The New York Giants need to build their wide receiving corps, that much is clear to pretty much anyone who watched the team in 2019 or 2020. The Giants’ offense was one of the very worst in the NFL last yer, and their inconsistencies of the passing game played a major role in those struggles. The Giants’ receivers struggled with separation and drops, and big plays were too few and too far between.
Conventional wisdom has it that the Giants should address their need at a premium position as soon as possible. In their case that would mean either free agency or the eleventh overall pick.
But recent history has shown us that good, great, receivers can be found outside of the first round.
Jordan Reid of The Draft Network recently pointed that out, listing the receivers drafting the second and third rounds.
Studying some draft trends, I was surprised to see the hit rate on Day 2 WRs since 2017.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) January 20, 2021
There’s obviously going to be some misses, but the outcomes have been overwhelmingly positive. pic.twitter.com/btl8LgJMzw
Over the last four years, players like Chase Claypool, Denzel Mims, D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, Terry McLauren, Michael Gallup, Christian Kirk, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Kenny Golladay all came out of the second or third rounds of their respective drafts.
Of course, past success in drafting receivers after the first round is no guarantee that such value will be found again. Several of Those drafts featured receiver classes with uncommon breadth and depth of talent — so much so that players with first round ability were pushed down to the second round.
Will that happen this year? Well, that remains to be seen.
If things work out that the Giants aren’t able to add to their receiver position with their premium resources, can they still find a playmaker on the second day? There should be players who slip out of the first round that they could target in the second round. Every year it seems that there are good receivers who are passed over due to some perceived fault — whether it’s Chase Claypool’s lack of production in college, DK Metcalf’s slow 3-cone drill, or JuJu Smith-Schuster’s perceived lack of speed.
This year we could see players like Wake Forrest’s Sage Surratt [Prospect Profile], Florida’s Kadarius Toney, Amon-Ra St. Brown from USC, or Nico Collins from Michigan emerge from the second day.
Each of these players has significant upside and could be a starter or major contributor in the right situation. We know that the Giants need to take steps to improve their offense, not just from a roster perspective, but also from a schematic perspective. This draft, like the ones in recent years, offers receivers to fit any kind of scheme or philosophy, so it could just come to finding value to fit the Giants’ perceived needs.
It’s also possible that the Giants could double-dip at the position and add a pair of players to turn a weakness into a deep strength.
The Giants could sign a player in free agency or draft a massive receiver Kyle Pitts or an explosive playmaker like Jaylen Waddle in the first round, then compliment them with a receiver taken later on in the second day.
There are a number of paths available for building and improving the Giants’ offense. One of the biggest storylines of the coming offseason is which one they choose to take.