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Mel Kiper mock draft 4.0: Giants land Jaylen Waddle, Ronnie Perkins

Did Mel Kiper make the right choices for New York in this version of his mock draft?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 07 Big 12 Championship Game
Ronnie Perkins

We have reached the point in the NFL Draft process where the multitude of mock drafts begin to blur together. Still, we carry on in bringing you mocks of note, and when Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN drops a mock draft that is always worth discussing.

In Kiper’s newest mock draft, version 4.0 if you care about such details, Kiper has the Giants selecting Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle at No. 11 and Oklahomas edge Ronnie Perkins at No. 42.

Below, the top 10 picks. After that list, we will discuss the choices for the Giants.

Top 10 picks

  1. Jaguars — QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
  2. Jets — Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
  3. 49ers — Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
  4. Dolphins (via trade with Falcons) — Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  5. Bengals — Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
  6. Falcons (via trade with Dolphins) — Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
  7. Lions — Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  8. Panthers — DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  9. Broncos — Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
  10. Patriots (via trade with Cowboys) — Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Round 1 (No. 11) — Jaylen Waddle

I’m absolutely fine with this. I might take Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater here, but Waddle is an elite, big-play difference maker as a receiver and a returner. Slater, as good as he is and as well as he would fit the Giants, would likely begin his career as a guard. Waddle would probably walk in the door as the Giants’ No. 2 receiver, and I think he’s headed for a DeSean Jackson-type career. So, yeah, if the Giants are satisfied that Waddle’s ankle is healed and they choose to do this I won’t complain.

Round 2 (No. 42) — Ronnie Perkins

I’m OK with going edge here. It’s just that Perkins wouldn’t be my choice. Kwity Paye, Jaelan Phillips, Azeez Ojulari, Jayson Oweh and Gregory Rousseau are all off the board. So, too, is guard-center Landon Dickerson.

If you’re going edge here, I would prefer Joe Tryon of Washington. Perkins is talented, but he’s. 247-pound guy who played almost exclusively with his hand in the ground at Oklahoma. You can’t play 3-4 defensive end at his size, and I’m not aware of any real evidence he can play standing up. He can rush the passer, but I’m not sure he’s the right guy.

In his draft guide, Dane Brugler of The Athletic says of Perkins:

His 2020 season was disrupted by a six-game suspension for a failed drug test, but he started to heat up upon his return, producing 10.5 tackles for loss in only six games. With his length and heavy hands, Perkins attacks the chest of blockers, sticking, stabbing and keeping distance. He benefited from the Sooners’ slanting attack, but he can hit his landmarks as a rusher and his play strength and pursuit keep him near the football. Overall, Perkins must develop his rush plan and arsenal of moves, but he uses his power and balanced movements to free himself from blocks and make plays. He projects as an NFL starter in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme.

Of Tryon, Brugler says:

A one-year starter at Washington, Tryon lined up as a hybrid edge rusher in then-defensive coordinator (and current Huskies head coach) Jimmy Lake’s multiple defense, and occasionally lined up as an off-ball linebacker or hand-in-the-dirt lineman inside the offensive tackle. He emerged as one of the Pac-12’s best edge players as a sophomore, but when he opted out of the 2020 season he left unanswered questions about his development. Tryon looks straight out of central casting with his frame, length and athleticism and he doesn’t stray from his competitive edge. While eager to initiate contact, he needs to do a better job setting up and eluding blockers while also maturing his anticipation and arsenal of moves (needs to play more with his mind and not just his heart). Overall, Tryon is still a work in progress, but he owns the tools to streamline his pass rush skills with added coaching. He projects as a future NFL starter similar to Marcus Davenport when he was coming out of college.