The first round of the NFL draft is on the 29th of April and is going to be a huge factor in whether the New York Giants can make the playoffs or not. The Giants made big moves in free agency, but they still have several needs to address. With six picks in the 2021 NFL draft, here’s who I think the Giants will select.
First Round; 11th Overall
The first round is always the biggest and most important. There are several star players that could significantly improve the Giants. All of them are within reach too at the 11th overall pick. The signing of wide receiver Kenny Golladay makes this pick a lot more interesting. Originally, the Giants were most likely going to select Jaylen Waddle from Alabama. Now, their options at 11 open up.
There are a couple of different players the Giants can choose from here. Waddle is almost guaranteed to be available at 11 if the Giants want to add another receiver. One of Micah Parsons, Devonta Smith, or Kyle Pitts could potentially drop. If the Giants want to go with an offensive lineman, Rashawn Slater or Alijah Vera-Tucker could potentially be good choices for the g-men. This team also could use a good edge rusher, and there are plenty of first-round talents in that position. Gregory Rousseau, Azeez Ojulari, Kwity Paye, and Jayson Oweh are all good edge rushers but could be a reach at 11.
If I’m the New York Giants, I would select Parsons if he falls to 11. Micah Parsons is a generational talent that can’t be ignored if he falls in your lap. The Giants could also use a versatile talent at linebacker because they lack depth there. If Parsons isn’t available and Smith is, then the Giants should take Smith. If neither is there then I think a lineman should be the answer. Even with Andrew Thomas being drafted at four last year, the Giants still need help on the other side. Behind a good o-line, Daniel Jones can become the QB the Giants need him to be.
The only way picking one of the edge rushers makes sense is if the Giants trade down. If they do trade down then Gregory Rousseau is a great pick for them. If not, then Parsons is the ideal pick at 11.
Second Round; 42nd Overall
I think regardless of what happens in the first round, the Giants should do the same thing in the second. If Christian Baremore is available in round 2, draft him. He’d be the perfect replacement for Dalvin Tomlinson, at 6’5″, 311 lbs. He’d only improve this already scary defense. While he could potentially go round one, there’s always a chance he drops. Just like with Parsons, if he’s there, take him. If not Baremore there are other potential d-linemen to choose from, such as Adetokunbo Ogundeji.
If not, then it never hurts to draft an o-lineman, and there’s a lot to choose from. Alex Leatherwood, Jalen Mayfield, Samuel Cosmi, and Jackson Carman are all lineman that could be there at 42. Any of them could be good for the Giants if they don’t pick a lineman in round one.
The offensive and defensive line are possibly the biggest needs for the g-men, and they should try to improve that in round two.
Rounds 3-6; Giants Need Depth in Later Rounds
For the later rounds, the Giants need to focus on building depth. Depending on how the earlier rounds go, offensive lineman never hurt to get. Some potential late-round picks at o line are Josh Myers or Aaron Banks.
Wide receiver depth doesn’t hurt too. Look for the Giants to draft a receiver with one of their last three picks, if they don’t draft one early. Marlon Williams out of UCF is a popular candidate to go to the g-men in a later round, but the Giants could also pick Amon-Ra St. Brown after an amazing pro day.
The final position I could see the Giants potentially picking up is some depth at linebacker or secondary. With the addition of Adoree Jackson and the return of James Bradberry and Logan Ryan, the Giants have a pretty loaded secondary. Depth is never going to hurt though. I see the Giants using one of their last two picks on a DB. Kary Vincent Jr. or Ambry Thomas are good potential late-round picks to give the Giants the depth they’d like.
Giants Need a Strong Draft to Contend
This draft is crucial for the Giants if they want to contend, especially the first two rounds. Who they get there could make or break this season, and even seasons after for them. They’re right on the brink of contending, and need one final piece to put them over the edge.
A big key for this draft is securing at least one lineman. Whether they draft one at 11 or wait, they need one more strong o-lineman at the very least. It’s never a bad thing to have a good offensive lineman, so if the Giants fall back on that, I wouldn’t worry.
On April 29th, Giants fans will get to see a good indicator of how their season could go. It’s up to Dave Gettleman now to make it happen for them.