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The 2024 campaign was a disappointment for the New York Giants relative to the overachievement fans witnessed in Brian Daboll's first season as head coach a year earlier. New York went 6-11, finishing just ahead of Washington in the NFC East standings this year. 

Quarterback Daniel Jones will be returning from a significant injury that ended his season prematurely, and the franchise is heavily invested in his future -- at least for the coming year. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale did facilitate his way out of the Big Apple, so it is unknown what the future holds for the Giants defense. 

As the team sets the course for its offseason, it must first retain a few of its own: running back Saquon Barkley and safety Xavier McKinney. New York has valuable assets in the 2024 NFL Draft to give the defense a makeover.

Here is one potential roadmap to ensure New York takes the next step forward under Daboll's direction:

No. 6 overall: WR Malik Nabers, LSU

New York has favored quantity over quality since Odell Beckham Jr. departed. It has lacked a playmaker capable of making something out of nothing. That changes with the selection of Nabers, whose ability to soar and adjust downfield rivals a circus contortionist. Jones may not be the franchise's forever quarterback, but he is Mr. Right Now, and right now he needs weapons to maximize his potential. 

The trio of Jalin Hyatt, Wan'Dale Robinson and Nabers gives New York a formidable attack. Nabers had 89 receptions for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. He converted 78.7% of his receptions into either a first down or a touchdown, according to TruMedia -- the second-highest rate among players with at least 100 targets.

For more draft coverage, you can hear in-depth analysis twice a week on "With the First Pick" -- our year-round NFL Draft podcast with NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can find "With the First Pick" wherever you get your podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, etc. Listen to the latest episode below!

Round 2: DT Kris Jenkins, Michigan & OG Cooper Beebe, Kansas State

A'Shawn Robinson, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Jihad Ward; that is the list of the defensive linemen scheduled to hit free agency this offseason. Leonard Williams was traded to Seattle midseason. So, New York may have to replace more than 1,000 defensive snaps among that group, and Jenkins is familiar with the business of the league. His father played 10 NFL seasons with the Panthers and Jets. During that time, he was named an All-Pro thrice. 

New York's offensive line is still a problem despite having two first-round selections as bookend tackles. Beebe is incredibly passionate about the game and plays like a bouncer clearing drunks out of the Big Apple's night clubs. The Giants get stronger in the trenches. 

Round 3: LB Junior Colson, Michigan

Colson has played behind Jenkins for three years, so they may as well continue that relationship in the NFL. It is unclear which direction the organization may go to replace its defensive coordinator, but it was not looking to move on from Martindale, which suggests it had no issues with his system. It is reasonable to think the Giants may hire someone with a similar view of the defense and how to use the personnel. 

Round 4: CB Khyree Jackson, Oregon

Jackson has been a bit of a nomad throughout his football career. After playing high school ball in Maryland, he spent time at two junior colleges. In 2021, the nation's No. 1 junior college cornerback enrolled at Alabama. Over the course of two years, he appeared in 19 games for the Crimson Tide but played just 189 defensive snaps. In 2023, he transferred to Oregon seeking a bigger opportunity. As a Duck, he played 496 defensive snaps and allowed 200 yards and one touchdown on 42 targets, according to TruMedia. His length gives New York extended man coverage potential and provides depth or a potential starter to that room. 

Round 5: Ethan Driskell, OT, Marshall

Offensive tackle Matt Peart is scheduled to be a free agent. Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal are slated to return together for at least one more season, but the hope is that Driskell can serve as the swing tackle while continuing to develop his game. He has good athleticism but still requires some technical refinement.

Round 6: EDGE Eric Watts, UCONN

Watts is a powerful player who will defend the corner as he continues developing his pass-rush plan. Watts is not a finished product, but there are tools to work with and that at least leaves the imagination that he could become a staple of their defense down the road. New York had the fourth fewest sacks (34) in the league this season. 

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. More draft coverage can be found at, including the weekly updated draft ordermock drafts and a regularly available look at the eligible prospects