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Giants give Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy a feel for running their offense in NFL combine meeting

Pat Leonard, New York Daily News on

Published in Football

INDIANAPOLIS — If the Giants end up drafting Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, this week’s NFL combine will stand as the beginning of his development behind Daniel Jones.

The national champion revealed Friday that in his Giants meeting this week, the coaches translated one of McCarthy’s college plays into Brian Daboll’s offensive terminology to show him what it would be like to run their system.

That’s not just information gathering. That’s trying something on to see if it fits before buying.

“I really loved how I drew up a play that I could run in every situation: third down, fourth down, first and second — all that good stuff — and then the [Giants] coaches were kind of changing my verbiage and making it their own,” McCarthy said at his press conference. “It was really nice to kind of get a feel of what that offense would be like. And it was actually a lot more simple. So it was good.”

The Giants are preparing as if Jones will be their starting quarterback again in 2024 when healthy. They are locked into at least one more year of Jones due to the structure of his four-year contract that runs through 2026 anyway.

But it would be appealing to draft a talented quarterback with upside who could develop and sit and watch before eventually taking over. Think of how Jordan Love blossomed in 2023 for the Green Bay Packers after watching for two seasons and taking over the starting job in Year 3.

 

Drafting a quarterback No. 6 overall and keeping him on the bench in New York is difficult to do, as the Giants can attest from Jones’ 2019 rookie year. But multiple scouts here in Indianapolis view McCarthy as a skilled but unfinished product who could use some seasoning before he plays, anyway.

So would the Giants trade into the back half of the first round for a quarterback like McCarthy, or would they use one of their second-round picks on the proven winner?

Not only does that scenario seem plausible. It seems like the most likely way for the Giants to acquire a young QB in this draft, based on a host of factors both in and outside of their control.

“[I’m] a tough, gritty guy who only cares about winning at the end of the day,” McCarthy said. “Love the game of football with a burning passion, love [my] teammates. Just pretty much everything you’d want in a starting quarterback.”

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