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Giants land Penn State LB Micah Parsons in a 4-round post Senior Bowl mock draft

A linebacker in the first for the Giants!?

NCAA Football: Penn State at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

We passed another milestone in the 2021 NFL Draft process on Saturday, with the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. To celebrate, we decide that it’s time for another mock draft!

For this draft I tried to put myself in the New York Giants shoes and draft based how they might perceive their roster and how they might use the players on the board.

As usual I am using The Draft Network’s mock draft machine, paired with their predictive board.

Round 1, 11th overall

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Reasoning: Sitting here, Micah Parsons is absolutely one of the three best players in this draft, and getting him at 11th overall is an absolute home run for me. I do believe that the overwhelming focus of the Giants’ draft should be to build an offense that can play consistently for years to come, and by extension building a team that can win consistently for years to come. But the way this draft shook out, with Ja’Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle all going before my pick, that wasn’t an option.

So I went with Parsons, counting on him to solve multiple problems on the Giants’ defense. As an off-ball linebacker, Parsons can line up inside and outside, with the ability to come down and fill gaps in the run game, pursue in space, and cover pass catchers over the middle. As an added benefit, he might be the best EDGE in the draft class for the Giants’ scheme. He was recruited as a defensive end and still has the ability to rush off the edge. He might not be an every-down EDGE at the NFL level, but he has burst, bend, and power to be a consistent pass rushing threat — particularly considering he can be lined up anywhere in the front seven to make the offense keep track of him.

My only other real choice here was between Parsons and Pitts. I went with Parsons for a couple reasons. The first being to buck the trend of mock drafts giving Jaylen Waddle or Pitts to the Giants — might as well keep these a bit interesting.

My other reason is that if I’m putting myself in the Giants shoes for this and not drafting as myself, I just don’t trust the Giants to use Pitts correctly. I have been, and remain, adamant that Kyle Pitts should be drafted and played as a wide receiver. But I would just be afraid that if the Giants were to select Pitts, they couldn’t help themselves but to line him up in-line and ask him to run block 25 times a game and pass protect another 10-15 times. If you’re going to do that to Pitts, you may as well pick another player.

Other options

  • Kyle Pitts (“TE”, Florida)

Round 2, 42nd overall

Nico Collins (WR, Michigan)

Reasoning: The Giants finally get their big X receiver. Collins was impressive at the Senior Bowl, showing good route running and ball skills in practices. He’s a long-strider with deceptive speed down the field, does a good job of tracking and adjusting to the ball, and using that big frame in the Red Zone. Collins was severely limited by poor quarterback play at Michigan and could blossom in the same way that JuJu Smith-Schuster did at the NFL level.

I was sorely tempted to go with Trey Smith, who was very impressive at both guard and tackle at the Senior Bowl, as well as D’Wayne Eskridge who is just plain fun to watch. However, concerns over Smith’s health (I obviously don’t have access to his medicals, but blood clots are just scary) have my shying away. And, since I’m putting myself in the Giants’ shoes, my concerns over Eskridge are the same as my concerns over Kyle Pitts. I’m just not sure that the habitually traditional Giants would be able make full use of Eskridge’s varied and dangerous skill set.

Other options

  • D’Wayne Eskridge (WR, Western Michigan)
  • Trey Smith (OL, Tennessee)
  • Aaron Robinson (CB, UCF)

Round 3, 76th overall

Creed Humphrey (OC, Oklahoma)

Reasoning: It is almost physically painful to leave UCF DB Richie Grant on the board considering just how good he could be in Patrick Graham’s defense. However, improving the Giants’ offense MUST take precedence. I opted to go with Humphrey for a couple reasons. The first is that he is simply an upgrade over Nick Gates, who had never played center before. While Gates improved over 2020, Humphrey has started 36 straight games at center, anchoring a very good offensive line in the process. He is smart and experienced, which should help the Giants make protection calls as they get their third offensive line coach in two years.

Getting a player like Humphrey in the third round is a remarkable value.

This also potentially frees Gates up to slide over to guard if the Giants are forced to make Kevin Zeitler a cap casualty and aren’t satisfied with Will Hernandez or Shane Lemieux.

Other options

  • Richie Grant (DB, UCF)
  • Ifaetu Melifonwu (DB, Syracuse)
  • Quincy Roche (EDGE, Miami)

Round 4, 115th overall

Osa Odighizuwa (iDL, UCLA)

Reasoning: I have three reasons for making this selection, and I’ll start by being completely up front: I went to a lot of trouble learning how to spell “Odighizuwa” fluently enough that it didn’t slow down my writing. I don’t want that skill to go to waste.

But more relevant to the Giants, Osa impressed the hell out of me throughout the Senior Bowl. He combines natural leverage (and an understanding of how to use it) with great length, quickness, and explosive power and he was a problem for linemen. Odighizuwa beat the best linemen on the property all week long with both speed and power. He should be able to line up as the 5-technique in 3-man fronts as well as a 3 or 4i-technique on nickel downs.

If the Giants are forced to let both Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams walk in free agency, the strength of their defense — the interior defensive line — will be severely diminished. Adding Osa Odighizuwa would give them the another rock in the middle as well as a disruptive presence to pair with Micah Parsons.

Other options

  • Daelin Hayes (EDGE, Notre Dame)
  • Elerson Smith (EDGE, Northern Iowa)

Elsewhere in the NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles

  • R1 - DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama)
  • R2 - Eric Stokes (CB, Georgia)
  • R3 - Pete Werner (LB, Ohio State)

Dallas Cowboys

  • R1 - Caleb Farley (CB, Virginia Tech)
  • R2 - Liam Eichenberg (OT, Notre Dame)
  • R3 - Marlon Tuipulotu (iDL, USC)
  • R3 - Hamsah Nasirildeen (S/LB, FSU)
  • R4 - Victor Dimukeje (EDGE, Duke)
  • R4 - Trey Hill (iOL Georgia)

Washington Football Team

  • R1 - Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota State)
  • R2 - Trevon Moehrig (S, TCU)
  • R3 - Ifaetu Melifonwu (DB, Syracuse)
  • R3 - Amari Rodgers (WR, Clemson)
  • R4 - Brady Cristensen (OT, BYU)


Which NFC East team had the best draft?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Philadelphia Eagles
    (124 votes)
  • 17%
    Dallas Cowboys
    (248 votes)
  • 62%
    New York Giants
    (870 votes)
  • 10%
    Washington Football Team
    (153 votes)
1395 votes total Vote Now