Newly-obtained future draft picks give the New York Giants insurance at quarterback

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are a rebuilt team with an incredibly bright future. That is more evident now than ever after the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Giants operated like a brand new team during this year’s draft. Dave Gettleman did what he has never done before and traded down. Gettleman and the Giants traded down not once, but twice in this year’s draft. The Giants made the big move to trade down in the first round with the Chicago Bears, fielding a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 fourth-round pick, and a 2021 fifth-round pick.

The Giants gained incredible value when acquiring those future draft picks. Those picks make the Giants’ future even brighter as they continue to build a young, talented, and competitive roster. But those picks also give the Giants insurance for the future regarding the most important position in sports: the quarterback.

How the future capital gives the Giants quarterback insurance

The Giants’ future draft picks obtained via trade this past weekend are hugely important. Not only does the capital give the Giants extra picks to add more young talent to their roster, but it also gives them flexibility going forward with their quarterback situation.

Daniel Jones, right now, is the guy. But this is widely considered to be his “prove-it” year. If Jones cannot succeed and compete now with the number of weapons New York surrounded him with this offseason, then it is hard to see him turning it around at any point.

First-round picks are the most valuable commodity in the NFL other than the quarterback position. But first-round picks are also used to obtain greater quarterback talent. The 49ers had to give up three first-round picks and more to obtain the third overall pick in this year’s draft and draft a quarterback.

If Daniel Jones does take the Giants to the playoffs in a breakout season, then New York can sit happily knowing they have their guy and have extra draft picks to continue building around him next year and beyond.

If Daniel Jones proves that he is not the guy this year, the Giants now have some extra capital to move up and get a new signal-caller in next year’s draft class (which is projected to be loaded with quarterback talent). New York gave themselves insurance and flexibility at quarterback by obtaining extra picks in next year’s draft.

New York Giants’ second round pick is PFF’s top rated pass rusher

new york giants, azeez ojulari

The New York Giants might have gotten the steal of the draft when they selected Azeez Ojulari. The Georgia pass rusher was one of the players linked to the Giants in some first round mock drafts, and yet he surprisingly fell out of the round altogether and the Giants were able to grab him later on.

Going into the season, a lot of people will want to know the answer to one question. Did the Giants come away with a massive steal here or was there a good reason why every team avoided Ojulari in round one?

Some signs point to the Giants finding good value. For one, a lot of experts have marked Ojulari as a player with upside and Pro Football Focus gave him the highest grade of any of the pass rushers in the draft.

Ojulari has been predicted by many to be as good as any of the others at his position. His college highlights further confirm that he’s for real. And it appears the main reason he was skipped out on in the first round was one that didn’t have to do with play.

Injury history caused teams to pass on Ojulari

A high school ACL injury appears to be part of the reason why Ojulari was passed on for so long before the Giants took him. However, this injury wouldn’t come back to affect him during his college career. He instead is the latest player to see his draft stock tumble because of something that came up late in the scouting process, near the draft itself. In fact, the health problem only came up a week before the draft was set to happen.

However, a week or so before the draft, a select group of players traveled to Indianapolis for medical checks. That’s where Ojulari was red-flagged because of a degenerative lower leg condition according to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline. Doctors were concerned the previous injury would lead to progressive, often irreversible deterioration, and loss of function in the ligaments.

The other concern is Ojulari’s smaller size compared to other pass rushers. But based on his good performance in college, it seems unlikely that teams would wait as long as they did to take him just because of that.

It looks like the Giants are taking a gamble that his health will turn out fine and that he won’t be another player whose career is cut short by injury, but Giants fans can at least rest assured that there’s no glaring hole in Ojulari’s game that caused him to drop all the way into the second round.

And, if the Giants had reason to believe his health would be a problem, they probably wouldn’t have made the pick.

New York Giants selected Georgia EDGE Azeez Ojulari with 50th overall pick in 2021 NFL Draft

In the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Giants have selected Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari at pick 50 overall. This selection was made after the Giants traded down from the 42nd overall pick with the Miami Dolphins. The Giants moved down eight spots and added Miami’s 2022 second-round pick.

After moving down in the second round, New York filled a major need at edge rusher with Azeez Ojulari. The Giants snagged a player that was frequently projected as a late first-round pick. However, some concerns over a previous knee injury pushed him down draft boards.

