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2021 NFL Draft: Best players available for Giants on Day 3

Giants can still find help over the final rounds

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Vanderbilt at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Day 2 of the NFL draft involved more trades for GM Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants. The Giants traded down from 42 to 50 with the Dolphins to pick up an extra 2022 third-round selection. Big Blue selected Georgia EDGE Azeez Ojulari at 50. They also traded up in the third round from 76 to 71 to select versatile secondary piece Aaron Robinson out of UCF.

The team has yet to address the interior offensive line, where they are relying on Will Hernandez and Shane Lemieux as their presumptive starting guards heading into the season. Despite the fact that Wyatt Davis, Ben Cleveland, and Quinn Meinerz went in the third round, there’s still some talent left at the guard position. There are also other targets to pay attention to, so let’s check out the remaining prospects for the Giants heading into Day 3.

Michael Carter, RB, UNC

Look, I get it...the Giants shouldn’t be investing the limited amount of draft capital they have left this year into the running back position, but I would be remiss not to mention Carter’s slide and his overall skill-set. Carter has good vision to see backside cut-back lanes and is a decisive, yet patient, runner. He gets behind his blockers and times his commitment to burst well to take advantage of over-eager linebackers and second-level defenders.

He will make for a very good change-of-pace back right out of the gate. A difficult assignment for linebackers to cover in man, and he runs solid routes out of the backfield. Carter’s big issue is pass protection. He shows marginal play strength, good effort but isn’t effective at stopping blitzers on the edge and even up the middle.

He plays with good play strength when running the football but has to get better technically and from a strength standpoint as a pass protector. His success at the Reese’s Senior Bowl is backed up by very explosive and good tape. He should make a team happy on Day 3.

Trey Smith, G, Tennessee

Smith has all the power and strength in the world; his hands carry a ton of violence and pop. Smith will also be familiar with the Giants coaching staff, specifically Jeremy Pruitt who was his head coach in college

Watching Smith latch onto defenders and drive his lower body through their souls is a sight to see. He has issues with health (had serious blood clot issues) and this must be vetted. He also found himself on the ground a bit too often for my liking; I saw balance issues and sustainability issues through blocks, if he couldn’t establish his hands inside. Nevertheless, he’s a perfect fit for a play side guard in a power-gap system. I scoffed a bit at the idea of selecting Trey Smith in Round 2, but I can get behind it in Round 4.

Deonte Brown, G, Alabama

Shane Lemieux’s biggest fault is his inability to hold up in pass protection. Brown is immovable as a pass protector - good luck bull-rushing him. However, as reps wear on, his balance and center of gravity do become an issue. Questions about fatigue are fair in my opinion. If the 6-foot-3¼, 344-pound Brown is beaten on counters, it’s difficult for him to recover because of his sub-optimal athletic ability, but his feet mirror well in pass protection for a man of his size.

He’s a very powerful lumbering guard, but this is Day 3. He would have a lot of success in a DUO/inside zone system or as the play-side guard in gap/power. He’s too slow to pull from the back-side consistently, but if he lost some weight it would be more feasible. Brown has exceptional play strength and is a solid overall pass protector. He could stand to shed some weight for sure, but he just seems like the type of guy that Dave Gettleman would love.

David Moore, G, Grambling

He only played two years of football in high school, so he’s raw, yet he showed good tape at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. He’s thick and light on his feet; does a good job limiting space and getting his hands inside to pull defenders close while also showing good reactive quickness to refute counter moves. As a run blocker, he gets low and explodes through his hips to drive defenders off the ball. He’s not exactly refined and his feet aren’t always calm, cool, and collected, but it would be a solid addition on Day 3 of the draft.

Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU

Dave Gettleman loves big guys in the trenches, and Shelvin is one of the biggest. He is a 350-pound mountain who would replace Dalvin Tomlinson as a two-gapping nose technique that can eat blocks in the A-Gaps. Shelvin opted out of the 2020 season and has struggled with weight issues.

He uses his hands very well at the snap and plays with very good mental processing to stack lineman, see football, and then get football as a run defender. He will excel as a run defender in the NFL. Crazy to think, but putting Shelvin and Dexter Lawrence in the middle of the defense gives the Giants 700 pounds between two players - can Gettleman resist?

