The New York Giants should target offensive linemen early in the 2021 NFL Draft

The New York Giants are on a mission to rebuild and revamp their offense this offseason. New York’s offense was terrible in 2020. The Giants averaged only 17.5 points per game this past season, an average that cannot translate to a winning season in today’s NFL.

Dave Gettleman and company have vowed to add playmakers to the Giants’ offense. But in addition to New York’s lack of playmakers, they also had a lack of pass protection. The Giants’ offensive line was nearly incompetent in pass protection last season.

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 prioritize upgrading Daniel Jones’s weapons, they, maybe more than anything, need to fix the offensive line in front of him.

Daniel Jones was a much-improved quarterback in his second season. But if the Giants want to see Jones take that next step and have that year-three breakout, they need to fix the offensive line. Daniel Jones had a Pro Football Focus 91.5 passing grade when kept clean in 2020. That is an elite grade. When under pressure, though, Jones’s grade was 46.9.

Unfortunately, Daniel was under pressure more often than not. The Giants should make it a top priority to find competent offensive linemen and keep Jones clean in 2021. As we inch closer to the NFL Draft in April, there are a number of offensive lineman prospects that the Giants should target within the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft offensive line targets

The 2021 NFL Draft class is filled with offensive line talent. This is one of the best offensive line classes in recent years. At the top of the class is a premier offensive tackle talent in Penei Sewell out of Oregon. Penei is an elite prospect who is unlikely to fall to eleven, but the Giants should pray that he is there for the taking.

With New York seemingly destined to go wide receiver in round one, it is in the second and third rounds that they should focus on the offensive line. Prospects like Wyatt Davis and Creed Humphrey stand out on the interior. Jackson Carman and Walker Little could be options in those rounds as well.

Of course, the Giants already have young, promising players on their offensive line that need to develop. Nick Gates flashed great potential in his first season starting at center in 2020. Rookie Matt Peart also looked good in limited playing time at right tackle. But general manager Dave Gettleman has said before that he is not afraid to draft over players. So if one of these offensive linemen, like center Creed Humphrey, is the best player on the board when the Giants are on the clock, they are realistic options.

Regardless, the offensive line is not a positional group that the Giants can wait on. They need to address it and fix it immediately. Taking chances on late-round prospects rarely works out on the offensive line. If Gettleman and the Giants are serious about amending the offensive line, they need to target prospects within the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

New York Giants should pray that Penei Sewell falls to them at eleven

The New York Giants drafted an offensive tackle with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Andrew Thomas had an up-and-down rookie season where he struggled, showed a lot of promise, and played through a foot injury. Going into year two, the Giants are expecting big things out of Thomas. Andrew underwent foot surgery this offseason and will be ready to go in 2021.

New York still has high hopes for Andrew Thomas, despite a shaky rookie season. Andrew is seemingly the left tackle of the future for the Giants. With New York picking eleventh overall in 2021 it is unlikely that they draft another offensive lineman in the first round of the draft. But there is one offensive line prospect that the Giants should pick if he somehow falls to them.

If Penei Sewell somehow slips to the Giants at eleven overall, New York has to take him. Granted, this scenario is a longshot. Sewell is a premium talent at a premium position. But there have been some random mock drafts made where analysts see Sewell falling to the back end of the top-ten and sometimes even outside of the top-ten. The Giants drafted an offensive tackle in the first round last year, but they should not hesitate to double dip in 2021 if Penei Sewell is on the board.

Why the Giants should pray for the chance to draft Penei Sewell

The New York Giants’ offensive line was terrible in 2020. Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones was under constant pressure. The Giants’ offensive line was atrocious in pass-protection and about league-average in the running game.

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%. Rookie Andrew Thomas struggled significantly in pass protection. He gave up a league-high 57 pressures and 10 sacks this season. But if there was a positive to draw, Thomas had the fifth-highest run block win rate in the NFL at 80%.

The Giants have something in Andrew Thomas. He will be a legit starting offensive tackle. But Andrew Thomas could not realistically be a reason for the Giants to shy away from drafting Penei Sewell. Thomas has a bright future, but Sewell has been compared to legendary offensive linemen like Orlando Pace.

