not re-signing cornerback Adoree Jackson, the Giants found replacements on Friday.

Nubin is a ballhawk. He tied for sixth in the FBS with five interceptions and left the Gophers as their all-time leader with 13 picks.

Phillips didn’t have an interception in 38 games, including 16 starts, for the Wildcats.

“In coverage, I’m sticky,” he said.


With Darren Waller mulling retirement, New York grabbed Johnson. The Penn State product caught 34 passes, including seven for touchdowns.

“I think I’m definitely capable of being a tight end that you can’t take off the field with all the attributes that I have and I’m going to work for that,” Johnson said.

Waller, 31, was acquired by the Giants from Las Vegas in March 2023. He had 52 catches for 552 yards and a touchdown last season. He has missed 13 games (hamstrings) over the last two seasons.


When Saquon Barkley signed with Eagles as a free agent, the Giants signed free agent Devin Singletary to take over the No. 1 spot at running back. They have little experience behind him.

Enter Tracy, who will turn 25 in November. The Indianapolis native spent six seasons in college, including four at Iowa — one as a redshirt — and two at Purdue, where he played in 25 games.

He moved from wide receiver to running back in 2023, rushing for 716 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes and led the Big Ten with an average of 127.4 all-purpose yards.


Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka coached a team at the East-West Shrine game and quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney was a coordinator at the Senior Bowl. They got to see a lot of players up close.

Phillips and Johnson appeared in the Senior Bowl and Tracy and Muasau played in the Shrine game.


Giants special teams coordinator Michael Ghobrial and Muasau have a connection from the University of Hawaii. Ghobrial was the school’s special teams coordinator and Muasau was on his teams before transferring to UCLA.



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