Shelvin has a strong punch that forces opponents pad levels’ to rise - brings violence to the point of attack with his initial push. I wish he adjusted his hands a bit better when engaged; he can get stagnant or glued to blocks when trying to shed as a pass rusher. He doesn’t have much pass-rushing upside and is more of a two-down defensive lineman who is versatile enough for a one gap and two gapping system.

Shelvin is a gigantic human being who excels as a run defender with great play strength in the middle of a defense. He would fit very well in Patrick Graham’s scheme.

Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke

Will the Giants look to add another Duke Blue Devil? I’m not sure, but if they’re looking for versatile EDGE/LBs then they could do a lot worse than Rumph II. Rumph II has a lot of intriguing pass-rushing traits to work with: he can bend well through contact, has an explosive first three steps, is sudden with his movements, has polish to his moves, has plenty of finesse moves to employ, and he’s excellent on slants and twists.

Where he gets in trouble is his lack of ability to set the edge with consistency. This may force him to a more linebacker role in the NFL, but the right defensive coordinator may be able to unlock a player with high potential in Rumph — he has to get stronger. Joe Judge and Dave Gettleman spoke about adding players who are versatile at the LB/EDGE spot specifically, and Rumph II makes sense.

Janiarous Robinson, EDGE, Florida State

Robinson is another Seminole defender who has untapped potential; he does a good job generating solid power through his lower half as a bull-rusher, he also has raw strength - he just needs to turn it into functional strength. He’s a long, and big, 6-foot-5, 264 pounds. He flashes counter moves with an inside spin, but the technique is sloppy and not exactly fluid. He plays with a ton of effort — competitive toughness is not an issue.

He doesn’t really have much of a plan when pass-rushing, and he could use his length more in this area. I would like to see him string moves together and use most of his physical gifts. I didn’t see much of that on his tape, nor at the Senior Bowl. There’s room to grow for Robinson from a technical standpoint.

Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB

New York may look to add more versatile linebacker/EDGEs, as I stated earlier, and Jordan Smith fits that description and he has incredible length. He’s just under 6-foot-6, with 33 ⅝” arms. Smith is a Senior Bowl guy and his pro day testing was uninspiring. If Smith is available in the sixth round, then the Giants could look to add him for depth at the EDGE spot.

Smith is a toolsy player who has all the length desired for an EDGE rusher, but his lack of anchor, strength, and ability to effectively play the run hinder his early upside. His athletic ability is good on tape, wish he was a bit more fluid through contact as a pass rusher, but he has flashed the ability to get off blocks and find ways to win, albeit in the Conference USA. He needs further development.

Jabrill Cox, LB, LSU

Cox is a speedy, coverage, type of linebacker that a lot of teams are currently looking to add to their roster. These players help combat spread and quick game passing concepts. He transferred from North Dakota State last year to play at LSU for a season. He is 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, and excels with his fluidity and movement skills in space.

Cox is the type of modern-day linebacker that a lot of NFL teams are looking for: fast, can cover, can blitz, and he’s not a liability against the run. He’s played in multiple schemes, executed varying assignments, and has superior athletic ability. Has 11 passes defended and 8 interceptions through his time in both programs, while securing 199 tackles. If the Giants are looking to upgrade the linebacker position next to Blake Martinez, Cox is a perfect addition.

Cam McGrone, LB, Michigan

McGrone is an instinctive linebacker who has a lot of experience blitzing the interior gaps and having success on exotic packages - sounds like a Patrick Graham type of guy. He is a sound tackler who delivers heavy hits on opposing ball carriers. He wraps up and plays with good overall play strength while violently throwing opponents to the ground. McGrone also played through several injuries in 2020 and showed excellent physical toughness.

He plays with a ton of competitive toughness as a blitzer; he is a bit reckless with his approach but is effective as a penetrator and looper on stunts. He may need to get a bit better with his hands, and he doesn’t have EDGE type of bend, but he should be effective in the NFL executing these types of blitzes.

McGrone is an explosive athlete who is undersized, but he is a solid run defender at the second level. He could be a bit better at shedding blocks in the hole against pulling blockers. He has the upside of being a solid starting middle linebacker in the NFL, and his downside is a core special teams player.

The Big Board after Round 3