DeVonta Smith expected New York Giants to select him at 11 – what happened next was great for everyone

New York Giants, Devonta Smith

The New York Giants patiently waited at 11 for Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith to fall. However, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys executed an interdivisional trade that sent Smith to Philadelphia, an unprecedented move that felt targeted at the Giants.

According to Smith himself, there were two teams he anticipated going to, and the Giants were one of them.

Appearing on Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast, Smith anticipated being pursued by two teams — the Panthers and Giants:

“I thought Carolina was going to draft me,” Smith said. “That’s who I thought. I knew of course the Giants, but it was all about, you have to get to 11. I knew if I was there at 11, I was for sure going to the Giants.”

It was clear that the Giants were in the mix for Smith at 11, but what they ended up gaining instead was not only far more valuable, it also makes an instant impact on offense. Landing Kadarius Toney with a 20th overall pick, Gettleman and Co. added a receiver who tallied 1,145 yards at 11 scores last year. In addition, he has dropped just three passes over four seasons and generated a 35% missed tackle rate, the highest of any receiver in this past draft class.

The New York Giants should be ecstatic with their haul:

Toney is an exceptional talent that can blow the top off the defense at any moment and make tacklers miss in the open field. His shifty attributes and quality background make him a perfect fit for a Giants offense looking to add another element and weapon for a quarterback Daniel Jones.

The front office did plenty to help provide Jones with more weapons to increase their offensive production this year, but the OL still remains a question. Smith, on the other hand, didn’t look too excited to take his talents to Philly, despite having his former quarterback Jalen Hurts on the roster.

The Giants didn’t only add an instant playmaker on offense, they also gained a first, fourth, and fifth-round pick to utilize. They will have the Chicago Bears first and fourth-rounders next year, which could end up being extremely valuable as they have the second hardest schedule in the NFL and are in flux with their quarterback situation. They are expected to start Andy Dalton in 2021 and ease Justin Fields in, which could end up biting them in the butt in the win-loss category.

At the end of the day, everybody walked away happy, as Philadelphia got a premium receiver who is arguably the best college pass catcher in college history, and the Giants walked away with future draft capital and an exciting player in Kadarius Toney.

New York Giants land deep in NFL.com’s latest power rankings for 2020

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

After another season of failure for the New York Giants, the 2020 offseason presents an opportunity to bolster the defensive unit and allocate more resources towards the offensive line. General manager Dave Gettleman must see improvement in his third season, especially with $80+ million and the 4th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The latest power rankings that have been released via NFL.com have once again seen the Giants plummet towards the bottom of the NFL, somehow landing above the Detroit Lions, who they failed to overcome in 2019.

Eli Manning is officially retired, Joe Judge leads an overhauled coaching staff and the Giants are finally ready for a fresh start in the Meadowlands. New York would be smart to focus heavily this offseason on the trenches. Improvement is necessary by everyone on the offensive line not named Kevin Zeitler — there could be two or three new starters by September. Then there’s the defensive front, the heart-and-soul positional group of champion Giants teams of the past. GM Dave Gettleman said after the season that “everyone east of the Pacific” knows the Giants need pass-rush help, so don’t be surprised if Big Blue opens up its wallet and spends big on one of the impact pass rushers on the market (Jadeveon Clowney is a particularly attractive option if the Seahawks can’t keep him in-house).

The New York Giants have the ammo to turn things around, but it’s not that easy:

If the Giants can add a defensive playmaker like Isaiah Simmons though the draft and find a way to add a capable tackle on the offensive line, they will be in far better shape heading into 2020. Gettleman has the available cap space to upgrade the cornerback, linebacker, and pass-rushing units, representing a possible significant turnaround. All we can is hope that he can pull it off.