Penei Sewell is an impressive 330 pound, 6 foot 5 inch offensive tackle with the ability to mirror edge rushers off the line of scrimmage. Sewell is only 20 years old and was dominating seniors as a 19-year-old in college. His 95.8 overall Pro Football Focus grade in 2019 was the highest grade PFF has ever given to a collegiate offensive tackle. Sewell is the player to fix the Giants’ pass-protection issues.

Sewell won his pass-blocking reps at a rate of 3.4 percentage points higher than the average college football player and surrendered pressure at a rate 2.8 percentage points lower. – Pro Football Focus

If Penei Sewell did somehow drop to the Giants’ pick, there would be no hesitation in selecting him. Of course, Sewell and Andrew Thomas play the same position. But that should not prevent the Giants from making Sewell their bookend left tackle of the future. Andrew Thomas struggled to protect the blindside in his rookie season and does have some collegiate experience playing right tackle.

Many analysts suggested he switch to right tackle in the NFL during his pre-draft process. If Penei Sewell were to join the Giants’ roster, Andrew Thomas would need to change course and bookend the other side of New York’s line. This would give the Giants a pair of young, talented offensive tackles to build their offensive line around for years to come.

The prospects that the New York Giants cannot pass up if they fall to eleven

New York Giants, LSU, Ja'Marr Chase

The New York Giants hold the eleventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The eleventh pick has a lot of value this year. There are a number of intriguing prospects that the Giants will likely have the opportunity to select in the first round. But, being outside the top ten, there are a few players that are most likely not going to fall to eleven.

The Giants will probably draft one of the better prospects in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. But will they realistically be able to draft one of the best prospects? Could one of those top-three prospects in the class? It is not likely, but there is a possibility, as many analysts continue to point out with their various mock drafts.

There are a few prospects that Giants fans should be hoping and praying will fall to them at eleven. When the Giants are on the clock, there are specific prospects that are too good to pass up on, no matter that the Giants already have on their roster.

Trevor Lawrence

No, Trevor Lawrence will not fall to eleven. But if he does, the Giants have to take him. Daniel Jones has shown some promise, but Lawrence is arguably the greatest quarterback prospect to ever come out of college. If not, he is certainly in that conversation. New York is not that comfortable at quarterback.

Ja’Marr Chase

There are three wide receivers that are being consistently mocked in the top-ten picks of the 2021 NFL Draft. One of these players, though, has been consistently mocked inside the top five for a long time. LSU’s Ja’Marr chase is not likely to fall to eleven, but as draft boards continue to shift as time inches closer to April, there is always going to be that unlikely possibility.

The Giants are likely going to pursue a wide receiver in free agency. They are interested in Kenny Golladay, but he is probably going to be franchise tagged by the Detroit Lions. Now, even if the Giants land Golladay by some divine miracle, they should still draft Ja’Marr Chase if he is on the board at eleven. They cannot pass up on a wide receiver of Chase’s caliber, especially when considering the Giants averaged only 17.5 points per game in 2020. A team can never have enough fire power in today’s NFL.

He opted out of the 2020 season, but in 2019, Ja’Marr Chase was far and away the best wide receiver in the NCAA. He totaled an insane 1,780 receiving yards and 20 receiving touchdowns that season en route to a National Championship victory. Chase’s record-breaking season instantly propelled him to the top of draft charts at the beginning of the process. But now, draft boards are shifting, and some boards have Chase as their third-best receiver in the class. Many are beginning to favor the Alabama boys, Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.

Given the dominant collegiate career that Ja’Marr Chase had, he is still likely a top-ten pick in 2021. But if he somehow slips, Chase would be the truly dominant outside receiving threat that Daniel Jones needs to unlock the next level of his game.

Penei Sewell

Another player whose draft stock has started to shift is offensive tackle Penei Sewell. The Oregon prospect was, at one time, considered to be a “generational” offensive tackle prospect and a top-three lock. Now, it seems very likely that Sewell falls out of the top three, maybe even out of the top five, and some analysts even have him falling outside of the top ten.

For example, Pro Football Focus’s Anthony Treash has Sewell falling to the eleventh overall pick as a home run selection for the New York Giants in his latest mock draft. NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah also had Sewell as the second offensive tackle selected in his first mock draft of the offseason.

