Why the New York Giants might draft defense at eleven overall

Micah Parsons, new york giants

The New York Giants are entering another crucial roster-building offseason. The biggest point of emphasis for the GIants’ front office this offseason is to revamp the offense. New York’s offense was pitiful in 2020 and they need to fix that to find success in 2021.

This has led many fans and analysts to speculate that the Giants will spend their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on an offensive weapon. The Giants hold the eleventh overall pick in this year’s draft. This puts the team in perfect position to draft a top-tier wide receiver or tight end. But there are reasons to believe that the Giants could go defense with their number eleven pick in April.

Contingent on free agency

The Giants have a plethora of weaknesses on their roster. Ideally, fans would like to see the Giants add another talented cornerback to the mix and improve the pass-rush. Additionally, the Giants need to find their new offensive weapon. The Giants had interest in trading for Kenny Golladay back in October, so it is likely that they will pursue a wide receiver in free agency.

If the Giants do land one of those big-name free agent wide receivers, they could look to fill another one of those needs in the draft. The top of this year’s draft class features some prominent defensive prospects.

Deep wide receiver class

The Giants might not need to spend their first-round pick to get an offensive weapon. The 2021 NFL Draft class is loaded with wide receiver talent. There are prospects that will be available in the second and third rounds that have the potential to be quality starters in the NFL.

New York needs a new primary wide receiver for Daniel Jones to rely on in the passing game. If the Giants are unable to acquire one in free agency, it is likely that they will draft one in the first round, but it is not necessarily a guarantee. There are some very talented defensive prospects that the Giants could consider at eleven, before drafting a talented receiving option in the second round.

Micah Parsons, Caleb Farley, Gregory Rousseau, and other defenders might be enticing options for the Giants in the first round. Parsons is a rare linebacker prospect that could revolutionize the Giants’ defense. Farley is an intriguing cornerback option that could fill a huge hole in New York’s secondary. And Rousseau is a talented pass-rusher that could fill another need for the Giants on defense.

Taking one of these players in the first round would open up the possibility for the Giants to take a second-round wide receiver prospect. The electric Rondale Moore could be available in round two, as well as the human-joystick Kadarius Toney. This is a year where a team could realistically find a number one receiver in the second round. This could allow the New York Giants to draft a defensive prospect in round one.

New York Giants: An offensive playmaker to target in a trade-down scenario

New York Giants, Rashod Bateman

The New York Giants are in need of offensive playmakers. Heading into this offseason, New York is making it a priority to add offensive weapons. Many fans and analysts predict that the Giants will spend their first-round pick on a wide receiver.

One intriguing and lesser-discussed option for the Giants is to trade down in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Currently, the Giants own the eleventh overall pick in the draft. But a trade down from eleven could yield additional mid-round picks for the Giants to spend in the draft.

There is a scenario where the Giants could trade down and still land their offensive weapon that they so desire. If Dave Gettleman does decide to do what he has never done before (trading down), Rashod Bateman is an intriguing option for him to consider in the second half of the first round.

Rashod Bateman stats and highlights

Rashod Bateman is an intriguing wide receiver prospect out of Minnesota that will likely be drafted in the second half of the first round. If the Giants decide to trade down to a spot within the twenties, they could consider drafting Rashod Bateman.

One New York Giants mock trade scenario:

  • Giants trade pick #11 to the Chicago Bears
  • Giants receive:
    • Round one, pick #20
    • Round three, pick #83
    • Round five, pick #163

In this scenario, or a scenario similar to this, the Giants could spend the twentieth overall pick on Rashod Bateman. Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman is a big-play threat that could on up the Giants’ vertical passing attack. According to Pro Football Focus, Bateman has recorded 47 receptions of 15+ yards over the last two seasons.

Rashod Bateman is a crisp route runner that has drawn comparisons to Los Angeles Chargers superstar Keenan Allen. Bateman posted 147 receptions and 2395 receiving yards with 19 touchdowns through 31 career games in college.

One knock on Rashod Bateman, though, is his inconsistent hands. Bateman has had a slight issue with drops in college, posting a 7.7% drop rate in his collegiate career. Bateman is also not a burner, lacking top-end speed in his athletic package.

Rashod Bateman would be a great target for the Giants if they were to trade down in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Bateman has the skillset to become a primary wide receiver in the NFL, something New York desperately needs. Based on history, it is unlikely that Dave Gettleman and the Giants trade down. But if they do, Bateman should be a top target.

