Now that Kenny Golladay is a member of the New York Giants I am certain that will change the nature of mock drafts that have overwhelmingly had the Giants taking a wide receiver with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
A blazing deep threat like Jaylen Waddle of Alabama might still be attractive to the Giants at No. 11, and that would be an excellent choice. The addition of Golladay, though, opens the door to a host of possibilities for the Giants. With that preamble, it is time for my latest mock draft. Let’s see how things turned out, using the Pro Football Network draft simulator.
Round 1 (No. 11) — TRADE!!
Two fairly high picks in 2022, a year when the draft is supposed to be a loaded one, were really tempting. In this exercise, though, future picks are no fun. Plus, I didn’t want to move all the way down to No. 27. I like the offer from Arizona — move down a couple of spots in Round 1 while netting a second-round pick for a fourth — so, I’m taking it.
DeVonta Smith, Gregory Rousseau, Jaycee Horn, Christian Darrisaw and Micah Parsons are all on the board here. So are Azeez Ojulari and Caleb Farley. I have no doubt I will have choices I’m happy with at No. 16.
So, let’s see what happens.
Round (No. 16) — Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
I would be ecstatic to take either Farley or Ojulari, who remain available, in this spot. I would even feel better about taking Rousseau, a raw pass rusher who draws comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul but is so raw whether he gets close to that level is anyone’s guess.
You can argue that cornerback or edge might have more positional value. I will give you that. I’m not passing on Parsons here, though. No chance. At 16? You’ve got to be kidding me! I’m more certain this player is destined to be a game-changer than I am about any other player on the board. I would have been happy with him at 11. I’m over the moon with getting him at 16.
Other players considered: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Round 2 (No. 42) — TRADE!!
The Las Vegas Raiders are on the phone offering pick No. 48 and a 2022 fourth-round pick to move up to 42. The Buffalo Bills are offering pick No. 61 and a 2022 second-rounder for picks 42 and 201. I like the Raiders’ offer because I’m not moving far at all, plus I’m getting a future pick in the deep draft class we already discussed.
So, another deal.
Round 2 (No. 48) — Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
*From Las Vegas
After losing Kevin Zeitler, the Giants currently have Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez penciled in as their starting guards. I’m not at all sure that they are happy about that. I know I would like to add another option there, and this picks gives me that chance.
Davis is a 6-foot-4, 315-pound plug-and-play right guard who should help improve the run-blocking and be at least adequate — meaning better than Lemieux — in pass protection.
Draft Network says:
Wyatt Davis projects well as a starting right guard at the NFL level and it should not take him very long to work himself into that role. Davis should be expected to claim a starting role during his rookie season in the NFL — thanks in large part to impressive NFL bloodlines and the mauling presence up front that will help create ample space in the run game. Davis is at his best on inside zone where his blend of lateral mobility and functional power can combine to push and uproot defenders at the point of attack to create gaping lanes for his ball carriers. Davis is a multi-year starter with the Buckeyes and although his play peaked in 2019, there’s a clear and obvious ceiling with Davis’ game that would make him a game changing presence up front along an NFL offensive line. Teams who implement more frequent outside zone concepts will need to provide some added focus to securing and sustaining blocks after first contact if they hope to unlock the best of what Davis has to offer — but a large part of his appeal is that he’s got the physical tools to execute any kinds of concepts at a high level. Teams who love maulers are going to find him hard to ignore.
Round 2 (No. 49) — TRADE!!
I couldn’t help myself here. The Tennessee Titans came along and offered picks No. 53 and 85 for the 49th and 201st picks. There wasn’t, for me, an ‘I’ve gotta have him or my draft is destroyed’ player at 49. So, I happily moved down a couple of spots and took the extra third-round pick.
Round 2 (No. 53) — Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
This is a little bit of a long-range projection rather than a player who might step in and be ready for an immediate full-time role as an every down cornerback opposite James Bradberry. Remember, though, the draft is about the long term. I have faith in Patrick Graham and defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson to develop this inexperienced but ascending player.
Draft Network says:
Kelvin Joseph is a long perimeter cornerback prospect who should have the opportunity to develop into a starting outside option for a team. Joseph, who was an early entree into the 2021 NFL Draft, has the kind of length that is very popular right now in the NFL game and has been exposed to a number of different roles throughout the course of his career. He was charged with periodically following Florida TE Kyle Pitts but also has played deep third coverage against some of the more prominent offenses on the Wildcats’ schedule—including Alabama. Joseph enjoyed a fruitful season at Kentucky and found the football on a number of occasions, illustrating down-the-field ball skills and effective contesting ability at the catch point. A former LSU Tiger, Joseph has about as slim of a resume as you can get; he played nine games for the Wildcats in 2020 after sitting out the 2019 season on account of transferring in from LSU and will take his talent to the pro game with just 20 total games played at the college level. Because of his inexperience, expect sporadic results in coverage and inconsistent recognition skills until he’s able to allocate more reps and increase his route combination awareness and add more polish to his technique. I wouldn’t endorse an early role, but the three-year projection looks much more favorable than the one-year forecast in 2021.
Round 3 (No. 76) — Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
After signing Golladay, the need to add to the receiving corps is not as pressing. I don’t want to ignore it, though, and here I have four good options. Collins, Amari Rodgers of Clemson, D’Wayne Eskridge of Western Michigan and Tylan Wallace of Oklahoma State are all in range. This is a “what’s your preference?” kind of pick.
I like the bigger wideouts, and I think Jason Garrett does, too. Collins gives the Giants one more. Besides, he’s one of my favorite players in this draft.
Round 3 (No. 85) — Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
Good friend Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan thinks Tryon is the best edge rusher in the class, and in a mock for CBS Sports last week chose Tryon for the Giants at No. 11. Yes, at No. 11! I couldn’t do THAT, but it’s enough of an endorsement for me to make absolutely certain he doesn’t get past me here.
Pro Football Focus says:
Tryon chooses violence on every play. There’s not an ounce of hesitation or softness in his game. He’s going to attack blockers with reckless abandon. At 6-foot-5 and just over 260 pounds, that’s a winning combination. Tryon was trending up in a big way toward the end of 2019, posting 29 pressures in his final seven games after only 12 in his first six outings. Sadly, that was the last we saw of him before he opted out.
Round 4 — No pick
Remember, I sent the 116th overall pick to Arizona in my first trade. So, I don’t have a pick here. Still, I ended up with five selections among the first 85. I’m happy with that.