Penei Sewell’s draft stock has started to shift, but it is still very unlikely that he falls outside the top ten. Sewell is still the second overall prospect in this year’s class via The Draft Network. Many still believe Penei is a “generational talent.” But those who do not see him as such will still see him as a prospect that the Giants could not pass up on at eleven overall.

New York Giants could fix their offense by selecting Kyle Pitts in the NFL Draft

New York Giants, Kyle Pitts

The New York Giants‘ offense was putrid in 2020. Only one offense scored less points than the Giants last season. The Giants averaged only 17.5 points per game, a number that cannot translate to a winning season in today’s NFL.

The number one priority for the Giants this offseason will be to upgrade the offense. In fact, co-owner John Mara and general manager Dave Gettleman promised to add playmakers in the 2021 offseason. This has led to plenty of speculation amongst Giants fans, discussing who New York might target in free agency and the draft.

One intriguing name that has been linked to the Giants is tight end Kyle Pitts out of the University of Florida. This is an interesting prospect for the Giants to consider. New York already has an established, Pro Bowl tight end in Evan Engram. But Engram’s 2020 season left many fans frustrated and disappointed. This could lead the Giants to draft the ultra-talented Kyle Pitts in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Kyle Pitts stats and highlights

In 2020, Evan Engram was a turnover machine for the Giants. Engram dropped 11 passes last season, many of which led to interceptions. In fact, 6 passes intended for Evan Engram turned into interceptions in 2020, plus he lost one fumble and, while Daniel Jones was credited with this fumble, Engram also dropped a backwards pass from Jones that became a turnover.

There is nothing from Kyle Pitts’s collegiate career that indicates he would have problems like this in the NFL. Pitts was targeted 66 times in 2020. He hauled in 43 catches and had an incredible total of 0 drops. Not a single pass was dropped by Pitts in 2020. He was a truly reliable and dynamic receiving threat.

Not only is Kyle Pitts a dependable receiving option, he also has the ability to make electrifying plays downfield. Pitts wins at every level in a variety of ways. He has elite route-running skills for his position and the ability to make jaw-dropping catches. He lines up as an in-line tight end but also out wide or in the slot as a receiver with great efficiency.

Pitts is not a perfect prospect by any means. He is not the best blocker as an in-line tight end and is more of a wide receiver than a tight end at this point in his career. But he has the tools and traits to be molded into one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Pitts’s receiving skills are so advanced that he would be a first-round pick as a wide receiver.

In his big 6 foot 6 inch, 240 pound tight end body, there are few players at the position more dynamic than Kyle Pitts. He is truly worthy of a top-ten pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and if he is available for the selection at eleven overall, he should end up wearing a New York Giants uniform.

How the Carson Wentz trade could cause a wide receiver to fall to the New York Giants at eleven

New York Giants, Devonta Smith

The NFL offseason is already off to a wild start. After Matthew Stafford was traded just weeks ago, another big-name quarterback has been shipped off. The Philadelphia Eagles parted ways with quarterback Carson Wentz, trading him to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick.

This trade does possibly foreshadow what the Philadelphia Eagles might be planning to do in the 2021 NFL Draft. Up to this point, many analysts were predicting that Philadelphia would draft a playmaker with the sixth-overall pick. Oftentimes, Philly was mocked receivers like Devonta Smith and JaMarr Chase. But now, mock drafts predict the Eagles will select a quarterback with the sixth overall pick.

For the New York Giants, this is exciting news. General manager Dave Gettleman and co-owner John Mara both made the same promise at their post-season press conferences. They promised that the Giants would acquire playmakers and upgrade their offense this offseason. New York is very likely to target a wide receiver at eleven overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

There are three wide receivers projected to go in the top ten this year. However, some think that one of these prospects will slip outside of the top ten and fall into New York’s lap at eleven. The likelihood of that happen may have just increased due to the Carson Wentz trade.

Why a receiver might fall to eleven overall

The Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz trade today indicates one of two things: Philly is either ready to find a new quarterback, or they are ready to build around Jalen Hurts. In 2020, Hurts had some decent performances, but he did not establish himself as a franchise quarterback. As the Eagles hold the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft, they will probably have the opportunity to draft one of this year’s top quarterback prospects.

One more team taking a quarterback means one less team taking a wide receiver. Add in a few teams likely to target defenders or offensive linemen, and the likelihood of an offensive playmaker falling to the Giants at eleven is increasing.

