The New York Giants have a difficult decision to make with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, but bolstering their offensive line would be a good decision. Ultimately, there aren’t many poor avenues they can take at 11, considering the talent that is expected to drop after multiple quarterbacks are selected in the top five picks.
Most believe that Northwestern stand-out OL Rashawn Slater could drop to the Giants, and if he does, could be a plug-and-play right guard. After the Giants released Kevin Zeitler, their offensive line was left with a massive hole at the RG position, and they have a few scenarios they can attack in the draft to cover the void. Either they solve the spot in the first round or wait until the second round to draft a player like Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis or even Alabama’s Landon Dickerson.
However, I have one alternative that would not only add a high upside lineman but also contribute more draft capital to the Giants’ selections. Currently, Big Blue has only six picks to utilize in the draft, and adding a second-rounder would go a long way in finding a pass rusher and allowing the team to find another playmaker.
Of course, trading back all depends on who’s willing to move picks and what players fall to 11 that are of interest. For example, if a quarterback fell to 11, a team like the New England Patriots could be a great trade partner, which would open up an interesting avenue for the Giants.
The New York Giants can kill two birds with one stone:
One player who is rising quickly on draft boards is Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC. Vera-Tucker is a 6’6″, 300-pound lineman who has experience at left tackle and guard. As an extremely competitive player that has great upside based on his athleticism, most analysts have been projected as a guard at the NFL level. He would be a great supplement for the loss of Zeitler, with even more potential.
Compared to Slater, I like that Alijah has experience in the interior already and great feet when maneuvering in the run game. While the Giants’ OL would undoubtedly be young, they would have plenty of great players to work with and develop around quarterback Daniel Jones. In this scenario, the Giants not only land one of the top linemen in the draft, but they also add a second-round pick from the Patriots, moving back to 15, which allows them to target an offensive playmaker or a pass rusher at 46.