The New York Giants went 6-11 in 2023. They had the 30th-ranked scoring offense in the league and the 26th-ranked scoring defense. They were 29th in yards gained and 27th in yards allowed. There was not a lot to be positive about in the Meadowlands, and there were glaring holes that needed to be filled. Unfortunately, one of those holes is at quarterback, where they are stuck with Daniel Jones and his $40 million per year cap hit.
If you are a Jones defender, you would probably blame the offensive line (which needs help) and his lack of weapons. The Giants are also poised to lose one of those weapons in Saquon Barkley, when the running back hits free agency. The team only has $28 million in cap space so they are unlikely to land any big fish with lucrative contracts. It would appear that the teams best avenue to rebuild is through the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Giants will have seven picks in the draft, and there will be no trades in this mock, so the team will select where they are slated to according to Pro Football Focus (6, 39, 47, 70, 107, 143, and 185). The New York Giants are on the clock!
Round 1, Pick 6: Rome Odunze, Wide Receiver, Washington
The Giants' leading pass catcher in 2023 was Wan'Dale Robinson with 60 receptions, followed by tight end Darren Waller with 52. Darius Slayton, the team's third-leading receiver (50 receptions for 770 yards) is a free agent after next season. The team doesn't just need receiving help, they need a playmaker in the worst way.
With their first pick in the 2024 draft, the Giants take Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze. He has everything you would want or dream of in a big-time NFL receiver. He has size (6-3 and 215 pounds) and speed (4.35 40-yard dash). He led the country in receiving yards in 2023 with 1,640 and was sixth in the nation in receptions with 92. He also had 13 touchdowns. He was a first-team AP All-American.
Odunze was a high school state champion in the 200-meter sprint, posting a time of 21.25 seconds (the world record for someone under 20 is 19.49 seconds). Saying he's fast is such an understatement that it's practically an insult. He has incredible body control and consistently catches the ball away from his body. Perfect ball tracking skills on deep passes. When Michael Penix Jr was targeting his Odunze last season, he had a passer rating of 120.8.
Odunze can be jammed by more physical corners at the line of scrimmage. He needs to learn how to use his hands and frame to create separation. Though he has elite top-end speed, on film he sometimes has trouble creating separation using just his speed. If the Giants go this route, there is no doubt he will lead the team in every receiving category in 2024, barring injury.