We don’t cover every mock draft that comes down the pike, but we do take the time to look at and analyze, mock drafts from big outlets and known experts. We do that on the basis that these experts have sources and access to front office around the league, and that could give us some insight into how various players are being viewed inside front offices, and how the draft could play out.
Chad Reuter, draft expert for NFL.com released a three-round mock draft on Monday morning in the wake of the Super Bowl. The New York Giants picks are fairly predictable given their tendencies and the way this draft shook out, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot to talk about.
Round 1 - 11th overall
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Typically, GM Dave Gettleman would look to improve the front seven with this pick. But Smith’s value is too high to ignore, despite his lean frame. Gettleman’s first-round pick from two years ago, quarterback Daniel Jones, will appreciate the explosive, tough and reliable Smith.
Round 2 - 42nd overall
Christian Barmore (DT, Alabama)
Round 3 - 76th overall
Creed Humphrey (OC, Oklahoma)
I am of two minds on how to view this draft — except for Creed Humphrey. He is a good, solid center and a good value in the third round. The obvious “depending on who else is available” caveats apply, but in most scenarios that’s a “sprint to the podium” pick.
But back to Smith and Barmore.
On the one hand, they are good players who should be productive at the NFL level and fill needs on the Giants’ roster. On that level they are good, even great, picks. Smith — the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner — was certainly reliable for Mac Jones (there’s an aside there that I’ll get to in a moment), and obviously wildly productive.
Likewise, Barmore is probably the only interior defensive lineman who will carry a first-round grade this year. He’s young, big, long, athletic and ridiculously strong and you just know that’s going to entice the DT-loving Giants who hardly let a second round go by without drafting a defensive tackle. And he too fills a need with the distinct possibility that Leonard Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Austin Johnson could all depart in free agency.
But I also have to ask just how much those players would help the Giants get better in 2021 and beyond.
The question with Smith is, and will be, his size and role in the NFL. It’s a red flag to me that he refused to be weighed and measured at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. If he was going to measure the 6-foot-1 at which he is listed in school and somewhere around 185 or 190 pounds, there wouldn’t be a question that Smith could play almost any role you ask of him in the NFL. But refusing to step on the scale or up to the measuring tape does nothing to dispel those concerns and, honestly, only gives credence to the whispers (which absolutely should be taken with a grain of salt) that his playing weight is in the 160’s. Combined with a reported 40 time in the low-to-mid 4.5’s (per NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah), and things start to get iffy for Smith.
“My sources at Alabama expect him to run the 40-yard dash in the low 4.5s, with the potential to sneak into the high 4.4s,” Jeremiah said.”
It’s okay for a receiver to be smaller, and it’s okay for a receiver to have mediocre speed. But what role does a slight receiver with average speed play for the Giants? My worry is that he would strictly be a slot receiver in the NFL, and that doesn’t help the slot-heavy Giants all that much.
It’s worth noting that Kyle Pitts went off the board at fifth overall to the Cincinnati Bengals and Ja’Marr Chase went to the New York Jets at No. 8 overall. However, Jaylen Waddle — who is both bigger than Smith and reportedly has 4.2 second speed — was still on the board and lasted until the Arizona Cardinals at 16th overall.
Likewise, how much does Barmore help the Giants? Their defense was able to get sacks, but they were entirely dependent on their pass coverage to either hold up for blitzes or to keep the ball in quarterbacks’ hands long enough for their defensive tackles to get home. That’s fine when it works, but eventually offenses will figure out the Giants’ tendencies and exploit their weaknesses. Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche (both from Miami) were still on the board here, and while neither will likely be the “alpha” pass rusher the Giants are lacking, they’re still solid additions who can help while we wait to find that ace.
If I were running this draft, my picks would look something like:
- Jaylen Waddle (WR, Alabama)
- Quincy Roche (EDGE, Miami)
- Creed Humphrey (OC, Oklahoma)
Oh and on Mac Jones, nothing against the young man, but the hype surrounding him is just over the top at this point. Things have gotten to the point where announcers were comparing him favorably to Tom Brady during Senior Bowl broadcasts. It’s one thing to be crisp with accuracy and anticipation at Alabama, where you not only out-athlete and out-talent everyone you’re going to face, but can also attack defenses with schemes most teams can’t dream of because of the talent available. And it’s one thing to look great in All-Star game practices with no hitting and clearly defined (and limited) defensive rules, and it’s quite another to be an All Time great player at the NFL level.
I’m not saying Mac Jones can’t get it done at the NFL level, but he honestly reminds me a lot more of Colt McCoy coming out of Texas than he does Brady.
Elsewhere in the NFC East
- Patrick Surtain II (CB, Alabama)
- Terrace Marshall (WR, LSU)
- Patrick Jones II (DE, Pitt)
- Gregory Rousseau (DE/EDGE, Miami)
- Keith Taylor (CB, Washington)
- Brevin Jones (TE, Miami)
- Mac Jones (QB, Alabama - Trade to 14th overall)
- None (second round pick included in trade with Minnesota Vikings for 14th overall)
- Amari Rodgers (WR, Clemson)