5 teams Giants could trade down with in NFL Draft following quarterback changes

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Quarterbacks have always been the key to whether the Giants will be able to trade down in the first round of the NFL Draft, and whether any offers will even be tempting. Teams without a franchise quarterback can get desperate. That’s why quarterbacks always make the prices go way up.

This year, there are three generally considered to be at the top of the class, but only one team ahead of the Giants — the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 1 — seeming like a lock to take one. And with the quarterback-needy Miami Dolphins positioned right behind the Giants at No. 5, it puts Big Blue in the sweet spot for teams looking to move up.

Or so it seems.

 

Since the start of free agency last week, there has been some movement and some clarity on the quarterback market. Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Philip Rivers moved to Indianapolis to join the Colts. The Chargers seemingly reaffirmed their commitment to go with Tyrod Taylor in 2020. The Titans re-signed Ryan Tannehill. The Bears traded for Nick Foles. And Drew Brees re-signed in New Orleans.

Meanwhile, Jameis Winston is now available. Cam Newton has been given permission to seek a trade and the Carolina Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater. Andy Dalton is still available and Joe Flacco is, too.

And the Patriots … well, they signed journeyman Brian Hoyer to compete with second-year pro Jarrett Stidham in the race to replace Brady, though many around the league are convinced the Patriots have another quarterback move planned.

That’s a lot of movement to shake up the quarterback market. So what has that done to the Giants’ prospects of trading down?

Here’s a look at the landscape of options for a potential trade down from No. 4 …

5. Miami Dolphins

They have been intending to draft a franchise quarterback here since the beginning of last season, and it doesn’t appear anything has changed.

Most people believe they are eyeing Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa — assuming, of course, that LSU’s Joe Burrow goes No. 1 to Cincinnati. Since everyone knows it, the Dolphins might be smart to move up in the draft to make sure they get their man, instead of being left with Oregon’s Justin Herbert. They could move up to No. 3 (Detroit) too, but if they want to flip spots with the Giants, it’s a total no-brainer since New York would get the exact same player they want at No. 5.

The cost depends on the leverage the Giants have, and if they have other offers on the table. The Dolphins have three first-round picks, though (Nos. 5, 18 and 26). It’s hard to give up one to move up one spot, but if they believe someone else is about to do it, they might have no choice. For the Giants, even a second- or third-round pick would be worth it if they have no other offers while the Dolphins are on the clock.

6. Los Angeles Chargers

They still remain the team to watch, especially after they dumped Rivers and signaled their intention to go with Taylor in 2020. Taylor, of course, is not their answer for the future. He’s a 30-year-old journeyman — and a mediocre one at that.

The Chargers seem like a lock to take a quarterback in the first round. The only question is whether they fall in love with Herbert or maybe even Utah State’s Jordan Love, or if they decide to try and get Tagovailoa. Moving up ahead of the Dolphins makes a lot of sense for them.

7. Carolina Panthers

They have moved on from Newton and committed to Bridgewater, but they do need to be realistic about Bridgewater’s abilities. He’s 27 and made only six starts in the last four years. Yes, five of them came in New Orleans last season and he looked pretty good, going 5-0 with the Saints.

But that team was loaded with weapons, and it’s really unclear if he’s still the quarterback he once was. Whether Matt Rhule believes he is or not will be the key to this pick. There have been rumors he wants to trade up to No. 1 for Burrow, which has always seemed unlikely. But moving up to get Tagovailoa, who can sit and recover from his hip injury behind Bridgewater for a season? Maybe.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Yes, they got Brady, so they don’t need a quarterback for 2020. Or probably 2021, since Brady got a two-year deal. Maybe even longer since Brady seemingly wants to play as long as he’s able to walk.

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But he still will be 43 this summer, and in theory a regression is coming sooner than later, so the Bucs have to be prepared. Moving up for a quarterback to sit behind Brady for at least two seasons now seems unlikely, though. They’d also have to pay a lot to move all the way up to No. 4, which doesn’t seem smart for a team that obviously has committed to trying to win right now.

They’d be better off sitting tight and using this pick on something that would help them right now.

Video: What are grades for the Giants in free agency so far?

23. New England Patriots

It seems incredibly unlikely that the Patriots could offer the Giants anything enticing enough to get them to slide all the way to No. 23. Just as a guide, the Falcons jumped from No. 27 to No. 6 in the 2011 draft so they could select receiver Julio Jones, and it cost them their first, second, and fourth-round picks in 2011 and their first- and fourth-rounders in 2012. And still people think the Browns didn’t get enough in return in that deal.

Also, the Patriots do seem to like Stidham, and they could still pursue Newton or Dalton to get them through the next year or two. But don’t rule out anything when it comes to Bill Belichick and his desire to keep the Patriots at a championship level in the post-Brady era. There are many who believe he’s planning a big, bold move at some point.

So for the Giants, it’s at least worth a call.



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