How will Friday’s pair of NFL Draft trades involving the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins impact the options the New York Giants have at No. 11 in the 2021 NFL Draft?
Well, the wheeling and dealing almost certainly guarantees that at least four quarterbacks will be off the board before the Giants select. Every quarterback chosen before the Giants turn arrives, of course, makes the board at No. 11 stronger for GM Dave Gettleman and and Co.
Let’s run our weekly simulated mock draft to see what kind of options we end up with. As I have usually done with these mock drafts, I will use the Pro Football Network simulator.
Round 1 (No. 11) — Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
I had three offers for trades here.
The New England Patriots offered pick No. 15 and a 2022 second-round selection. For what it’s worth, the more I do these that seems to be an offer that comes up pretty consistently.
The Green Bay Packers offered picks 29, 62, 92 and a 2022 second-rounder for picks 11 and 201.
The Arizona Cardinals offered picks 16, 49 and a 2022 sixth-rounder for the 11th selection.
The New England and Arizona offers are tempting, but in this scenario I am not passing on the opportunity to add Pitts. His Florida coaches considered him a “unicorn” and he is the No. 3 ranked prospect on the PFN Big Board.
Maybe he is redundant with Evan Engram. Maybe, no probably, he’s just better. I don’t know if this would lead the Giants to try and trade Engram or if they would just figure out ways to use Pitts, Engram, Kyle Rudolph, Kenny Golladay and the rest of their receivers. I want the skillset Pitts offers, though, and figuring out what to do with this group is a problem I will gladly hand Jason Garrett and Freddie Kitchens.
Readers of this space know I’m a big fan of both Rashawn Slater and Azeez Ojulari, and that I believe in building an NFL team from inside out. Passing on those players to select Pitts tells you how special I think the player is.
Other players considered: Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern; Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
As an aside, Michigan edge Kwity Paye and cornerbacks Patrick Surtain, Jaycee Horn and Caleb Farley are all on the board here. I’m not considering them.
Round 2 (No. 42) — Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
I have two more trade offers at my fingertips.
The Tennessee Titans are offering picks 53 and 100 to move up to 42. This is tempting.
The Buffalo Bills are offering pick No. 93 and second- and fourth-round picks in 2022. No chance I’m taking this one and moving from the top of Round 2 all the way to the bottom of Round 3.
Despite the tantalizing offer from Tennessee I’m taking Davis here. I don’t like making true “need” picks, but provided the knee Davis injured in the National Championship Game checks out — and i haven’t found any real information that says it won’t — this is one of those enviable draft situations where value meets need.
Tony Pauline of Draft Network writes:
Davis was a dominant lineman for Ohio State the past two seasons and showed continued development in his game. He’s a zone-blocking lineman with outstanding size and needs only to improve his finishing strength to complete his game. The injury suffered during the national title game will push him down draft boards, but once he returns to health, Davis will be a productive starting guard in the NFL.
Below is Chris Pflum’s projection for Davis. It’s a projection I think makes him a perfect fit for the Giants:
Wyatt Davis projects as a starting guard with scheme versatility in the NFL. He has the athleticism to transition to the left side if his future team needs to use him there, but staying at right guard would allow for a quick transition to the NFL.
Davis is, for the most part, a “clean” prospect with all the traits to be a reliable starter and step into a starting role almost immediately in the NFL and play in any blocking scheme. Even Davis’ weaknesses will likely improve with experience, particularly his slight tendency to lose track of defenders on chaotic plays. He already has the technique and play strength to start on an NFL line, and should adapt to the speed of the pro game quickly. ...
Davis’ late knee injury will likely garner interest, both for his timeline to return to the field and for his future prognosis. However, if those reports are optimistic, there are few concerns with Davis’ play on the field.
Davis’ draft stock is likely limited by his positional value — that of a “guard only” prospect — but what you see is what you get from him as a prospect. And what you get from Wyatt Davis is a good plug and play guard.
Sounds exactly like what the Giants need.
Other players considered: Ifeatu Melfonwu, CB, Syracuse; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami; Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia; Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest; Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama
Round 3 (No. 76) — Tyler Shelvin, NT, LSU
So many choices. I’m trying to stick as closely to the board as it is presented as I can, rather than jump around and impose what might be my values or just grab my favorite players. Here, I am presented with a boatload of wide receivers, a couple of cornerbacks, a couple more guard prospects and even Houston edge defender Payton Turner.
I chose to do the most Giants-like thing possible. I selected Shelvin, a massive, space-eating 6-foot-3, 346-pound (maybe 360-pound) pure nose tackle as an early-down Dalvin Tomlinson replacement.
Watch one game of Shelvin’s and you know exactly what he is. A monstrous human being who requires a double team at the point of attack if you have any hope of running the ball through the middle, but also a player who will give you virtually zero pass rush impact. He does, though, possess enough agility to move laterally and make plays along the line of scrimmage.
A very New York Giants type of selection.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com writes:
Block-eating nose tackle with girth, power and leverage to play the role of tree stump against the run in an odd or even front. Shelvin can engage double teams with some effectiveness to allow linebackers to run free, but he doesn’t display much range to make plays. He can be inconsistent in controlling and shedding single blocks in a timely fashion. He would benefit from better conditioning to improve both his stamina and quickness. He’s unlikely to ever be much of a playmaker or pass rusher, which could limit his draft value, but his stout presence in the middle should carry value for teams looking to tighten up against the run.
Other players considered: Nico Collins, WR, Michigan; Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina; Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson; Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State; Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia; Trill Williams, CB, LSU
Round 4 (No. 116) — Shaka Toney, EDGE, Penn State
Toney is not a player we have talked about much. He is a player Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy was high on coming out of that event, and one who tested well at the Penn State Pro Day attended by Giants coach Joe Judge.
Here are his Pro Day numbers:
Height and weight: 6-foot-2, 242 pounds
Bench press: 225 pounds 24 times
Vertical jump: 39 inches
Broad jump: 10-8
40-yard dash: 4.51 seconds
Shuttle: 4.28 seconds
Three-cone drill: 6.95 seconds
Over past two years watching @PennStateFball tape can’t recall seeing Shaka Toney (@SackA_Toney) manned up on TE. Excellent job here in first 1-on-1 rep at Reese’s Senior Bowl. At 6022v, 238v stuff like this will help NFL teams project him from DE to LB.#TheDraftStartsInMobile pic.twitter.com/WVFPEYKqkw— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 9, 2021
Toney had 20.0 sacks in 40 games at Penn State. At some point the Giants need to add to their edge group. Toney is value on the board as it is presented to me, so I take a shot with him here.