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What anonymous scouts said about Giants’ picks before the draft

Opinions vary on first-round pick Kadarius Toney

SEC Championship - Alabama v Florida Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

What do scouts around the league think about the players the New York Giants drafted? Bob McGinn of The Athletic tells us in his position-by-position pre-draft series.

Round 1 (No. 20) — Kadarius Toney

“He wasn’t even rated, but I liked him from the beginning of the (2020) season,” one scout said. “He had some issues as a junior, but he is a tremendous player.”

“He is a passionate rap artist,” said another scout. “On green-yellow-red, he’s a yellow … that dude’s explosive. He’s got 10-yard acceleration like (Tyreek) Hill.”

“We would never draft him, but he’s a matchup nightmare for a defense as a slot,” said a third scout. “He’s got excellent ball skills and feel for the position. He’s strong and competitive with the ball in his hands. In the right system, that takes huge advantage of the slot wide receiver, he offers a lot.”

Said a fourth scout: “If I’m looking at him through the eyes of a quarterback, I think he’s kind of hard to read. He does so much shake and bake that you don’t know if he’s going left, right or sitting down. Not to take away from his creativity, but to play within a scheme, you’ve got to stay within your own area with your route. This guy is a little all over the map. His thing is just the change of direction. He is so skilled.”

Round 2 (No. 50) — Azeez Ojulari

“He’s athletic and quick with a good get-off,” said one scout. “He can get on an edge. He runs well. Playing (every) down, the size factor could be an issue. He can be a 3-4 or a 4-3 guy.”

“I think there’s some risk with him, but if you’re saying that, what’s Kwity Paye?” a third scout said. “(Ojulari) had 8½ sacks (in 2020) in the SEC, and the biggest season Kwity had was 6½ in the Big Ten.”

“They played him at end and off the ball, and he gets beat up wherever he is,” said a fourth scout. “You love the way he plays, but he’s a little guy. His pass rush is just effort. That’s really what he’s got. I don’t have a role for him.”

Round 3 (No. 71) — CB Aaron Robinson

“Best nickel defender in the draft,” one scout said. “He’s got everything you want. The thing that holds him back is the consistency of the instincts. Sometimes he gets sloppy.”

“He’s got height and he runs well,” a second scout said. “He’s a little grabby and sort of duck-footed. I wouldn’t use the word awkward, though. He’s not super fluid, but he does have some explosion to him.”

Said a third scout: “They played him more as a slot in that off-ball safety position. He is tough as hell. He’s got short-area cover quickness and twitch. You don’t really want him on the outside covering, but as a slot-hybrid type of guy, he’s a really good player.”

Round 4 (No. 116) — Edge Elerson Smith

Unsung hero

Elerson Smith, Northern Iowa: One evaluator said Smith (6-foot-6, 252, 4.75), who has a 41½-inch vertical jump, has the ability to bend around the corner much like Bryce Paup (6-foot-4, 245, 5.01) did for the Packers, Bills, Jaguars and Vikings. Paup came out of UNI as a sixth-round pick in 1990 and went on to make four straight Pro Bowls and notch 75 sacks. Smith had 28 sacks in three years, including 14 in 2019, but lost the ’20 season when the Missouri Valley Conference canceled its season. Smith is much better rushing the passer than playing the run.