The Giants gained tremendous value in round two, drafting a player considered to be a first-round talent while also adding an additional future third-round pick. Azeez Ojulari is a speedy edge rusher with the juice and bend off the edge to get after quarterbacks.

In 2020, Azeez Ojulari was a menace off the edge for Georgia. Ojulari had 9.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss along with 4 forced fumbles. New York needed a new pass-rusher off the edge and they met their need with exceptional value in Azeez Ojulari.

New York Giants trade back in 2021 NFL Draft First Round

New York Giants

The New York Giants have traded down in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Giants have traded down to the 20th overall pick in the first round with the Chicago Bears. The Giants received pick 20, pick 164 (fifth-round), a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2022 fourth-round pick.

Dave Gettleman, general manager of the New York Giants, was notorious for never trading down in the draft. Tonight he made his first trade down to 20 overall. The Chicago Bears traded up to 11 overall to draft Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.

The Giants missed out on DeVonta Smith and pivoted towards moving down in the draft to gain extra draft capital. Now, the New York Giants have additional capital in this year and next year’s drafts. Barring any more unforeseen trades, Giants will be on the clock at 20 overall.

New York Giants: Kwity Paye speculation growing on eve of draft

Tomorrow is the start of the 2021 NFL Draft. The New York Giants hold the eleventh overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft. The Giants are one of the first round’s biggest question marks. They could select any one from a list of prospects ranging from wide receiver to cornerback to edge rusher.

The Giants had a phenomenal free agency period where they fixed nearly every major weakness on their roster. New York went all-in on Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph as Daniel Jones’s new weapons. They also signed Adoree’ Jackson as their starting boundary cornerback opposite James Bradberry.

But this does not mean that the Giants will not draft a receiver or a cornerback for that matter. Both are still viable options. However, the new rumor heating up in the mill is that the Giants will take an edge rusher, filling a need that they did not fully address in free agency. One particular edge rusher has been linked to the Giants a lot in recent days: Kwity Paye out of Michigan. Could he be the pick for New York at eleven? And what would he bring to the Giants’ defense?

Could Kwity Paye go to the Giants?

By most analysts’ standards, Kwity Paye at eleven would be a reach for the Giants. His projected draft stock lands him in the late teens or mid-twenties. However, Paye would fill a clear need for the Giants on defense.

The Giants are lacking a true every-down edge rusher on their roster. But is Kwity Paye that guy? Kwity Paye would instantly give the Giants a boost off the edge, especially as a run-defender. Paye is a polished edge prospect and the safest edge prospect in this class. He has no red flags medically or with any character concerns. If the Giants want to make a safe pick and address the edge rusher position, Paye is the pick.

However, Kwity Paye is unlikely to be the best player on the board. There is a strong chance that an elite prospect like Jaylen Waddle, Devonta Smith, Micah Parsons, or Rashawn Slater will be on the board for the Giants due to the run on quarterbacks expected to go in the top ten. Taking Kwity Paye over any of those elite guys would be a hard sell to the fanbase.

Paye at eleven would be a reach, though he is a viable trade-down target. Additionally, if he is the pick at eleven, that selection will be scrutinized and put under a microscope, but Kwity Paye is still a very talented edge rusher. Paye is the top-ranked EDGE in this class according to Pro Football Focus. He had a 26% pass-rush win rate in 2020 while also being a tremendous run-defender (PFF).

In his final two collegiate seasons, Kwity Paye racked up 8.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss through 16 games. Paye was mainly a 5-tech in college, but he has experience playing outside linebacker, rushing out of a two-point stance as well. He might not be the fan-favorite pick, but Kwity Paye is one of the best defenders in this year’s class and he would be a big upgrade on the New York Giants defense.

New York Giants: Drafting Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith only makes Darius Slayton better

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants are pondering who to select with the eleventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. An argument has risen on Giants Twitter based on the team’s reported interest in top prospects. Fans are debating, should the Giants take one of the draft’s top wide receivers or one of the draft’s top cornerbacks?

One of the arguments against drafting a wide receiver with the eleventh overall pick is that the Giants already have a competent receiving corps. New York signed Kenny Golladay as its top receiving option this offseason. Opposite of him will be Darius Slayton in his third season. The dependable Sterling Shepard will move back into the slot.