New York Giants: A mid-round receiving threat to keep an eye on at the Senior Bowl

New York Giants, Shi Smith

The New York Giants love to draft Senior Bowl standouts. Down in Mobile, Alabama, this week, the Senior Bowl is underway. Plenty of lesser-known draft prospects are showing up and showing out in an attempt to boost their draft stocks. Through the first few Senior Bowl practices, a couple of players have already made their presence known.

This year’s wide receiver group at the Senior Bowl is particularly interesting for the New York Giants. The New York Giants are in need of reinforcements on offense. Dave Gettleman and John Mara vowed to add playmakers to the offensive side of the ball this offseason.

This promise to find playmakers has Giants fans mightily excited. Many fans and analysts alike have mocked top wide receivers to the Giants at eleven overall in their mock drafts. But some fans and analysts are a bit contrarian and predict that New York will spend their first-round pick on another position, maybe on defense. If that is the case, then the Giants will need to do one of two things: sign a top-tier wide receiver in free agency or hit on a gem in the later rounds of the NFL Draft.

One wide receiver at the Senior Bowl has been making his name known during practice week. Shi Smith out of South Carolina is standing out amongst the talented receiver options in Mobile this week and could be a target for the Giants in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Shi Smith stats and highlights

Shi Smith is a senior who played four years of collegiate football at South Carolina. In his senior year, though, Smith saw his role increase and elevated his game to another level. In 2020, Shi Smith played 9 games and totaled 633 receiving yards with 4 receiving touchdowns.

Smith projects primarily as a slot receiver in the NFL. He is listed at 5 feet 10 inches, 186 pounds, but works better from the slot with a cushion between him and the defender. Shi also has excellent body control, allowing him to make some spectacular catches.

What really turned heads at the Senior Bowl this week was Shi Smith’s route running. Shi was creating tons of separation on his routes against some of the Senior Bowl’s best cornerbacks.

Superb route running is far more translatable to NFL success than the ability to make contested catches. If Smith can separate this well at the next level, he will be a late-round steal for whatever team selects him in the NFL Draft.

New York Giants: Finding that ‘big-bodied, X-receiver’ in the middle rounds

The New York Giants need to bolster their wide receiver corps. After an inefficient season on offense from the Giants in 2020, general manager Dave Gettleman and co-owner John Mara vowed to add offensive playmakers in the 2021 offseason. Whether the Giants acquire an offensive weapon in free agency or the draft remains to be seen, though.

In March, the Giants are expected to be in the market for a top-tier free-agent wide receiver. Depending on how that goes, the Giants could double-dip or snag their first big acquisition at the position in April during the NFL Draft.

There are numerous options for the Giants to consider in free agency. Names like Kenny Golladay, Allen Robinson, Corey Davis, and other top wide receivers are being projected to sign with New York. But the Giants might struggle to sign one of these playmakers at an affordable price. This could lead New York to look towards the draft.

The top, first-round wide receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft class have received most of the attention from Giants fans. But there are actually more lesser-known names that could be a good fit with the New York Giants in the middle rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Mid-round receiving targets

The Giants need a primary wide receiver. Many fans think the Giants would benefit most from getting a big-bodied, X-receiver. Currently, the biggest wide receiver starting for the Giants is Darius Slayton at only 6 feet 1 inch, 190 pounds. Arguing that the Giants need more size outside is fair.

But what sizeable options are there for the Giants in the NFL Draft? What if they cannot acquire one of the draft’s wide receiver prospects and have to wait until the middle rounds? Well, in that scenario, there are a few options for the Giants to consider.

Terrace Marshall Jr.

While he might not be a “mid-round” target, Terrace Marshall Jr. is an intriguing target for the Giants if he slips into the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Terrace Marshall Jr. played that complimentary, WR2 role in LSU’s offense in 2019. As the secondary receiver, Terrace recorded 671 yards and 13 touchdowns. Moving into a more expanded role in 2020, Marshall was legit, racking up 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in only 7 games.

Marshall averaged more than 100 receiving yards per game as the primary target in LSU’s 2020 offensive attack. Terrace Marshall is 6 feet 3 inches, 200 pounds. Marshall could be a solid big-body outside wide receiver option for the Giants, something they are currently lacking in their offensive scheme.

According to Joe Marino of The Draft Network, Terrace Marshall Jr. “offers terrific size, physicality, hands, ball skills, run after catch ability, route-running skills, and overall technical-refinement.” Terrace would be a perfect fit for the Giants if they go wide receiver in round two.