Additionally, fans may be expecting a bit too much from the wide receivers in this year’s draft class. Those top three, Smith, Waddle, and Chase, are incredible prospects. They are all top-ten talents. But last year, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III were also top-ten talents. None of them were selected within the top ten picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The first receiver in 2020 was selected with the eleventh overall pick. These premiere receiving talents fell down the draft board because the draft class was loaded with wide receiver talent. Teams knew they could find talented wideouts in the later rounds. Once again, 2021 is a loaded wide receiver class, deep in talent well beyond the first round. This could cause wide receivers to fall in the first round once again.

The New York Giants have plenty of enticing options to choose from with the eleventh overall pick in 2021. But if they want to target an offensive weapon with that pick, they will be holding their breath, hoping one of the top prospects takes a tumble on draft day.

New York Giants could reap great benefits by trading down in first round of 2021 NFL Draft

New York Giants, Rashod Bateman

The New York Giants are entering a crucial offseason. In 2020, the Giants averaged only 17.5 points per game on offense. This ineptitude was unacceptable and the Giants have promised to correct the issue. This offseason, the Giants are making it a priority to upgrade their offense.

There are plenty of wide receivers that the Giants will look to sign in free agency. Exciting options in this year’s free agency class includes Kenny Golladay, Curtis Samuel, Allen Robinson, and Corey Davis. Looking further down the road to the NFL Draft, there are even more exciting prospects for the Giants to consider.

Many Giants fans are hoping to see one of the top three wide receiver prospects, Devonta Smith, JaMarr Chase, or Jaylen Waddle fall to them at eleven overall. However, there are plenty of other intriguing options for the Giants if those prospects do not fall into New York’s lap. Trading down is a strong option for the Giants that could reap great benefits in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Benefits of a New York Giants trade down scenario

If the Giants are trying to land a wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft, they do not need to take one with the eleventh overall pick. There are numerous exciting wide receiver prospects for the Giants to target in a trade down scenario. The top wide receiver prospect to target in a trade down would be Minnesota’s, Rashod Bateman. But even looking past Bateman there are receiver prospects worth selecting with a mid-twenties draft pick.

Other options include Terrace Marshall out of LSU, Kadarius Toney from Florida, and Rondale Moore of Purdue. These are all talented wide receivers that could make an instant impact for the Giants if they drafted them at the back end of the first round. However, the true benefits that the Giants would find in a trade down scenario come in the middle rounds of the draft.

Ideally, if the Giants traded down from eleven to a pick near twenty overall, they would also receive a third-round pick in return. New York could try to push for a second-round pick in this trade scenario, but likely a third and a potential fifth or sixth-round pick would be the return that the Giants yield.

These middle and late-round picks would give the Giants flexibility and allow them to fill needs within their roster. The draft, at the end of the day, is a crapshoot. The more picks that the Giants possess, the higher the probability is that they land a gem and hit a home run on a draft selection.

For the Giants in 2021, a late-round draft pick could steal yield the elite playmaker that they are searching for. Landing that playmaker in round one while adding additional mid-round picks should make a trade down scenario very intriguing.

Should the New York Giants double dip at wide receiver in free agency and the draft?

New York Giants, Kenny Golladay

The New York Giants are in need of offensive reinforcements. General manager Dave Gettleman and co-owner John Mara promised fans that they would fix the offense this offseason. Finding weapons for Daniel Jones is going to be a top priority for the Giants and their front office.

Fortunately, there will be a boat load off offensive talent available this offseason. In free agency there will be numerous top-tier wide receivers that could hit the open market. This year’s NFL Draft class is also loaded with wide receiver and tight end talent. The Gaints have no excuses. They will have every opportunity to find an offensive playmaker this offseason, and they better take advantage.

Many fans and analysts are predicting that the Giants will sign a big-name wide receiver in free agency, like Kenny Golladay. This opens things up for the Giants and their draft strategy. Landing a playmaker in free agency would allow the Giants to focus on different positions, maybe even on defense, in the first round of the NFL Draft.