On paper, that is a solid receiving trio. Behind the top three are a couple of quality depth options in John Ross and Dante Pettis. Fans are arguing that Darius Slayton is a quality secondary outside receiver, which is why the Giants should address a different position of need with their first draft pick. However, I will make a counterargument. Drafting an elite wide receiver talent at eleven overall will serve to maximize Darius Slayton’s talents and give Daniel Jones and the Giants’ offense all the tools possible to find success in 2021.

How Darius Slayton benefits from the Giants going receiver at eleven

There are two elite wide receiver talents that the Giants are reportedly interested in at eleven overall. Alabam wideouts Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. Devonta Smith was this year’s Heisman Trophy winner and is an elite talent that shattered records in 2020 at Alabama. Jaylen Waddle is considered by some to be the best wide receiver in this year’s draft class thanks to his game-breaking speed and rare athletic traits.

Darius Slayton is currently projected to be the Giants’ number two receiving option as their “Z” receiver. If the Giants were to draft Waddle or Smith, they would move into that number two role opposite of Golladay while Shepard continues to hold down the slot. This means Darius Slayton would fall to number four on the Giants’ receiver list.

Some view that as a negative for Big Play Slay. I think that this influx of additional receiver talent would benefit Darius Slayton and the Giants’ offense as a whole. Having four talented, starting-level receivers on the roster would allow the Giants to run more 14-personnel and four or five receiver sets. This would stretch opposing defenses’ secondaries thin, forcing a team’s fourth-string cornerback to be tasked with guarding Darius Slayton, a potential WR2 on some teams.

It is difficult to find depth at the cornerback position, similarly to wide receiver. But the pick of a wide receiver at eleven would give the Giants tremendous depth at the position to roast opposing secondaries lacking cornerback depth. Darius Slayton is likely talented enough to toast most fourth-string cornerbacks in the NFL on a play-by-play basis.

How Daniel Jones benefits, too

Additionally, having so much wide receiver talent on the roster and on the field at the same time makes life a whole lot easier for Daniel Jones. The Giants’ receivers struggled to gain separation and make plays for Jones in 2020. With such an influx in talent in 2021, that problem would dissipate and Daniel Jones would enjoy slinging the rock to a group of playmakers that could outmatch nearly any secondary in the NFL.

The New York Giants cannot go wrong at eleven overall in the 2021 NFL Draft

New York Giants, Devonta Smith

The 2021 NFL Draft will take place this week. The New York Giants hold the eleventh overall pick in this year’s draft. This year’s draft class is loaded with talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Many believe that this could be the first draft ever where the first ten selections are all offensive players.

The top talents in this year’s class are being pushed down the board by the loaded quarterback class. Four quarterbacks could go in a row to kick off the first round this year. This is setting it up for talented players to fall right into New York’s lap at eleven.

The Giants cannot go wrong at eleven overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. There is a long list of talented players that will be available for the Giants with their first draft choice. New York will walk away from Thursday night with a stud.

The Giants’ long list of options

At nearly every position of need, there will be valuable talent on the board for the Giants in round one. Two stud wide receivers could potentially be on the board. Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, both of which are prospects that are considered top-ten talents, are likely to be available at eleven. Either one of these stellar Alabama wideouts would make excellent complementary pieces opposite of Kenny Golladay.

The Giants’ biggest need on defense is at edge rusher. New York is still looking for a stud every-down pass-rusher to line up outside of offensive tackles. Jaelan Phillips out of Miami is a top talent with medical red flags that are pushing him down draft boards. Phillips, like Smith and Waddle, is also a top-ten-talent that will not be selected in the first ten picks. If the Giants are comfortable with Jaelan’s medicals, he could be a grand-slam selection to solve meet their pass-rush needs.

The Giants could also address the offensive line at eleven. Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater are stud offensive tackle prospects unlikely to make it out of the top ten. But if they fall to eleven, Sewell or Slater might be too good to pass up for the Giants, despite the fact that they went offensive tackle in round one last year. Alijah Vera-Tucker is another offensive line prospect that the Giants could take to fill their need at offensive guard in round one.

Two cornerbacks, Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain, are also intriguing options at eleven. Albeit, cornerback is not a position of great need for the Giants. But these are two talented corners that New York could consider in a “best-player-available” strategy.

