NFL draft buzz: Giants interested in Justin Herbert?

The New York Giants believe they might have their franchise quarterback in Daniel Jones, but that isn’t stopping them from thoroughly doing their research on this year’s crop.

The Giants have spent a lot of time researching Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Monday. Included in New York’s exhaustive draft preparation process were FaceTime conversations between Herbert and coach Joe Judge, Rapoport and Garafolo added.

Just as recently as last year, an NFL team (Arizona Cardinals) dumped its first-round quarterback (Josh Rosen) for another one (Kyler Murray) after one season spent together. It’s much, much more likely that this is just a smokescreen, though, as the Giants — owners of the No. 4 pick — are open to moving back in the first round of the draft.

There’s good reason for smokescreening. Two teams in need of quarterbacks of the future are positioned directly behind the Giants. The Miami Dolphins are slotted at No. 5, and right behind them are the Los Angeles Chargers. The No. 3 pick, owned by Detroit, has been discussed as a potential landing spot for a team looking to trade up, Lions general manager Bob Quinn admitted last week. We’re setting up for a potential arms race.

Los Angeles very well could be motivated to jump in front of Miami to take their favorite remaining quarterback at No. 4. But Miami could leverage its larger treasure chest to counter by trading up to No. 3. The risk is great in this scenario for the Chargers, which could lead to a stalemate driven mostly by fear of the disaster scenario.

Then again, Detroit and New York have good reason to drive up the price of their picks, which they can happily spend if they don’t get a suitable offer. There’s no pressure to trade out for either team. It’s all about leverage at this time of the year.

NFL.com will keep you updated on the latest 2020 NFL Draft buzz, rumors and reports in the days leading up to Thursday’s Round 1. Here’s what else we’re monitoring Monday:

» The Falcons have Matt Ryan entrenched as their starting quarterback, but it never hurts to plan ahead. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff told local reporters Monday he’s always looking at the position during draft preparation, which came as a response to reports Dimitroff was interested in some of this class’ top signal-callers, per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.

The Falcons could have good reason to take a hard look at some of the quarterbacks outside of the presumed top three at the position, because the rest look more like projects than immediate answers. That would fit well with a timeline like Atlanta’s, which includes Ryan’s final four years of his contract (through 2023) but also has a potential out after the 2022 season. Time spent behind the veteran could help ease the transition for a player like Jacob Eason or Jordan Love, or someone else, if the Falcons consider such a selection to be appropriate.

» The Pittsburgh Steelers are happy to have Minkah Fitzpatrick instead of their 2020 first-round pick, a point coach Mike Tomlin reiterated Monday. There’s also an added bonus.

"It’s going to be a spectator’s view," Tomlin said of Pittsburgh’s perspective of Thursday night’s opening round, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. "It’s a good opportunity for us to get comfortable with the organization of all of this."

While the rest of the league makes pressure-packed decisions in unfamiliar remote settings, Pittsburgh will have its popcorn and notepad ready.

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