Grading the New York Giants’ 2021 NFL Draft 1st round haul

new york giants, kadarius toney
Dec 5, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators wide receiver Kadarius Toney (1) runs with the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The moment Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants’ draft strategy changed as their primary option came off the board. Instead, they considered trading back for the first time in years and Gettleman’s first time in the history of his career.

With Smith and Jaylen Waddle off the board, the Giants struck a deal with the Chicago Bears, moving back to the 20th overall pick, collecting a haul in the process. They added a fifth-round pick for the 2021 NFL draft, but a first-round and a fourth-round pick in 2022. An incredible haul for a team that rarely ever maneuvers in the NFL draft.

To put things into perspective, when the Steelers moved back 10 selections in 2019 with the Broncos, they acquired the number 52 overall pick and a future third-rounder, whereas the Giants added a first-round pick and several mid-round selections.

While nobody anticipated the Giants moving back, they 100% won this trade, even “fleecing” the Chicago Bears, which is how Gettleman would’ve put it.

What did the New York Giants get with Kadarius Toney?

Not only did they add draft capital, but they also managed to land Florida playmaker Kadarius Toney, who had a stellar 2020 season down south. He finished with 1,145 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns. Toney is an extremely interesting player that can be used as a gadget option out of the backfield, but also on wide receiver screens in space.

When looking at him objectively, he’s not a physical receiver that will win on the outside, but he can thrive in the slot and from a “Z” alignment on the interior, avoiding press coverage and using his shifty ability to create separation and get into the open field.

The best part about Kadarius is that when he has the ball in his hands, anything can happen. In the blink of an eye, he can take a pass to the house, and while he does have some issues creating separation against press coverage, the Giants will get creative with him and move him around the formation with pre-snap motion. I do see the selection as a potential cutting bait with Sterling Shepard, who has a club OUT in his contract after 2021.

Nonetheless, I gave this first-round grade an A- based on what Toney brings and the draft capital they added moving back nine selections. While DeVonta Smith did go to Philadelphia and Dallas managed to snag Micah Parsons, the Giants walked away winners in this scenario, setting themselves up with a contingency plan in case Daniel Jones doesn’t take a positive step forward this year but also more assets to plug holes in 2022.