Of course, Micah Parsons is now expected to fall outside of the top ten. This time last year, Parson was expected to be a top-five pick in this year’s draft. Some off-the-field question marks have hurt his draft stock, though, causing this draft class’s best defender to be a top candidate for the Giants at eleven.

The list goes on and on. There are so many talented draft prospects that will be available for New York to select on Thursday night that it will be nearly impossible for them to mess the first round up. Giants fans are a tough crowd to please, but it should not be hard to satisfy this fan base in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

New York Giants: Drafting an offensive tackle should not be a priority

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart

The New York Giants are entering the 2021 NFL Draft with a clear weakness on offense: the offensive line. The Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win-rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. So while the Giants did upgrade Daniel Jones’s weapons in free agency, fans feel like they still desperately need to fix the offensive line in front of him.

Many fans and analysts are predicting that the Giants will prioritize the offensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft. While the Giants should make it a point to add an offensive lineman or two in this year’s draft, they should focus on the interior of the line. New York is set at offensive tackle and should not make it a priority to draft one this year.

Last year, the Giants did make it a priority to draft an offensive tackle. They selected Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, then double-dipped at the position in round three with Matt Peart out of UConn. New York has already invested plenty of assets into its offensive tackles. The Giants feel comfortable rolling into the 2021 season with these two second-year tackles as their starters on each side of the line.

The Giants are confident in Matt Peart

According to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post, the New York Giants coaching staff “is high on Matt Peart, who will be given the first shot at the starting right tackle job.” Matt Peart was impressive as a rookie, albeit in a small sample size.

Peart played 150 snaps for the Giants’ offense in 2020. Ten of those snaps came in jumbo formations where Peart lined up as a tight end. 37 of those snaps came at left tackle. The other 103 snaps came at right tackle. The Giants used Peart in a versatile way and tested him out at varying positions to see where he will fit in their future plans.

Ultimately, New York decided that Matt Peart is their right tackle of the future. Peart posted a 69.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade as a rookie, allowing only 9 pressures on 84 pass-blocking snaps. He did not see any time as a full-time starter in 2020, but that will change in 2021 as Matt Peart assumes the starting right tackle position. The Giants are confident in what they have at both right and left tackle. The young duo of Matt Peart and Andrew Thomas should be the bookends on the Giants’ offensive line for a long time.

So while this is a talented and deep offensive tackle draft class, do not expect to see the Giants reach on an offensive tackle at any point in this year’s draft. They could take one as the best player available if that is how the board falls on draft night. But the Giants are unlikely to make drafting an offensive tackle a priority this year after addressing the position in last year’s draft.

Should the New York Giants draft an EDGE in round one?

The 2021 NFL Draft is less than a week away and the New York Giants are one of the biggest question marks in round one. Analysts are struggling to predict the Giants’ pick at eleven overall. New York can go a multitude of different directions; edge rusher, cornerback, wide receiver, offensive tackle, etc. Everything is on the board for New York.

But the Giants have done extensive research on one position in particular: edge rusher. The Giants are in need of a top-tier pass-rusher off of the edge to upgrade over the rotational guys like Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines. Many believe that New York will address this need in round one of the 2021 NFL Draft. But should they?

First-round EDGE prospects

There are potentially four edge rushers that could be drafted in the first round of this year’s draft. The consensus top EDGE prospect is Jaelan Phillips out of Miami. Analysts explain that Phillips would be a top-ten pick in the draft if it weren’t for some medical red flags.

Jaelan Phillips has an extensive concussion history that caused him to retire for a year (2019) before returning to the field for Miami in 2020. Phillips recorded 8 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in his breakout 2020 season. He is projected to be drafted in the second half of the first round, but considering the Giants’ need for an EDGE, Phillips makes sense for them at eleven if they disregard the concussion history.

Kwity Paye and Azeez Ojulari are two more EDGE prospects that are expected to be drafted in the first round. Many believe that Paye is the best edge rusher in this year’s draft class. However, Paye is a much better run defender than edge rusher, making his fit with the Giants questionable. It is the speedy, bendy Azeez Ojulari that makes sense for the Giants.

