We’re almost there, friends.
The 2021 NFL Draft is just hours away now, and the New York Giants enter the weekend with six picks at their disposal. There are obviously a number of ways the draft could play out, but if the Giants are looking to build around Daniel Jones, players on the offensive side of the football could be in play early and often over the next few days.
To that end, here are some options on the offensive side of the football for each of the Giants’ selections in the upcoming draft.
Round 1: Pick 11 overall
The Giants could go in a number of different directions with the 11th-overall selection, should they wish to address the offensive side of the football. You are probably familiar with the names by now: Wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, offensive linemen Rashawn Slater, Christian Darrisaw and Alijah Vera-Tucker. There are, of course, some other options, such as Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman, Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney or perhaps Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins.
Is it possible that three of the top non-quarterbacks slide in Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase and Penei Sewell? Perhaps, but in all likelihood an offensive selection comes from that initial crop of players.
Oh, and Justin Fields could slide ...
Round 2: Pick 42 overall
Given that New York could choose to address defense with their first-round selection, whether adding an EDGE such as Jaelan Phillips or Kwity Paye, or perhaps linebacker Micah Parsons, they could be looking to address the offensive side of the football early in the second round.
We can start with the receiver position. Options could include both Elijah Moore and Rondale Moore in this spot, although there is a chance that Moore slides into the first round given how well he tested at his pro day. Other receivers include Dyami Brown from UNC, Terrace Marshall Jr. from LSU and Nico Collins from Michigan, although I am higher on the first two names than I am on Collins. Then there is D’Wayne Eskridge from Western Michigan, who could be a reach at this spot but is worthy of consideration.
Should the Giants look to address the offensive line in this spot, there are some options that could be available in the interior including Landon Dickerson from Alabama, Creed Humphrey from Oklahoma and Wyatt Davis from Ohio State.
Some have posited that running back is a need for New York, and there are two players that should be considered at 42 should the Giants look at that position: UNC’s Javonte Williams, and his teammate Michael Carter. These are two very different players, with Williams more of the bruiser while Carter draws comparisons to James White. Personally, I feel like wide receiver and offensive line are bigger needs, but should the Giants go in this direction those are names to watch at this point in the draft.
Round 3: Pick 76 overall
As we get a bit deeper into the draft, positions that are less of a glaring need become options. For example, 76 is around the spot in the draft I would consider drafting either Kellen Mond or Davis Mills, two quarterbacks with potential but who look like more developmental options than surefire starters in the league. You could also look at tight end, as both Tommy Tremble from Notre Dame and Hunter Long from Boston College are options at this point of the draft.
Looking at the offensive line some players I like at this point of the draft include guards Ben Cleveland from Georgia and Josh Myers from Ohio State, and tackles Spencer Brown from Northern Iowa and Jackson Carman from Clemson. Cleveland is an athletic freak for a player of his size, as is Brown on the outside.
Receiver remains an option given the depth of the class. A player I love is USC’s Amon-Ra St. Brown, and he could be a solid option at this point in the draft. It might be early for him but Jaelon Darden, a speedy slot option from North Texas, is another player to watch. Maybe I’m high on him but I doubt he will be there at 117, and we know noted Giants fan Stephie Smalls is a huge fan:
Round 4: Pick 116 overall
The Giants have three picks at their disposal on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft, and if any of the players previously mentioned are still available, Dave Gettleman should be running to the virtual podium to make a selection. So you can consider all of the previously-mentioned players as options here at 117.
Beyond those mentioned, this is right in range of Quinn Meinerz, the interior offensive lineman from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Division III player took the football world by storm at the Senior Bowl, and he can play at either guard or center in the NFL and would be great value at this point if he is still available. You cold also look to Aaron Banks or Robert Hainsey, two Notre Dame options along the offensive line, as well as Kendrick Green from Illinois.
At wide receiver, I really like Cade Johnson, the shifty slot player from South Dakota State who was open all week long at the Senior Bowl. You could also consider Simi Fehoko from Stanford, Seth Williams from Auburn or the super-athletic Josh Imatorbhebhe from Illinois.
At running back, this could be a good spot for Rhamondre Stevenson from Oklahoma or Chuba Hubbard from Oklahoma State.
Round 6: Pick 196 overall/Pick 201 overall
The Giants are on the clock with two picks midway through the sixth round, so we can put together a group of players that are options at either spot. We can start with quarterback, as this would be an area of the draft where the Giants could look at Ian Book, Sam Ehlinger or Jamie Newman. If they wanted to think a bit outside of the box, Felipe Franks is an option at this point, keeping the potential position switch to tight end that has been floated about with him as an option.
Wide receiver depth offers a few different options, even at this point of the draft. Cornell Powell from Clemson, Marquez Stevenson from Houston, Tutu Atwell from Louisville Shi Smith from South Carolina, Josh Palmer from Tennessee and Tamorrion Terry from Florida State are all options.
Looking at tight end again, while this is not the best class overall two options I like at this point are Tony Poljan from Virginia (a converted quarterback) and Matt Bushman from BYU. Bushman is an older prospect who sat out last season, but he could surprise.
If he is still available, offensive guard David Moore from Grambling State is a very intriguing prospect. I might be higher on him than consensus, but if he is still on the board the Giants would be smart to give him a look. Brenden Jaimes from Nebraska and Royce Newman from Mississippi are options at this point at the tackle spot.
At running back, the Giants could look at Chris Evans from Michigan, Kylin HIll from Mississippi State or Pooka Williams from Kansas. Demetric Felton, a RB/WR option, tested poorly but did turn heads at the Senior Bowl.
Finally we close things out the best way I know how: Ben Mason, the fullback/TE from Michigan. Mason was the 200th player on my personal big board — whatever that’s worth — and if fullbacks are making a comeback, he is a player worth knowing about.