We are less than a week away from the 2021 NFL Draft, and we have come to my final ‘scenario’ mock draft of this cycle for the New York Giants. Here, I have stuck as closely as I could to what I think the Giants would do — or at least to players I think they would find really attractive.
Let’s see how this turned out.
Round 1 (No. 11) — Jaylen Waddle
Mac Jones is on the board here and I had what I consider to be a very realistic offer from the New England Patriots (pick No. 15 and a 2022 second-round pick) for the Patriots to move up to that spot. Quite honestly, though, I can’t do that deal unless the second-round pick from New England is this year’s. The Giants seem to be placing heavy emphasis on results this year, and we know Dave Gettleman’s job may hinge on the performance of the team in 2021. Collecting long-term assets that won’t help the Giants this year and that might be utilized by a different general manager is probably not Gettleman’s idea of a smart move. To be honest, it’s not mine, either.
The Giants say they want touchdown makers and that they need a player at No. 11 who will be an immediate contributor. Waddle scored 20 touchdowns on 167 touches as a receiver, runner and kick/punt returner, one every 8.35 touches. He is a difference-maker from Day 1, and that’s hard to pass up. You might recall that I also picked Waddle for the Giants in the SB Nation writers mock draft.
Parsons? I just don’t have the information I need on the off-the-field stuff. If I have another choice, which I do here, I’m going in a different direction.
What would I have hoped to find at 15 had I taken the trade down with New England? Micah Parsons and Patrick Surtain were still on the board at 11. I would have to think about one of them if they slid to 15. I would also be happy to select Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari [Prospect profile] or USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker at that point. Honestly, it wouldn’t take much to convince me to select Ojulari at No. 11.
Round 2 (No. 42) — Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
Washington edge defender Joe Tryon is here, and I LOVE Tryon. He is really hard to pass on right here. I am, however, going to do what I think the Giants would do.
When it comes to Tryon, I keep going back to how many times I have heard GM Dave Gettleman and College Scouting Director Chris Pettit talk about opt out guys going 20 months (almost two full years) without putting on football pads. I think that unless they are overwhelmed by a player’s talent they are going to lean toward selecting guys who played in 2020.
Over and over I keep coming back to Davis at this spot. He’s plug and play at right guard. Draft him, plug him in, don’t worry about that spot for the next four years.
Let Shane Lemieux and Will Hernandez compete for left guard, and the loser becomes the third guard.
Round 3 (No. 76) — Quincy Roche, Edge, Miami
OK, so I really don’t know how the Giants feel about Roche. I know, though, that they really have to come out of this draft at least trying to find help for the pass rush. I know Roche is one of my favorite players in this class. I know Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy loves what Roche did during his week in Mobile.
Quincy Roche: Most valuable edge defender in the 2021 draft class (per PFF WAR) pic.twitter.com/GxWes5F5Ny— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 10, 2021
SENIOR BOWL PERFORMANCES— College Football Rankings ™ (@CFBRanking) January 29, 2021
Miami Fl DE Quincy Roche
Blows past the Outland Trophy winner multiple times. pic.twitter.com/dVN8xDA2DW
Round 4 (No. 116) — Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
The 6-foot-2⅛, 229-pound Surratt played quarterback his first two seasons at North Carolina. He then switched to linebacker, so he is really just learning the position. I’m taking the upside here.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic gives Surratt a Round 3 grade. He writes:
With the NFL on his mind, the former quarterback voluntarily made the switch to linebacker (a position he hadn’t played since ninth grade) prior to his junior year, making a surprisingly smooth transition (206 tackles over 22 starts). Surratt is field fast and moves really well at the position to cover, blitz or chase down the run, showing the smarts to consistently be around the football. However, his take-on skills and finishing ability aren’t yet strengths to his game, and he sticks to blocks and often arrives too hot as a tackler. Overall, Surratt must improve his run fits and develop in several areas, but he has the athleticism, instincts and competitive toughness to be a high-volume tackler and run-around weakside linebacker in the NFL.
Virginia Tech running back Khalil Herbert was also a strong consideration here.
Round 6 (No. 196) — Larry Rountree, RB, Missouri
I have said over and over that I really believe the Giants will — or at least, should — select a running back on Day 3. The 5-10½, 211-pound Rountree is the best one left on the board.
Brugler gives him a Round 5 grade. He writes:
An instinctive runner, Rountree stays controlled with his lower body and runs with dependable vision and tempo to chip away at the defense. While he is a workhorse who takes a beating and keeps grinding, he doesn’t make a ton of plays after initial contact, lacking the balance or explosive gear to be a consistent tackle-breaker. Overall, Rountree might not have any special traits, but he is reliable, and the strengths of his game (vision, footwork, toughness) translate well to any scheme. He projects as a potential backup if he proves to be reliable in third-down situations.
Round 6 (No. 201) — Avery Williams, CB, Boise State
I don’t know if Williams would be a value here. I do know that his special teams pedigree — nine kick return touchdowns, two-time MAC Special Teams Player of the Year, makes him a player Joe Judge would love.
He was an elite special teams player for the Broncos, recording nine career touchdowns (five punt returns, three kick returns and one blocked punt return), five blocks (three punts, one field goal, one extra-point) and a forced fumble on kickoff coverage. Williams plays with the competitive make-up and heightened awareness that NFL teams want in their cornerbacks. However, he frequently finds himself trailing or out of phase and allows too many completions on his watch. Overall, Williams lacks desirable length and explosive traits for outside work, but special teams coaches will be pounding the table for him on draft day. His resiliency in nickel and versatility to play running back and star on special teams give him a realistic shot at earning a roster spot.
Throughout the many weeks of doing these mock drafts, I hope I have presented enough scenarios that we all understand there are many different ways this could turn out. Each pick carries risk and an opportunity cost, with a ripple effect on what will be available and what will need to be done later in the draft.
A few more days and we can dissect what really happened, rather than talk about what might happen.