The 2023 New York Giants season is in the books now it's time to look to the future. After an unexpectedly excellent inaugural season for Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen, Big Blue took a significant step back this campaign, finishing 6-11.
Everything went wrong offensively. Daniel Jones regressed significantly on the field and tore his ACL in early November. Saquon Barkley battled through injuries again and averaged under four yards per carry. The offensive line struggled immensely, while Darren Waller never looked right when he was healthy enough to play.
Young players like Xavier McKinney, Jason Pinnock, Bobby Okereke, Micah McFadden, and Dexter Lawrence continued their ascension on the defensive side of the ball. New York recently parted ways with Wink Martindale, which means their defense could look very different next fall.
It's safe to say Schoen has his work cut out for him this offseason. The bulk of that work will be done through the draft. Here is my latest NY Giants seven-round mock draft, with a star receiver making his way to East Rutherford:
NY Giants first-round pick: Washington WR Rome Odunze
The Giants own the No. 6 pick in April's draft and will not be happy with how this simulation plays out. Three quarterbacks (Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, and Drake Maye) were the top three picks, followed by two wide receivers (Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers).
Schoen will likely draft a wide receiver or quarterback in this draft. Rome Odunze may just be that guy, and come April, he could find his name called ahead of Nabers. The 6-3, 215-pounder has all the size, speed, and physicality an NFL general manager craves.
In four seasons at Washington, Odunze hauled in 214 passes for 3,272 yards and 24 touchdowns. His 2023 season was magical, hauling in 92 Michael Penix Jr. passes for 1,640 yards and 13 touchdowns. He set Washington's single-season receiving yards record and pushed the Huskies all the way to the National Championship game.
Oh, by the way, in a game on the final day of September, Odunze took a monster shot while recovering on the outside to clinch a win over Arizona. He broke a rib and punctured his lung on the play and was forced to take a 23-hour car ride back to Seattle since the doctors would not clear him to fly. He did not miss a game all season. He is one tough player.