There’s still a lot of meaningful football left to be played this year, but with that said, it’s never too early to start thinking about the NFL draft.
Based on what the Giants have shown this season, their three biggest emerging needs in no particular order include pass rusher, cornerback, and wide receiver.
The good news is that the receiver class is shaping up to be another deep class where value could be found regardless of the round.
But unlike last year, when the Giants tried to find value among the undrafted free agents, The Atheltic’s Dane Brugler, in his first mock draft of the year, doesn’t think the Giants will take a similar approach again in 2021.
Brugler has the Giants, who as of this week are slated to draft 19th, taking Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith, yet another player who has that connection to Nick Saban, one of head coach Joe Judge’s mentors.
On paper, Smith doesn’t belong in the top-20 conversation due to poor size (175 pounds) and average speed (4.5 seconds in the 40). But on tape, he is one of the more explosive wide receivers in this class with elite ball skills and the feel for the position that leads to production. Smith will make Daniel Jones a better quarterback.
Nicknamed “Smitty” by his teammates, Smith, a senior, isn’t a big bruising type of receiver, such as what the Giants will face this weekend in Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf.
Standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 175 pounds, Smith is somewhat wiry looking, but he’s certainly been a productive player for the Crimson Tide.
In eight games, he has 72 receptions for 1,074 yards (14.9 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns.
It is the second season in a row that Smith has recorded a 1,000-yard campaign—last year, he recorded 68 receptions on 1,256 yards (18.5 per catch) with 14 touchdowns in 13 games played.
No wonder why PFF is also so bullish on Smith, writing, “Size be damned, Smith just wins. Whether it's along his routes or at the catch point, Smith finds a way to come down with the ball.”
What say you, Giants fans? Would you be happy with Smith if he were the first pick in the Giants draft?
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