But what if the Giants did not alter their draft strategy in such a way? What if the Giants went best player available at eleven overall, whether that is an offensive playmaker or not? Well, the best player could potentially be one of the draft’s top wide receiver talents, such as Devonta Smith, JaMarr Chase, or Jaylen Waddle. The Giants could potentially double dip at the wide receiver position in the NFL Draft after signing a wide receiver in free agency.

Who could the Giants sign in free agency?

It seems like a very likely scenario for the Giants to land wide receiver Kenny Golladay in free agency. The only thing that could potentially stop Golladay from hitting the open market is if the Lions use their franchise tag on him. Golladay has already declined a lucrative contract offer from Detroit.

If Kenny Golladay hits the free agent market, the Giants should make signing him a top priority. The Giants had interest in trading for Kenny Golladay back in October. They inquired but no deal was made. Now, the impending free agency could be the Giants’ top target in free agency, and many analysts believe he will be. Many analysts are predicting that the Giants will, in fact, sign Kenny Golladay.

But even if New York does not land Kenny Golladay, there are other great wide receivers they could pursue. Names like Cory Davis and Curtis Samuel stand out as slightly cheaper options with different playing styles. Still, these players could be huge additions in the Giants’ pitiful, 17.5 points per game offense.

Double dipping in the draft

Assuming the Giants accomplish their mission and land a wide receiver in free agency, the likely next step would be to address a different position in the draft. But New York could go a different route and completely overhaul their offense. The Giants could double dip at the wide receiver position in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, depending on how the board shapes out.

If a player like Jaylen Waddle or Devonta Smith were on the board at eleven, those would be premiere offensive talents, extremely difficult to pass up on. Regardless of who the Giants sign in free agency, they should strongly consider drafting one of these top wide receiver talents if they have the chance to.

A wide receiver corpse featuring Kenny Golladay, Jaylen Waddle, and Sterling Shepard would be dominant. The more playmakers the better for Daniel Jones entering his third season.

Kenny Golladay is an elite wide receiver that could go for one thousand receiving yards and make plays at every level of the field. Jaylen Waddle has a ceiling so high no one can see it and could be a game-changing playmaker to stretch the field for the Giants’ offense. Sterling Shepard, now a savvy veteran, would be that underneath option to get open and make scrappy plays. The Giants cannot forget about Darius Slayton as well, who, in this scenario, would be an incredible fourth receiving option.

Throw this group of playmakers in alongside Saquon Barkley and the Giants’ offense could go from worst to first in a year. Sure, drafting a stud cornerback or edge rusher would be beneficial for the Giants’ defense in round one, especially if they sign a wide receiver in free agency. But if the Giants are going “best player available,” they cannot pass up on one of the top three wide receiver talents in this year’s draft. The Giants’ offense could receive a massive overhaul and turn things around in one short offseason.

An exciting defensive line prospect for the New York Giants to target if they lose Dalvin Tomlinson

The strength of the New York Giants is their defense. Undeniably the strongest positional group on New York’s defense is their defensive line. The trio of Dalvin Tomlinson, Leonard Williams, and Dexter Lawrence dominated in 2020. This group cost numerous assets to put together, but the Giants saw plenty of returns on their investments this past season.

Leonard Williams had a career-year with 11.5 sacks. Dalvin Tomlinson also continued to stand out, racking up 3.5 sacks and 49 combined tackles. Dexter Lawrence was phenomenal in his second year, posting 4 sacks and 53 combined tackles. It will be a major point of emphasis for the Giants to keep this trio together and build the defense around this unit.

However, the Giants are entering a crucial free agency period where they could lose one or two of these defensive linemen. Both Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson are free agents. It will be a top priority for the Giants to sign these players to contract extensions. But if one of them walks, it would be a huge blow to the defense and would force them to turn their attentions towards the interior defensive line prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Fortunately, there are some really intriguing defensive line prospects in the middle rounds of this year’s draft class. One exciting prospect to keep an eye on is Alim McNeill out of NC State. McNeill is a sleeper prospect that has begun rising up draft boards in recent weeks. If the Giants lose Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency, Alim McNeill would be the perfect nose tackle replacement to target in the draft.

