NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Giants surprisingly take a defensive star in Round 1

Will Big Blue really go this direction come April?

2023 ACC Championship - Louisville v Florida State
2023 ACC Championship - Louisville v Florida State / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages

With Super Bowl 58 in the books with a thrilling finish, it is now the NFL offseason with teams like the New York Giants now looking ahead to 2024. After going 6-11, Big Blue holds the No. 6 overall pick and there are plenty of needs for them to address.

There's been plenty of buzz about the Giants going with a star receiver, quarterback or lineman in the first round. In our new roundup of experts' picks, that continues to be the trend, but one insider thinks general manager Joe Schoen could go after a star on defense on draft night instead.

Will the NY Giants focus on defense with the No. 6 overall pick?

Chad Reuter, Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

Even though the Giants have a strong defensive unit up front with Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux looking like stars, Chad Retuer won't be surprised if the Giants do go the defensive route in the first round. And with the player he projects that Giants should target, who can blame him?

Edge rusher Jared Verse had a very strong collegiate career, especially this past season and Reuter is already comparing him to former first-round pick back in 2023, Will Anderson Jr. The 23-year-old stud had nine sacks in both 2023 and 2022 and had 17 tackles for a loss back in 2022. The former Florida State standout could provide opposing linemen with plenty of issues.

Trevor Sikkema, Pro Football Focus: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

This Giants offensive line has to get better at some point and drafting a tackle like Joe Alt out of Notre Dame makes the most sense. Alt is listed as the best tackle in the draft and with questions about Evan Neal's future in New York, Trevor Sikkema sees Alt as the Giants No. 6 overall pick as a possibility. Alt played at left tackle for Notre Dame, but a switch to right tackle would be on the way for him if NY goes this route.

Matt Miller, ESPN: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

The Giants don't have a No. 1 wide receiver, but ESPN's Matt Miller thinks that will change this spring. Miller has the Giants slated to select wide receiver Rome Odunze out of Washington. Odunze, who is listed at 6-3 and 215 pounds, proved to be one of the best college wideouts in the country this past season. The former Washington speedster posted 1,640 yards on 92 receptions and had 13 touchdowns. He's a true playmaker.

Joe Broback, Pro Football Network: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR: Ohio State

Lastly, Joe Broback has the Giants taking Marvin Harrison Jr. out of Ohio State. If he is still somehow available at No. 6, this is a no-brainer. Harrison, who was a Heisman finalist this past season, is everything the Giants need out of a wide receiver. Harrison had over 1,200 yards in back-to-back seasons in 2022 and 2023 and had 14 touchdowns in both of those seasons as well. Harrison is a generational talent and can elevate this Giants offense. He'd be a much-needed addition for Daniel Jones.