Panthers may have prevented the NY Giants from drafting 2024's top-rated RB

Did Carolina interfere with NY's draft plans this spring?
Texas v Baylor
Texas v Baylor / Tim Warner/GettyImages

After losing Saquon Barkley in the offseason, general manager Joe Schoen knew the NY Giants needed some offensive firepower. He upgraded the offensive line and selected wide receiver Malik Nabers with the No. 6 overall pick to give Daniel Jones a true top target. Schoen even signed Devin Singletary to bolster the rushing attack.

While Big Blue had reportedly been set on taking a safety to fill the void that Xavier McKinney created when he signed with the Green Bay Packers, a recent video that surfaced of the Carolina Panthers front office during draft day suggests otherwise. The team's GM, Dan Morgan, was worried that NY would select RB Jonathon Brooks with the No. 46 overall pick, so he traded up in the draft and snatched him one pick before the G-Men.

NY Giants were one pick away from selecting the top-rated RB in the draft

In the video, members of the Panthers front office are clearly under the impression that NY might have taken Brooks since they had him in for a 30 Visit. It's easy to see why the Giants were interested in the lightning-quick tailback — he averaged 6.1 yards per carry and 100+ rushing yards per game in his senior season at Texas.

Brooks entered the draft with a second to third-round grade by most scouts due to his injury history. While he has the most impressive game film and skill set of any RB in this draft class, he missed the Longhorns' final three games of the season after tearing his ACL in a game against TCU.

Carolina trading up for him was considered a reach by most NFL fans, but there is a likely explanation as to why they did that. Morgan worked with Schoen for three seasons in the Buffalo Bills organization, so he knows his tactics as well as anyone. He might have used that as leverage to predict who he would take with his draft selection and ultimately leapfrog the Giants on the draft board.

The Giants selected safety Tyler Nubin one pick after Brooks was taken, which was deemed a good selection by most prognosticators. Still, fans will still wonder whether Brooks would have been a better pick. Singletary was a nice addition in free agency, but it will take a lot more than that to match the production of Saquon. If Brooks does live up to his star potential, Schoen could regret not being more aggressive and chasing the player he wanted.