New York Giants: Daniel Jeremiah predicts more weapons in Big Blue’s future

New York Giants, Devonta Smith

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 Alabama’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 Giants’ 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 6’1” 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 don’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 “Z” 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.

What an ideal 2021 NFL Draft would look like for the New York Giants

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have multiple holes they need to fill in the 2021 NFL draft, but what order they solve them is yet to be seen. With the ability to go best player available if they so choose, the Giants have interestingly been evaluating a wide variety of pass rushers, supposedly one they could select with the 11th overall pick or in a trade back scenario.

The Giants feel confident that they have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and adding an above-average pass rusher would simply push them over the edge. Not only would they have an elite secondary with James Bradberry and Adoree Jackson manning the corners, but they would have a strong interior line, led by Leonard Williams who recently signed a three-year deal this off-season.

Offensively, the Giants still need some support, specifically on the offensive line where they traded away starting right guard Kevin Zeitler, saving $12 million in salary space. They did acquire Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph, but without time in the pocket, Daniel Jones won’t be able to utilize his playmakers efficiently.

Let’s take a look at how an ideal draft would look for the New York Giants:

First Round: Offensive Line

As we know, the Giants had one of the worst lines in the NFL last season, ranking 32nd in pass-blocking efficiency. While they ranked below average in run blocking, it was the only portion of their offense that was even respectable. Adding a few weapons this off-season will hopefully generate more points, but if Jones doesn’t have time in the pocket to throw the ball, it will all be for not.

Selecting a player like Rashawn Slater out of Northwestern would be a solid choice, given he can kick inside to guard and be a potential Pro-Bowl level player there. I believe he would give the Giants an adequate upgrade in the trenches with his athleticism and football IQ.

Second Round: Pass Rusher

As stated above, the Giants have been evaluating pass rushers, but none are worthy of being selected with the 11th overall pick. There are several that could fall to the second round, given the Giants an opportunity to snag one. Names like Jason Oweh from Penn State and Jaelan Phillips from Miami stand out, but there’s no guarantee either will be there in a second round.

The Giants could theoretically trade up into the first if one falls, which I see as a more likely scenario than picking one at 11. This is a weak draft class for pass rushers, so the Giants shouldn’t take an unnecessary risk when there are elite-level playmakers that can make an impact on day one still on the board.

Third Round: Wide Receiver

With a wide receiver class as deep as this one, the Giants have a solid chance at finding an underrated talent in the third round. A player like Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace could be a great selection. At 5’11 and 193 pounds, he’s a prolific option and would thrive in an air raid offense as a physical receiver, which is something the Giants are trying to adapt to moving forward with the addition of Golladay.

Ultimately, they can find a receiver with upside they can develop this season, and if they elect to take the out in Sterling Shepard’s contract after the 2021 campaign, they can move on with a player prepared to take over.

This would be an ideal draft for the Giants, in my opinion, as they solve the offensive line issue, add a pass rusher with upside, and a receiver who they can develop in their scheme.

New York Giants: 2 round mock draft – trading back to secure the haul

New York Giants, Rashod Bateman

If the New York Giants can get creative in the 2021 NFL draft, they can walk away with several premium draft selections and upgrades at multiple spots of weakness. Of course, injecting an offensive playmaker into a unit that ranked 31st in scoring last year is essential, but their defense could also use a bit of support.

In this mock draft, we execute a trade back with the New England Patriots, assuming there is a quarterback on the board they are keen on acquiring, and considering they are only four spots back from the Giants, it is not a crazy leap to make.

1st round: 11th overall pick/76th pick TRADED to NE for 15th overall and 47th overall pick 

Per Drafttek, here are the pick values:

NYG 11th: 1,250

NYG 76th: 210

=1,460

NE 15th: 1,050

NE 47th: 430

=1,480

Equal to a FAIR trade.

15th pick selection: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman has been climbing the draft board recently, and for good reason. He is considered one of the best route runners in the 2021 NFL draft class and represents a potential WR1 for the Giants at the NFL level.

In 2019, Bateman posted 1219 yards and 11 scores, adding 20.3 yards per reception to his totals. He’s not only a vertical threat, given his strong release package and ability to run slant routes in the short/intermediate range. He finds gaps in coverage and has reliable hands as a three-year starter for the Golden Gophers.

Landing Bateman here would be a fantastic selection, as he is a top-four receiver and would likely be a top 10 prospect if he featured in the SEC.

43rd pick selection: Wyatt Davis, Ohio State

The Giants managed to retain their 43rd overall pick in the draft scenario, and they find an immediate starting guard in Wyatt Davis. Davis is considered an immediate starter at right guard, but the Giants could do something a bit different with his talents.

If they elect to extend Kevin Zeitler one or two more years, they can lower his cap hit for the 2020 season and potentially trade him for draft capital next year.

In this scenario, Davis is plugged in at left guard, and if he progresses nicely, they can keep Zeitler on a minimal cap hit, but if he struggles, they can always move him back to the right side and trade Zeitler for draft capital. This is a win/win scenario and creates more competition at LG with Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez looking to gain ground.

47th pick selection: Joseph Ossai, Texas

The Giants might have their pick of the second-round pass rushers at 47, with Penn State Jayson Oweh and Joseph Ossai from Texas available.

Ossai is an intriguing prospect, and I believe the Giants will favor him at outside linebacker. He’s a bit smaller than Oweh, but Ossai is capable of dropping back into coverage and filling specific spots, which is something that coordinated Patrick Graham likes to do. Ossai is a multiple player, with his ability to put his hand in the dirt and perform as a 5 technique defender.

The Texas standout is known for being clutch and coming up in big moments, and with an unstoppable motor, he reminds me a bit of JPP. He has incredibly strong hands and is quick off the LOS. He is a prospect with incredible upside, and at just 21 years old, his potential could be immense.

Some analysts believe Oweh is the better prospect and could be a 10+ sack pass rusher at the NFL level, but I love Ossai‘s story and his desire to fight for everything in life. He will commit 100% and give you everything on the field, and I like players who have a chip on their shoulder.

Joseph and his family were selected in the lottery pool for visas to the United States when he was nine years old, and after experiencing bullying in school and overcoming many challenges in his life, he does not want to let an opportunity like this pass him by. He’s one of those players I simply have a good feeling about, and his talents back up the that gut feeling.