Alim McNeill stats and highlights

Describe a unicorn. How about a 315-pound nose tackle that can hit 18 miles per hour on a treadmill and rush the passer with great efficiency? That sounds like a unicorn. That also sounds like Alim McNeill. Alim McNeill is a freakishly athletic interior defensive lineman that might somehow fall into the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

McNeill was initially projected as a third or fourth-round draft pick. However, in recent weeks, talent evaluators like Pro Football Focus have begun to hype up McNeill and tout him as a second-round prospect. It is not difficult to see what PFF sees when they praise Alim McNeill.

Nose tackles that can defend the run are common. But nose tackles that can pass-rush are rare. Alim McNeill was proficient at doing both in college. McNeill lined up as a 0-tech in college but was still able to find production as a pass-rusher, which is highly uncommon from that defensive alignment. McNeill’s athleticism comes from his history playing running back in high school. It is shocking how frequently that athleticism shows up on his game tape playing defensive line in college.

Alim McNeill might not be the most technically refined or advanced pass-rusher. But he has elite explosiveness and the ability to barrel through offensive linemen en route to the quarterback. McNeill posted 10 sacks through 32 career games and, according to Pro Football Focus, had a 9.3% pass-rush win rate, far above the draft class average from his position.

McNeill’s run-defense grade via PFF was 92.1 with a 77.5 pass-rushing grade. He has the ability to make plays in both facets of the game. The hope is for the New York Giants to re-sign Dalvin Tomlinson this offseason. But if they are unable to make that happen, drafting Alim McNeill would be quite the backup plan.

New York Giants: Kyle Pitts not the only tight end draft choice to consider

New York Giants, Brevin Jordan

The New York Giants are focusing on improving their offense this offseason. Heading into the 2020 regular season, fans were fairly optimistic about the future of the Giants’ offense. There was a lot of excitement surrounding players such as Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton, and Evan Engram.

Unfortunately, Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2 and missed most of the season. Darius Slayton struggled to stand out consistently and seems to have fallen into a secondary wide receiver role. Tight end Evan Engram was expected to have a big breakout season. This was the first year where Evan Engram was able to stay healthy and play in all sixteen games. Unfortunately, Engram did not break through the ceiling as most fans expected him to.

Evan’s role expanded significantly in 2020. He was often the first read and primary target in Jason Garrett’s play calls. Engram was targeted 109 times this season. He only found the end zone twice this year, though, and had a total of 11 drops on the year. Six passes that targeted Engram were intercepted this year and he lost a fumble.

Evan Engram was a bad-play magnet this past season. Of course, he still flashed his potential with some incredible performances, like in Week 12 against the Bengals where he totaled 129 receiving yards. But fans are frustrated with the Giants’ offensive ineptitude and aggravated with Evan Engram’s inconsistent and sometimes damaging performances. This has led many fans and analysts alike to mock stud UF tight end, Kyle Pitts, to the Giants with the eleventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

But how likely is it that the Giants actually draft a tight end in the first round and cast Evan Engram aside? It might not be a realistic possibility, though it would be one exciting draft selection. However, there are a couple of other tight end options that the Giants might consider further in the second or third rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Pat Freiermuth

If it were not for Kyle Pitts’s breakout 2020 season, it is highly likely that Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth would have been the top-ranked tight end on the 2021 NFL Draft board. Couple Pitts’s breakout with Freiermuth’s injury-riddled 2020 season, and now analysts are looking at the Penn State product as a second-round lock.

The ceiling is high for Pat Freiermuth. He has drawn comparisons to legendary tight end Rob Gronkowski. Pat even sports the nickname “Baby Gronk” for his violent playing style in college and menacing physical demeanor. In 2018 and 2019, Freiermuth scored a combined total of 15 touchdowns. He was a scoring machine in those seasons and was continuing his career with another impressive season in 2020 before it was cut short.

Probably Pat Freiermuth’s biggest red flag is his injury history. Pat injured his shoulder four games into the 2020 season. The injury required surgery and he missed the rest of the season. This injury has hurt Freiermuth’s draft stock. But this injury and draft stock tumble could make Pat Freiermuth an option for the Giants in the second round.

Brevin Jordan

Another tight end option that could be a target for the Giants in the third or fourth round is Brevin Jordan from Miami. Brevin Jordan is an athletic tight end that is dangerous with the ball in his hands. Jordan has speed and agility that makes him a matchup nightmare for opposing linebackers in man coverage.