Nico Collins

When discussing outside wide receiver prospects with size, any writer would be remiss not to mention Nico Collins out of Michigan. Nico is the definition of size at the wide receiver position. He stands tall at 6 feet 4 inches and weighs in at a strong 215 pounds.

Nico Collins did not play football in 2020, opting out of the NCAA season due to COVID-19 concerns. But this big-play, vertical threat has been training for the NFL tirelessly. When watching Nico Collins, it is hard not to notice how he overbears opposing cornerbacks with his size and strength.

Nico may be big, but he is not big and slow. Collins has impressive speed and athleticism for a wide receiver his size. While he can be a bit slow or sluggish coming out of his breaks, he has the speed to get vertical and take the top off of defenses.

Nico Collins is a deep-ball machine in a big-play weapon. Five of his seven touchdowns in 2019 came on passes 20+ yards downfield. For this reason, though, Nico is not a top-round talent. He has a lot of developing to do at the next level. With proper coaching, Nico Collins could develop into a more complete wide receiver and become the focal point of an NFL offense.

Tamorrion Terry

One last name to keep an eye on for the Giants is FSU’s Tamorrion Terry. This is another wide receiver with supreme size. Tamorrion is tall and lanky, listed at 6 feet 4 inches, 203 pounds.

Tamorrion Terry is absolutely a project prospect. He is by no means a finished product and will not be ready to dominate the league in year one. But he has some tools that an NFL coaching staff might love to build with. His height, weight, and athleticism could lead an NFL team to fall in love with Terry as a late-round pick.

New York Giants could find desired receiving threat in second round of 2021 NFL Draft

new york giants, terrace marshall

The New York Giants will be in the market for a wide receiver this offseason. Both general manager Dave Gettleman and co-owner John Mara promised to add playmakers to the offense this “roster-building” season. New York will certainly be targeting a receiving threat in free agency or the draft if they are not able to sign a top-tier playmaker.

Many Giants fans are in consensus agreement that their team needs to spend their eleventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on a wide receiver. While the position is certainly a great need for New York, they should not feel like it is first round or nothing at wide receiver. There are a few enticing receiving options for the Giants to consider in the second round.

Second-round wide receiver targets

There are a few talented wide receivers that the New York Giants could target in the second round of the draft. The 2021 is a class loaded with premium wide receiver talent. This gives the Giants more opportunities to find their playmaker.

There are three wide receivers who are seemingly locked in as top-fifteen draft picks; Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Ja’Marr Chase. But outside of this big three, there are other exciting receiver prospects that could be available down the line.

Terrace Marshall Jr.

The LSU wide receiver getting all the buzz leading up to the draft is Ja’Marr Chase. Chase was dominant in 2019, totaling an insane  1,780 receiving yards with 20 receiving touchdowns. But Chase was also playing alongside another playmaker in the LSU receiving corpse.

Terrace Marshall Jr. played that complimentary, WR2 role in LSU’s offense in 2019. As the secondary receiver, Terrace recorded 671 yards and 13 touchdowns. Moving into a more expanded role in 2020, Marshall was legit, racking up 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in only 7 games.

Marshall averaged more than 100 receiving yards per game as the primary target in LSU’s 2020 offensive attack. Terrace has something that the receivers on the Giants’ roster do not have: size. New York’s tallest starting receiver is Darius Slayton at 6 feet 1 inch, 190 pounds. Terrace Marshall is 6 feet 3 inches, 200 pounds. Marshall could be a solid big-body outside wide receiver option for the Giants, something they are currently lacking in their offensive scheme.

According to Joe Marino of The Draft Network, Terrace Marshall Jr. “offers terrific size, physicality, hands, ball skills, run after catch ability, route-running skills, and overall technical-refinement.” Terrace would be a perfect fit for the Giants if they go wide receiver in round two.

Rondale Moore

The Giants could go a totally different route, though, at wide receiver in the second round. Rondale Moore is another excellent talent, but with a totally different playing style. Rather than being a big-bodied, physical wide receiver like Terrace Marshall Jr., Rondale Moore is an explosive, speedy option in round two.

Playing at Purdue for the last three years, Rondale is listed at only 5 feet 9 inches and has drawn comparisons to elite Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Moore has reportedly ran a 4.33s forty-yard dash at Minnesota, giving him elite speed downfield.

