As the NFL season comes to a close, fans of the New York Giants have already begun speculating moves that their beloved team should do this offseason. Something that has become all too familiar over the last few seasons.
One position of intrigue and debate is wide receiver. After trading away Odell Beckham Jr. and being thin at the position, many wonders if the Giants will take an elite receiver at the top of this April’s NFL Draft. Others, on the other hand, believe this would be a mistake. Which side are you on?
Making the case for a WR in Round 1
With the 4th overall pick in hand and considering the needs of Washington and Detroit in front of them, the New York Giants very likely could miss out on a premier defensive talent yet again. Chase Young seems bound for Washington. Isaiah Simmons’ performance has made him a strong candidate to go 3rd overall. So, what does that mean for the Giants?
Popular options include trading back to a quarterback hungry team, taking a young offensive tackle or grabbing another cornerback. However, many others think the New York Giants should be taking a wide receiver.
Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb have been considered by some to be ideal selections for the Giants. Jeudy has been compared to the Cowboys’ Amari Cooper and can be the outside receiver New York covets. His speed and agility make him a threat at all levels.
Then there is CeeDee Lamb. Lamb has incredible ball skills and control of his 6’2” frame. Many compare Lamb to Houston’s Deandre Hopkins or even 6-time Pro Bowler, Reggie Wayne. How could the New York Giants pass on that?
Even if the Giants were to trade down, the talent in this draft class at the receiver is very deep. Clemon’s Tee Higgins, Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, LSU’s Justin Jefferson, and Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. are just some of the names that could be called in the 1st round.
Making the case against a WR in Round 1
The depth of this receiving class may be the strongest case against taking a receiver in the first round. It is no secret that the New York Giants have needed all over, especially on the defense and offensive line. Is taking a receiver in the Top 5 really the best use of draft capital?
Without trading out, the Giants are sitting in a great position to address many needs with premier talent. Isaiah Simmons is an ideal fit, but may not be available. Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah is another top prospect that will be available with the 4th pick. The tackle position is very top-heavy, with Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas all being considered as the best tackle prospect in the class.
The Giants have a talented group of receivers already, but they are thin at the position. With the injuries they suffered last season, having depth is critical. Taking a wide receiver later in the draft may be their best option. Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, Southern Cal’s Michael Pittman Jr. and Ohio State’s K.J.Hill are just some of the names the Giants could call at any point in the later rounds. Temple wide receiver Isaiah Wright has been impressing scouts this week at the Shrine Bowl and could very well be a breakout player in the NFL.
What about the free-agent market?
The New York Giants are going to have a ton of money available for free agency. If they prioritize the offensive line and defense in the NFL Draft, they have some options in free agency in order to build out the depth at wide receiver.
New York can definitely bring back guys that WR Coach Tyke Tolbert is familiar with. Cody Latimer, Cody Core, and even Da’Mari Scott would all be unsurprising returns to the Giants. If the G-Men dip elsewhere in free agency, they do have options. They could look to add a veteran with a one year deal, much like Randall Cobb, Demaryius Thomas or Danny Amendola. The veteran option giving them depth, talent, and experience as a stop-gap for the season.
What about a younger option that could be signed for a longer deal? WR Amari Cooper hasn’t be resigned by Dallas… yet. The Jets Robby Anderson looks to be headed to the open market and will be sought after. There are also options like Rashard Higgins, who showed flashes with his time in Cleveland before the Browns brought in Landry and Odell.
Whatever the case may be, the New York Giants will have to address the lack of depth at wide receiver. The talent is there, especially with the emergence of Darius Slayton, but there is a longevity concern that will need to be taken into consideration.