One Team Could Be Using Smokescreen against Vikings

New York Giants fans boo the team in the second half. The Seattle Seahawks defeat the Giants, 24-3, at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The New York Giants live in the 2024 NFL Draft’s sixth spot, less-than-ideal territory for a quarterback but a superb position for a fantastic football player.

One Team Could Be Using Smokescreen against Vikings

As the league appears to be lining up for four quarterbacks off the draftboard in the first four picks — or at least four of the first five — several teams will select impactful, non-quarterback players after pick No. 4, and they will prosper in 2024 and beyond.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports.

And according to’s Albert Breer, the Giants, at pick No. 6, could be employing a smokescreen to do just that — grab a promising wide receiver prospect while hinting that a quarterback is their intention.

Breer wrote, “So maybe the Giants take one. Or maybe this is all smoke to get someone such as Minnesota or the Las Vegas Raiders or the Denver Broncos to jump them, so another player — maybe Marvin Harrison Jr. or Malik Nabers — falls into their laps at No. 6. Obviously, it’s to Schoen’s advantage that we can’t say which. As such, he has no problem playing coy on his true intentions with his first-round pick.”

Draft Has New Flavor
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports.

So, what’s the smokescreen? Well, if New York leads on that it could trade up the board — the sixth pick is rather valuable — it would drive up the trade price for other teams, like the Vikings, Denver Broncos, or Las Vegas Raiders. With a mad dash to the top of the draft for quarterbacks, Harrison Jr. or Nabers, for example, would get shoved into the laps of the Chargers or Giants at No. 5 and No. 6.

Giants owner John Mara recently said about this team’s draft outlook, “If they fall in love with a quarterback and believe that it’s worth pick No. 6 and we’re moving up, I certainly would support that.”

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

New York extended quarterback Daniel Jones’ contract last year, connecting him to the franchise through the end of 2026 at $40 million per season. However, there’s an “out” in the deal after the 2024 season, where the Giants could sever ties with Jones and “only” be on the hook for $22 million in dead cap.

“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 going to get involved. I’ll question them about it, make them defend their position, but the only time I’m going to get involved and exert any influence is if I think it’s a conduct issue off the field,” Mara said at the NFL’s annual meetings in Orlando two weeks ago.

The Vikings, meanwhile, need a quarterback of the future after Kirk Cousins bolted via free agency. Cousins signed with the Atlanta Falcons and isn’t coming back.

vikings gm
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

If New York or any other team publicly proclaims interest in Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy — two men sizzling with steam in Minnesota’s draft orbit — the Vikings’ trade price will climb and could end up causing the franchise to donate more draft capital in a trade.

The NFL draft is 17 days away.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by