The New York Giants need to allocate resources toward the wide receiver position, and looking toward the 2021 NFL draft could be the perfect move. Of course, free agency offers several options with upside, including Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel, and even Kenny Golladay of the Detroit Lions elect to tag and trade him.
The draft, however, is where the Giants can find a young player who fits their scheme and could also blossom into a WR1. With that being said, the Giants have been connected to players like Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and even TE Kyle Pitts.
There is one wide receiver in the draft that is going under the radar, and his name is Rashod Bateman of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Bateman spent three years in Minnesota, developing in their program and refining his skills. Heâ€™s one of the best route runners in this wide receiver draft class but posted only 472 yards and two scores last year before opting out after five games.
In 2019, though, he earned 1219 yards and 11 scores, showcasing his ability to push the field vertically and create separation from corners. He averaged a marvelous 20.3 yards per reception, indicating he was a downfield threat as well as an intermediate weapon.
Bateman isnâ€™t projected to have elite speed at the next level, but he did post a 4.39 40 yard dash at his Pro Fay. Of course, it is fair to take that with a grain of salt, given the people timing him.
Nonetheless, Rashod is quickly climbing the draft board, and the Giants could be in a position to trade back and potentially snag him while adding more capital to their equation. Currently, the Giants donâ€™t have a fifth-round pick, as they traded it away when GM Dave Gettleman acquired Leonard Williams from the New York Jets.
By trading back, not only do they return some of that lost capital, but they also have the opportunity to land potentially the best receiver in the draft class.
Again, Batemanâ€™s fundamentals and refined route running makes him a fantastic prospect with upside. Based on his size and tangible traits, if the Giants add a gadget player like Curtis Samuel with Bateman on the outside, they would have a solid one-two punch.
Factor in Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton and this unit could be categorized as â€œunderrated.â€