Moore is a tough sell in round one, though, for good reason. Rondale is explosive and has elite athletic traits. But he has not been able to stay healthy throughout his collegiate career. Moore has dealt with lingering lower-body injuries since 2018 and missed the majority of the 2019 season. In 2020, Rondale opted out, then back into the season, but played in only three games. There has not been a lot of clarification as to the reason why he missed so much time in 2020. Moore could be injured, or could be healthy. He is likely injured, but there has been no confirmation.

Rondale Moore is interesting because he has an extremely high, atrium ceiling. But he also has a terrifyingly low, Mariana Trench floor. Will Rondale Moore ever be able to stay healthy and reach his potential? That is the crucial question. He has all of the elite athletic traits that creative playcallers dream about. But Moore’s inability to stay on the field might keep teams from taking a chance on him early on in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Drafting Rondale Moore would add another element currently foreign to the Giants’ offense. The Giants do not have a guy with game-breaking speed like Moore possesses. He is truly electric and could change the way New York’s offense attacks if they decide to take a chance on this risky round two prospect.

New York Giants predicted to select Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle in mock draft

New York Giants, Jaylen Waddle

The 2021 NFL Draft is a few short months away. But as this offseason begins to ramp up in intensity, the New York Giants will begin looking for ways to improve their offense. Uprgading the offense, more specifically, upgrading the offensive playmakers, is a major point of emphasis for the Giants this offseason. Co-owner John Mara and general manager Dave Gettleman vowed to improve the offense this offseason.

Giants fans have quickly turned their attention to the 2021 NFL Draft and free agency periods. Both free agency and the draft will feature rich wide receiver classes filled with talent for the Giants to acquire. At the top of the NFL Draft, there are a few intriguing options for the Giants at wide receiver.

Ja’Marr Chase and Devonta Smith are two exciting wide receiver options that might not make it to pick number eleven in April. So many Giants fans and analysts have turned their attention towards the draft’s consensus third-best wide receiver, Jaylen Waddle.

Jaylen Waddle is the less talked about wide receiver out of Alabama in this year’s draft class. Devonta Smith, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, has gotten most of the media attention. There is a good chance, though, that Smith is selected inside the top ten picks of the 2021 NFL Draft. Same goes for the electric Ja’Marr Chase out of LSU. This leaves Jaylen Waddle as the likely next-best option for the Giants in round one.

Jaylen Waddle stats and highlights

Jaylen Waddle has been mocked to the New York Giants in countless mock drafts recently. It seems like a perfect situation where elite talent meets extreme need. The assumption is that the Giants will draft the best receiver on the board in April. This is contingent on what happens in free agency, though.

If the Giants are able to sign a big-name wide receiver in free agency, they could go another direction in the draft. But one of the Giants’ biggest current needs is at wide receiver, so Jaylen Waddle at eleven overall makes sense.

Jaylen Waddle has game-changing speed combined with crafty route running and impressive receiving skills. It is entirely possible that Waddle runs a sub-4.3s forty-yard dash at his 2021 Pro Day. Waddle’s speed makes him a killer deep threat and also makes him highly efficient on shallow or deep crossers. Waddle is able to create plenty of separation through solid route running combined with his elite speed.

Waddle averaged 11.2 yards after the catch per reception over the past two years at Alabama, per PFF. He also averaged a shocking 21.1 yards per reception in 2020. Jaylen posted 28 receptions, 591 yards, and 4 touchdowns in only six games this year at Alabama. Waddle dealt with an ankle injury that kept him sidelined for most of the year, but showed great heart and competitive nature by recovering from that injury and returning for the National Championship Game in 2021.

Throughout the course of Jaylen Waddle’s collegiate career, he played alongside extremely talented offensive teammates. Alabama has been producing first-round wide receiver talents for years, along with NFL quarterbacks and superior offensive linemen. Despite playing in this loaded offense, Jaylen still put up impressive numbers, totaling 1999 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns since 2018, averaging 18.9 yards per receptions over the course of his collegiate career.

Jaylen Waddle is the definition of a playmaker. He is a reliable receiver with the ability to create huge game-changing plays. If the Giants draft Waddle, they will have the choice of moving him inside to slot receiver or playing him off the line of scrimmage in the outside “Z” receiver position. Either way, Waddle dominated at both of those positions in college. If Jaylen Waddle is on the board for the Giants with the eleventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it will be hard for them to pass upon his elite speed and talent.