New York Giants could target stud wide receiver in trade-back scenario

New York Giants, Rashod Bateman

While New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has never traded back in the NFL draft, 2021 could offer him a chance to change the pattern. Gettleman usually falls in love with a prospect and sticks to his guns, but acquiring more draft capital and assets is never a bad move. Since Gettleman gave away a 3rd and 5th round pick for Leonard Williams just over a year ago, adding a few more picks to this upcoming draft could be beneficial.

The Giants do have several holes on the roster, notably at CB2, OLB, and on the offensive line. Mid round picks are perfect for plugging weak positions, and the Giants could consider this ideology in the draft.

The New York Giants still have a big weakness on offense:

One other significant weakness remains at wide receiver, and with a deep class this year, it shouldn’t be a problem finding a talented option in the first or second round. In this trade-back scenario, the Giants are looking to settle with a team in the 20s.

With the expectation that Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle,  DeVonta Smith, and even Kyle Pitts could be off the board by 11, trading to a QB-needy team would be a great way to improve their draft stock.

Let’s say the Giants moved back to the mid-20s and acquired another second-round pick, as teams looking for quarterbacks are always willing to give a bit more capital to land their guy. This would put the Giants in a good spot to target a player like Rashod Bateman, out of Minnesota.

At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, Bateman projects as a starting NFL receiver who has dominated over the past three years with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. This past year, he played in just five games, totaling 472 yards and two touchdowns. Flashback to 2019, and he recorded 1219 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Bateman is capable of being a fantastic vertical threat and has a solid blend of route running, ball-skills, and toughness. He is a fantastic receiver off the line of scrimmage, with a variety of releases and the ability to create separation without elite speed. The Giants don’t really have an elite speed receiver, as Darius Slayton faltered in 2020 after having a successful rookie campaign two years ago. Bateman won’t offer the offensive that elite playmaking ability, but he’s a consistent weapon that can create separation and win with superior route running.

Keep in mind guys like Devante Adams and DeAndre Hopkins, who lack elite speed but have fantastic releases and have perfected the fundamentals of the route tree.

Bateman has that capability, and his adaptability makes him even more exciting. He can play out of the slot, in the “Z” spot or “X” on the outside. The expectation is that he will make an early impact at the professional level, and with a decent quarterback to throw him the football, he could be a catalyst early on.