The 2021 NFL Draft is getting closer, and is only a bit more than three (3) weeks away at this point. However, it’s still three whole weeks away, which means there’s still plenty of time to fill with mock drafts.
We’ve been trying to keep abreast of the bigger mock drafts out there. Not so much because we believe them to be particularly accurate at predicting the actual draft, but rather because bigger outlets and well-connected draft experts could give us some glimpse of an insight into the thinking around NFL front offices.
Former NFL scout, and current NFL Network draft expert, Daniel Jeremiah released his Mock Draft 3.0 on Tuesday. This is his first following free agency and a series of trades reshuffled the top 10 and perceived needs around the NFL. But, if you read the headline, you know that things didn’t change much as far as the New York Giants are concerned.
11. New York Giants
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Even after the Giants’ signing of Kenny Golladay, I still get the sense Big Blue wants more weapons. Smith is the best route runner in the draft.
I’ll do my best to be brief with this because, frankly, Jeremiah isn’t breaking any new ground with this pick. I don’t dispute that Smith was fantastically productive for Alabama and is a great route runner, and that should allow him to be productive right away in the right situation.
But I’m still skeptical of him for the Giants in particular and the NFL in general. While I’m not fond of offering pro comparisons for college prospects, they are sometimes an apt shorthand for describing traits. And the player I see in DeVonta Smith is a young Golden Tate coming out of Notre Dame — had he been allowed to play in a modern Spread Coast offense with Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones instead of Jimmy Clausen.
In short, a “quicker than fast” slot receiver who makes his hay with route running and run after catch opportunities. And the Giants already have two of those players in Sterling Shepard and Dante Pettis.
It’s also a red flag for me in general that Smith admitted to weighing 170 pounds (while refusing to be measured and was rumored to play in the 160s), and didn’t run a 40 yard dash (again, his speed is suspected to be somewhere in the 4.5s). The list of wide receivers to officially weigh 170 pounds or less and have a 1,000-yard season is precisely one (1) player long: DeSean Jackson.
And while the two might be a similar weight, Jackson is shorter (and therefore more dense), and was much more explosive. And even so, Jackson still only had two healthy seasons, missing 48 games thus far in his career.
The way the board broke, with Penei Sewell, Ja’Marr Chase, Kyle Pitts, and Rashawn Slater all going in the top 10, I probably would have gone with Micah Parsons. He could fill a variety of roles on the defense and help with coverage in the middle of the field and with the pass rush.