Could the New York Giants Draft a Wide Receiver at No. 17?

The New York Giants brought A.J. Brown in for a top-30 visit.

As part of the top-30 rule, the New York Giants are allowed to bring in 30 players to visit their facilities and interview ahead of the NFL draft. Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown joined the Giants for a visit on Wednesday, checking off another prospect worthy of a first-round selection in 2019.

After star wideout, Odell Beckham Jr. was traded to the Cleveland Browns, a hole opened up on the outside of the offense. Signing Golden Tate offers value, but he features primarily in the slot alongside Sterling Shepard. It’s possible the Giants will focus their efforts towards the middle of the field, but losing a player of Beckham’s magnitude hurts any offense.

What would A.J. Brown bring to the New York Giants?

Brown, 6’2″ and 226 pounds, is a bully of a pass-catcher that is a masterful route runner. He’s one of the only options in the draft that analyst Lance Zierlein graded over 6.0, meaning he has the potential to be an instant starter and impact player.

The Ole Miss product had an extremely productive season in 2018, earning 85 receptions for 1,320 yards (6th in college football), and six touchdowns. While his scoring production isn’t the most appealing thing about the receiver, his ability to move the ball down the field isn’t a concern. His NFL comparison is JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Brown visiting the Giants came as a surprise, especially after the departure of OBJ. This is the first interest we’ve seen from the Giants in regards to a WR. His abilities could compensate for the loss of Shepard if general manager Dave Gettleman elects to trade him while he still holds value. I could imagine Gettleman sending Sterling to a potential playoff contending team for a third-rounder mid-season if the Giants aren’t in a position to fight for a spot in the post-season.

What does the Giants’ WR corps look like?

1.) Golden Tate

2.) Sterling Shepard

3. Corey Coleman

5. Jawill Davis

6. Alonzo Russell

7. Brittan Golden

Clearly, the team lacks depth at the position, and if anything even remotely similar to the 2017 injury bugged season occurs, the Giants will be in trouble. Drafting an option might be their best option, but spending a first round pick might not be the most efficient move with tons of holes on the defensive side of the ball.