New York Giants: Mel Kiper now sees Big Blue taking Jaylen Waddle at 11

New York Giants, Jaylen Waddle
Oct 24, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) pushes away Tennessee defensive back Kenney Solomon (31) during a game between Alabama and Tennessee at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Caitie McMekin-USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants need to add playmakers to the offense. But no one is quite sure yet how they’re going to go about it. They hold the number eleven pick in the draft, but there’s no guarantee the player they want is available. Even if there are high level players available, it’s also unknown if the Giants want to take a receiver or add further depth at tight end with Kyle Pitts.

According to Mel Kiper Jr., however, the Giants going receiver and taking Jaylen Waddle is the safest prediction. Waddle is, of course, the second biggest name coming out of Alabama at the position next to DeVonta Smith. But with Smith being one of the first receivers projected off the board, there’s a higher chance of Waddle being available by pick number eleven.

Can the Giants get Daniel Jones a No. 1 receiver? He has had Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and tight end Evan Engram as his top targets the past two seasons, and they’ve struggled with inconsistency and staying on the field. Now is the time to get a full evaluation of Jones. If they don’t wade into the free-agent waters, Waddle is the best option at No. 11. He is the top deep threat in this class and is electric with the ball in his hands.

Interestingly, Kiper sees Pitts flying off the draft board to the Jets as one of the highest drafted tight ends ever, and DeVonta Smith and Ja’Marr Chase becoming high end draft picks too. With all of those players off the board, it would make a lot of sense for the Giants to take Waddle.

A player held back by injury

Waddle looks like a better prospect than his raw statistics might indicate. Last season, he played in six games and had 28 receptions for 591 yards and four touchdowns. However, he was supposed to do more than that. He went out with a bad ankle injury and this prevented him from being able to add to his accomplishments in his final college season.

Even if Waddle’s injury pushes him down to number eleven, it’s important to realize the Giants would still be getting one of the top receivers from one of the most talented teams in the country. And if Waddle had been able to play a full season, his performance may very well have boosted him above other prospects to a higher draft value.

If most of the other top playmakers are off the board, it might come down to the Giants either taking Waddle or a defensive prospect like Gregory Rousseau – but with the offense struggling more than the defense last year, it’s hard to imagine the Giants not trying to address that through the draft.