John Mara won’t get in way of Giants taking QB at No. 6 in 2024 NFL Draft

ORLANDO — Joe Schoen has said it over and over again. 

If Daniel Jones is healthy, the expectation is he will be the Giants’ starting quarterback for the kickoff to the 2024 season.

What does that mean, though, if the Giants select a quarterback with the No. 6 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft?

Giants co-owner John Mara watching practice at the New York Giants training facility. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“Did I say my expectation was to take a quarterback?’’ Schoen asked Monday at the NFL Annual League Meeting.


This, of course, means nothing, when it comes to what the Giants will do with their pick in the first round. 

They are making no secret of their investment in researching the top quarterbacks in this draft. 

There is no doubt they are seriously considering addressing what Schoen called the most important position in sports. 

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones speaking to the media at the New York Giants training facility. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

There is also no doubt if it comes to that, the co-owner of the team, John Mara, will not stand in the way.

“If they fall in love with a quarterback and believe that it’s worth pick No. 6 or we’re moving up I certainly would support that,’’ Mara said. “I let the general manager and the head coach build the roster. We have operated the same way for many years here. If they have a conviction about a player I’m not get involved. I’ll question them about it, make ‘em defend their position but the only time I’m gonna get involved and exert any influence is if I think it’s a conduct issue off the field and that’s happened, not with this group but in the past on very rare occasions.’’

This was not a discussion or a thought process the Giants anticipated engaging in when they signed Jones last year to a four-year deal for $160 million. 

The Giants have checked in on several top QB prospects, including JJ McCarthy. Getty Images

They believed they had found Eli Manning’s successor even as the contract was crafted for the team to be able to get out of it relatively unscathed after only two years. 

What followed was one misadventure after another. 

Jones played poorly behind a woebegone offensive line, missed three games with a second neck injury and upon his return went down with a torn ACL, ending his season in Week 9. 

The Giants did not expect to fall so precipitously and the resulting No. 6 overall pick in the draft means they must consider their options at quarterback, with Jones now considered a medical risk.

Schoen said the update he received this past Friday revealed Jones moved to a new phase in his rehab and is now running on land and off the Ultra-G gravity treadmill.  

“Every patient is different, and you can’t really predict if swelling is going to occur or if there’s a setback,’’ Schoen said. “He’s on the right track right now.’’

The Giants signed Drew Lock as Jones’ backup and still have Tommy DeVito on the roster. 

If and where another quarterback arrives in the draft could tell the tale on what Jones’ future is with the team that made him the No. 6 overall pick in 2019. 

“I know they’re looking at the quarterbacks, yeah,’’ Mara said of Schoen and his staff. “You’ve seen they’ve gone to some of the Pro Days, we’ve had a couple of those guys in. I don’t think they’re even close to making a final determination yet as to which way we’re gonna go on that. Those discussions will happen over the next few weeks.’’

Drew Lock is set to back up Daniel Jones this season. AP

Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye could come off the board with the first three picks. 

If the Giants want one of them, they most likely will have to engage in a costly trade-up. 

Where J.J. McCarthy fits in is anyone’s guess.

“We’re looking at every scenario,’’ Schoen said. “We can go either way. We can go up. We can go back.  It’s still March, and there’s plenty of time. There’s a lot of strategy involved.’’

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Mara was bullish on Jones and said he has no regrets that his team responded to his 2023 success with a considerable financial investment.

 “I know a lot you kill Daniel for his performance this year but we had the perfect storm, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong,’’ Mara said. “Guys got hurt, the wrong guys got hurt, too early. Let’s face it, for a while we couldn’t block anybody and Daniel was getting hit all the time. I still have every confidence in the world in Daniel. Let’s put a better team around him. Hopefully he’ll get healthy. I think the real Daniel Jones is the one that played in 2022, particularly down the stretch there and in the playoffs.’’

If the Giants take a quarterback at No. 6, it will surely appear as if they have given up on Jones.

“No, I don’t think so,’’ Mara said.  “Why not let them both compete and let the better man win?’’

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