If the NFL season ended today, the Giants would be picking third in the 2018 NFL draft -- their highest pick since they took linebacker Carl Banks third way back in 1984.
But if they somehow find a way to lose to the 0-9 49ers in San Francisco this Sunday, their first shot at the No. 1 overall pick in 52 years would be in play.
What would the Giants do with that unexpected gold? Would they grab their next franchise quarterback? Take the best tackle or running back instead? Or trade down with a quarterback-starved franchise for a boat-load of high picks over the next few years?
The possibilities would be endless. But assuming they hold onto their pick -- and assuming it's in the Top 5, which seems pretty likely at the moment -- here's a very early look at some of the directions the Giants might go:
Yes, they took Davis Webb in the third round this year, but if they really believed he was a lock to be their next franchise QB they wouldn't have waited three rounds. So if they have a chance to get a top quarterback -- one they truly believe will be special -- they can't pass him up. A lot of scouts think USC's Sam Darnold is going to be special. He might not come out this year, though, but UCLA's Josh Rosen has a lot of supporters too.
There are others -- like Louisville's Lamar Jackson and Wyoming's Josh Allen -- though they probably can be drafted later (though maybe not out of the Top 10.
If the Giants really believe Darnold or Rosen is the next great QB, this is a no-brainer. There are issues to consider, though. For one, Webb would be a wasted draft pick. But that's not nearly as concerning as this: Eli Manning is still signed for two more years, and there's no way they'd sit one of these guys for two full years. That means a full-blown quarterback controversy, perhaps as soon as 2018.
If they are convinced that Webb is their QB of the Future, then they will feel free to add another weapon. Imagine Webb (assuming he's good) having Odell Beckham, Jr. and Sterling Shepard to throw to, and Penn State's Saquon Barkley coming out of his backfield. There are some scouts who believe Barkley is a better running back prospect than Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley were. He's a dynamic receiver too, so the Giants sure wouldn't be easy to defend anymore.
What's the argument against taking perhaps the best player in the NFL draft? Aside from the fact that quarterbacks are more important, how successful could any running back be behind the Giants' mess of an offensive line -- a line that may have to be rebuilt anyway with Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg approaching free agency? Barkley can rise above that in college (mostly), but few RBs are able to do that in the NFL.
A stud running back behind a poor offensive line could be a colossal waste of a pick.
This remains, as always, the Giants' most obvious area of need. And if they somehow slip out of the Top 10 they may find several, ready-made solutions. Inside the Top 10, though, it could be a reach to grab one. Granted, it's really early in the evaluation process. But right now scouts aren't sold on there being a Top 10 pick among this line group. The best prospects often mentioned -- like Notre Dame's Mike McGlinchey or Texas' Connor Williams -- are generally considered very good, but not great.
Also, consider that the line is going to need far more than one player. The future of Pugh and Richburg will depend on their asking price. And John Jerry, with a price tag over $3 million is no lock to return. So even if the Giants are ready to surrender on Ereck Flowers or Bobby Hart at tackle, one player isn't going to have the immediate impact a top pick usually needs to make.
This would seem unlikely given their situation, with DEs Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, and DT Damon Harrison locked up to long, expensive contracts, and young, promising players like S Landon Collins, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, and CB Eli Apple. But they could be thin in the future at CB with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie not likely to return and Janoris Jenkins potentially cut-able with no guaranteed money left on his deal.
Would the Giants go for DB Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama? He would seem more likely than a top pass-rusher such as LSU's DE Arden Key. Fitzpatrick may be more of a safety, though, and the Giants believe they're set there with Collins and Darian Thompson.
It's honestly hard to find a fit and a reason for the Giants to use a top pick on a defensive player. Their greatest needs are on offense. And if the offensive players they like are gone, they're better off trading down.