Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
It is never a bad idea to provide your quarterback with more weapons, and the New York Giants could look to make a major splash in the 2021 NFL draft. After signing WR1 Kenny Golladay to a four-year contract, the Giants feel as though their wide receiver unit has been bolstered, but if a player like Alabamaâ€™s DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Wade falls to 11, they could be too enticing to pass up.
Interestingly, the Giants have spent a ton of time evaluating pass rushers, ranging from Jaelan Phillips out of Miami to Jason Oweh from Penn State. This could mean the Giants are eyeing a pass rusher with the 11th overall pick, or they could be scouting for the second round at 42. Ultimately, with elite-level players capable of making an impact on day one likely to fall to 11, the Giants would be foolish to reach on an unproven pass rusher like Gregory Rousseau, for example.
In Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock draft, the New York Giants still have a taste for play-makers, and they surely address that craving.
Even after the Giantsâ€™ signing of Kenny Golladay , I still get the sense Big Blue wants more weapons. Smith is the best route runner in the draft.
The Giants, in this scenario, have a shot at Smith, who just finished one of the most illustrious seasons for a receiver in college history. Over 13 games, he tallied 1856 yards and 23 touchdowns through the air, including one on the ground.
Some coin Smith as the best receiver in college history, but at 6â€™1â€ and 175 pounds, there is concern that he might be undersized for the NFL. However, as a Heisman-winning receiver and one that defenses focused on for the most part at the college level, Smith was dominant, utilizing elite route running and consistent hands to beat his opponents.
I donâ€™t believe his lack of size will haunt him at the next level, as route running is often the most translatable skill to the NFL. In addition, he utilizes his slender frame to squeeze the boundary and avoid press coverage. He might better fit a â€œZâ€ in the NFL, but with Sterling Shepard having an out in his contract after the 2021 season, the Giants can easily execute, saving the salary space and injecting Smith into an everyday role with no problem.
However, the Giants would have a crowded wide receiver room, including Golladay, Shepard, Smith, John Ross, and Darius Slayton. That is not even considering players like Alex Mack or Dante Pettis.
With the offensive line still a major question, the Giants might look to a player like Rashawn Slater if he falls, but drafting Smith and finding a plug-and-play guard in the second round would be a fantastic move, nonetheless.