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Mel Kiper mock draft 1.0: USC WR Jordan Addison to the Giants

Could the Giants land one of the very best receivers in the draft?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The run-up to the 2023 NFL Draft is well and truly under way. And part of the start of Draft Season means that it’s also Mock Draft Season.

Mock drafts are usually fun exercises that let us look at how various scenarios may shake out for the New York Giants.

While everyone loves (or “loves”) mock drafts, we don’t try to keep track of them all. However, we do try to note the ones released by the major outlets. Not because they’re any more accurate or offer significantly better analysis than anyone else, but because they tend to incorporate information or tips from league sources.

So of course we had to cover Mel Kiper Jr’s newly-released mock draft (exclusive content). Broadly speaking, his pick for the Giants isn’t a shocker — though the player would be a dream come true.

25. New York Giants
Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Here’s another team that took a big jump in 2022, as quarterback Daniel Jones took care of the football and the defense played just well enough to keep the Giants in games. Jones’ breakout came with one of the least impressive wide receiver corps in the league, especially as Kenny Golladay has not lived up to his massive free agent contract. Can general manager Joe Schoen get Jones — a free agent who is likely to return — a No. 1 wideout?

Addison put up huge numbers at Pitt in 2021 before dealing with some injuries at USC, and he has the versatility to play outside or in the slot. He just knows how to get open. New York also will get back rookie second-rounder Wan’Dale Robinson, who flashed before tearing an ACL. I like what the Giants are building, but they have to give Jones some help.

Raptor’s thoughts

Giants fans should be ecstatic if this comes to pass.

Personally, I would be stunned if Addison slips to the bottom third of the draft. He is undersized compared to the classic archetype (at 6-foot, 175 pounds), but GMs and offensive minds care less about that than in the “Pro Style” days of yore. NFL teams have embraced the college ethos when it comes to using scheme, spacing, and tempo to beat defenses before the ball is even snapped and getting the ball into playmakers’ hands in space.

Addison is an excellent route runner with electric, twitchy athleticism and the ability to separate at will. He’s also a natural catcher of the ball, and a playmaker with the ball in his hands. Addison has racked up 159 catches, 2,468 yards (15.5 per catch), and 25 touchdowns over the last two years. While most of that came in his sophomore 2021 season, he still had 59 catches for 875 yards and 8 touchdowns despite dealing with a lingering ankle injury since mid-October.

Stepping back a bit, Kiper seems particularly low on the wide receiver class right now. His first receiver drafted is Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba at 13th overall, followed by Quentin Johnston (TCU) all the way down at 20th to the Baltimore Ravens. This looks to be a great year for cornerbacks and edge defenders, and there are plenty of quarterback-needy teams in the top-15. But still, it would be a stunning development for there to be no receivers in the top 10 and only four drafted in the first round.

Elsewhere in the NFC East

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans) - Calijah Kancey (DT, Pitt)
16. Washington Commanders - Broderick Jones (OT, Georgia)
26. Dallas Cowboys - Bijan Robinson (RB, Texas)
30. Philadelphia Eagle - Brian Branch (S, Alabama)