The New York Giants are in search of new offensive playmakers this offseason. The Giants averaged only 17.5 points per game in 2020, the second-lowest average in the NFL. General manager Dave Gettleman and co-owner John Mara promised in their post-season press conferences that they would add offensive weapons to help Daniel Jones.
The Giants are expected to target wide receivers in free agency and the draft. Many mock drafts have the Giants selecting a wide receiver with the eleventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. But this year’s wide receiver class is loaded with talent. Would the Giants be better off waiting until the second round to draft a wide receiver?
Why the Giants might want to wait on wide receiver
The 2021 NFL Draft class is, once again, filled with talented wide receivers. There could be as many as five or six wide receivers drafted in the first round of this year’s draft. In 2020, there was a very similar situation. Like 2021, there were three standout wide receiver prospects in last year’s draft class. But somehow, not a single wide receiver was selected in the top ten.
There could be as many as three wide receivers selected in the top ten in 2021. Six wide receivers were selected in the first round in 2020. That could realistically happen again in 2021.
Many fans feel that it is necessary for the Giants to land one of this year’s top three receivers in the class: Jaylen Waddle, Ja’Marr Chase, or Devonta Smith. But based on recent draft history, that is not necessarily the case. The top performer from the 2020 wide receiver class was the fifth receiver taken, Justin Jefferson. Jefferson went on to post 1,400 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns in his rookie season.
In round two, a number of teams found new starting wide receivers like the Pittsburgh Steelers (Chase Claypool) and the Indianapolis Colts (Michael Pittman Jr.). This was also the case in 2019 when AJ Brown and DK Metcalf were both drafted in round two and have gone on to be true primary receivers for their respective teams.
There has been a trend in recent years where the highest-drafted wide receiver prospects in the class are outperformed by later draft picks. With so much wide receiver talent in the 2021 NFL Draft, New York could consider waiting to draft a wideout until they are on the clock with the forty-third pick in the draft.
Who might be available in round two?
There are a number of wide receiver prospects that are expected to be drafted at the back end of the first round. But any one of these receivers could fall to round two since teams know there is a surplus of wide receiver talent in this year’s class. Potential round two targets for the Giants include Rondale Moore, Kadarius Toney, Terrace Marshall Jr., and Elijah Moore.
Any one of these prospects could be taken in round one. But these prospects could realistically fall to the second round. The Giants should be prepared to double-dip at wide receiver if one of these prospects falls, whether they select a playmaker in round one or not. The wide receiver talent on the board could be too good for the New York Giants to pass up on in round two.