Brevin Jordan is another player that had a breakout 2020 season. This past year, Brevin established himself as a true offensive weapon for Miami. The U’s tight end racked up 576 yards and 7 touchdowns on 38 receptions through eight games this season.

With the athleticism that Brevin possesses, he could line up in a variety of alignments in the NFL. Jordan could be used in a wide receiver role, being more of a versatile tight end than the likes of Pat Freiermuth, who projects as an in-line tight end. This versatility, though, could be a reason for the Giants to pass up on Brevin Jordan.

Brevin Jordan is a weapon, which the Giants need. But he might be a weapon a little too similar to the one they currently have at his position. Evan Engram is very much an athletic, matchup-nightmare tight end, like Brevin Jordan. Having two players with the same playing style might not be effective (especially when fans have soured on Engram’s playing style). But if the Giants move on from Engram but like this style of tight end, Brevin Jordan is an exciting mid-round option to consider.

Should the New York Giants consider EDGE Kwity Paye with the eleventh pick?

The New York Giants need help on both sides of the ball entering the 2021 NFL offseason. The Giants’ offense was particularly poor during the 2020 regular season. Upgrading the offense is a major point of emphasis for Dave Gettleman and the Giants this offseason. But there are weaknesses that need to be masked on the defensive side of the ball, as well.

One major area of weakness for the Giants on defense is at the edge rusher position. Patrick Graham and the Giants’ defense were able to put together a productive pass-rush this past season. But much of the Giants’ pass-rush was schemed together by Graham or generated from the interior defensive line.

New York was inconsistent pass-rushing off the edge. They struggled with injuries and often found themselves starting late-round draft picks at edge rusher. The Giants should make it a priority to find a primary pass-rusher to line up as a stand-up edge rusher in 2021. But should they find this player in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft?

One intriguing EDGE prospect that has been suggested as an option for the Giants is Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye. Many analysts have mocked Paye to the Giants with the eleventh overall pick in the draft. There is a lot to like about Kwity Paye, but there are reasons to disagree with this mock draft selection to the Giants.

What makes Kwity Paye so exciting?

Kwity Paye’s incredible athleticism and unreachable traits make him such an exciting prospect. He has all the tools necessary to become an elite edge rusher. But he does need to refine his technique and add more pass-rushing moves to his toolbox.

At six feet, four inches, and 272 pounds, Kwity Paye just moves different for a guy his size. Paye clocked a 6.37 three-cone drill at Michigan, an utterly insane time for an edge rusher. That explosiveness and agility cannot be taught at Paye’s position. He is a rare physical talent.

Like Rashan Gary in 2019, Kwity Paye is a Michigan edge rusher that did not put up crazy numbers in college but is projected to be drafted in the first half of the NFL Draft. Paye only totaled 11.5 sacks throughout his four-year collegiate career. His best season was in 2019 when Paye played 12 games and racked up 6.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, and 50 total tackles.

Sack totals do not tell the full story with Kwity Paye, though. Paye is an edge prospect that frequently found himself in the backfield pressuring quarterbacks. Many of those pressures failed to turn into sacks, but he was still a productive pass-rusher in college. Maybe with some NFL coaching in a better defensive scheme, Kwity Paye will be able to turn those sacks into pressures.

Why Kwity Paye might not be the best fit for the Giants

Kwity may be an extraordinarily talented edge rusher. But he might not be the edge rusher that the Giants need. Paye is has all of the unreachable traits that NFL scouts and general managers will fall in love with. He has too much raw athleticism and talent to bust in the NFL. But his style of play might not translate to every NFL team.

Playing at Michigan in college, Kwity Paye was playing in a 4-3 defensive scheme. This means that Paye lined up as an edge rusher with his hand in the dirt, like a defensive end. Now, the Giants certainly do run a “multiple” defensive scheme, constantly changing their defensive fronts and disguising their coverages. But, the Giants’ base defense is primarily a 3-4 defense. Kwity Paye might struggle with the transition to a stand-up edge rusher after getting accustomed to the defensive end role he played in college.

Additionally, Kwity Paye is a raw prospect. He needs to be molded into an elite pass-rusher. But he will not be an elite pass-rusher instantly, especially if he has to change positions. The Giants are in need of an instant-impact player with the eleventh overall pick. There are other players at other positions better suited to help the Giants win in 2021 than Kwity Paye.