The Giants are looking for a dominant pass-rusher, not a run-defender. Ojulari has the potential to be a top pass-rusher with his combination of speed and bend off the edge. Azeez is another player, though, that is projected to be drafted in the second half of the first round, like Paye and Phillips. Would it be too much of a reach for the Giants to select one of these edge rushers at eleven?

Is an EDGE at eleven a reach for the Giants?

Nearly all of the first-round edge rushers in this year’s class are projected to be late first-round picks. Some consider Jaelan Phillips to be the best defender in this year’s draft class, but his concussion history is bound to push him down the board. If all of these prospects are projected to go within the last fifteen picks of the first round, would the Giants be making a mistake selecting one of these prospects in the first fifteen picks of the round?

The Giants own the eleventh overall pick in this year’s draft. Technically, drafting an EDGE at eleven that is projected to be picked between picks twenty and thirty would be a reach. But this would be a case of the Giants drafting a talented player to fill a need, rather than going with the best player available.

If the New York Giants want to draft an edge rusher and maximize their value, they should trade down to the second half of the first round. This would allow the Giants to take one of these pass rushers in their projected draft range while also adding additional draft capital via trade. New York would walk away with its new every-down pass-rusher, addressing the biggest need the Giants have on defense. They would also acquire additional draft picks to add depth and address other positional needs later on in the draft.

Trading down is the best option for the Giants if they are dead set on taking an edge rusher. However, drafting one at eleven overall would not be the end of the world. The Giants would still be walking away from the first round as a better football team by upgrading a weak position with a young player possessing a ton of potential. Overall, many fans might want the Giants to avoid EDGE at eleven, but it might be the pick that brings New York the most impact in 2021.

New York Giants: How to solve the last piece to the puzzle on offense

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants went big in free agency, spending boatloads of money to provide quarterback Daniel Jones with sufficient weapons. The Giants signed wide receiver Kenny Golladay to a big multi-year contract. Golladay was the top wide receiver on the market and he will provide Jones with a dependable receiving option. The Giants also signed tight Kyle Rudolph to be a reliable receiving threat.

New York’s main point of emphasis entering free agency was to add playmakers for Daniel Jones. The Giants’ signal-caller is entering the third season of his career and it is crucial that Daniel Jones breaks out in 2021 to establish himself as a franchise quarterback.

Daniel Jones struggled in 2020 with a depleted group of playmakers and a poor offensive line. The Giants have fixed the playmakers. They added Golladay and Rudolph and also have Saquon Barkley returning from injury. There is also a chance the Giants add another playmaker to the mix in the 2021 NFL Draft. This is all great, but what has New York done to fix the offensive line?

The Giants have not done much to fix the offensive line. Fixing the offensive line is the last piece to the puzzle for the Giants to surround Daniel Jones with sufficient talent and have a good offense. Thankfully, the 2021 NFL Draft is full of pieces that might fit the puzzle.

Offensive linemen to target in the 2021 NFL Draft

The Giants could fix their offensive line through the 2021 NFL Draft. There is a plethora of offensive line talent in this year’s class. At the top of the class are a couple of phenomenal offensive tackle prospects, Rashawn Slater and Penei Sewell, who would be significant instant upgrades for the Giants. However, neither one of them is likely to make it out of the top ten.

At eleven overall, a realistic offensive line option for the Giants is Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC. Vera-Tucker played left tackle for USC in 2020, but he is projected to be an offensive guard in the NFL, a position of need for New York. There are a lot of interior offensive line prospects to be excited about in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The second round of the draft might be a perfect opportunity for the Giants to find a new offensive guard. Prospects like Landon Dickerson and Creed Humphrey are phenomenal centers that could move to guard in the NFL. Wyatt Davis and Quinn Meinerz are a couple more offensive guards that might fit in perfectly with the New York Giants in the second round.

The Giants also have a question mark at right tackle. Dave Gettleman and the Giants seem confident in Matt Peart heading into his second season. But, Gettleman has also said in the past that he is not afraid to draft over players. Offensive tackle prospects like Teven Jenkins and Christian Darrisaw could make sense for New York in a trade-down scenario as they solidify their other offensive tackle position opposite of Andrew Thomas.

There is no shortage of offensive linemen in this year’s draft class. Quality offensive linemen are a premium in the NFL. The Giants need to take advantage of this year’s incredibly deep rookie offensive line class and give Daniel Jones everything he needs to succeed in 2021.