Giants could draft rookie wide receiver compared to Puka Nacua in the second round

Florida Gators wide receiver Ricky Pearsall (1)(New York Giants, Jets prospect) makes a one-handed catch for a first down during the first half against the Charlotte 49ers at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Matt Pendleton / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants are aiming to add a playmaker to their lineup in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. They could end up taking one in the first round, however, they seem intent on landing one of the class’s top quarterbacks on day one. If they manage to grab a new signal-caller, they could wait to draft a wide receiver on day two of the draft.

University of Florida wideout Ricky Pearsall is an intriguing option for the Giants to consider in the second round. The versatile playmaker could be a top target for the G-Men with their No. 47 overall pick in this year’s draft.

The Giants could target Florida WR Ricky Pearsall in the second round

Pearsall is currently projected as a second-round pick in this year’s draft. He’s been one of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process and is now the No. 39 ranked prospect in NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s rankings.

The Giants hold the No. 47 overall pick in the NFL Draft. This puts them in relative range to land Pearsall in the second round. He will be among the top playmakers available entering the second day of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Pearsall is an elite athlete

Pearsall showed up and showed out at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. The 6-foot-1, 189-pound receiver scored a 9.90 relative athletic score (RAS) after running a 4.41s 40-yard dash and posting elite numbers in the agility and explosion drills. He completed the shuttle drill in just 4.05s and completed the three-cone drill in just 6.64s — both elite times for his position. Pearsall also recorded a 42-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-9-inch broad jump. His RAS ranked 34 out of 3,188 wide receiver prospects from 1987 to 2024.

READ MORE: The Giants have a front-office connection that could help them trade up in the draft

What could Pearsall bring to the Giants’ offense?

In 2023, Pearsall established himself as one of the Florida Gators’ most dynamic players. He racked up 65 receptions for 965 yards and four touchdowns during the campaign. According to Pro Football Focus, Pearsall posted a 91st percentile score versus single coverage and a 90th percentile separation score overall last season.

He also has the ability to make incredible highlight-reel grabs, like this one-hander against Charlotte:

Pro Football Focus gives high praise to Pearsall

PFF described Pearsall as “one of the SEC’s most efficient slot receivers this past season.” They also listed Pearsall as one of the draft class’s five most “pro-ready” prospects, comparing him to Los Angeles Rams star WR Puka Nacua:

“Last season, Puka Nacua had the most instant and sustained impact,” PFF’s Sam Monson wrote. “Nacua was a productive college player with exceptional athleticism as measured by tracking data (his actual testing numbers were more average). He then sent his production to the stratosphere by living in Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp’s meetings the second he was drafted by the Rams.

“Repeating that performance won’t be easy, but Florida’s Ricky Pearsall ticks a lot of those same boxes… If he can also put the work in right away, Pearsall is the kind of receiver who could put up bigger numbers in the NFL than he did in college with a better passer getting him the football.”

If the Giants are seeking an instant-impact contributor for their offense in this year’s draft, Pearsall should be among their top targets in the second round. Pearsall would bring reliable playmaking and separation to the Giants’ lineup. If he is still on the board with the No. 47 overall pick, the Giants should make draft Pearsall a priority.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: