Fri, 16 Apr 2021

Mock Draft Tracker 7.0: Mel Kiper updates picks

Giants
01 Mar 2021, 18:12 GMT+10

Dan Salomone

In his 2020 season-ending press conference, general manager Dave Gettleman said the Giants "need to find playmakers" to help third-year quarterback Daniel Jones get "over that hump."

Naturally, prognosticators clung to those words and have reflected them in mock drafts this offseason. But there is one constant with Gettleman - his affection for hog mollies. The Giants may have a choice between a lineman and playmaker when the No. 11 pick comes up in the 2021 NFL Draft, which is under 10 weeks away.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. is part of the second camp, but in his new mock draft, the draft guru switched which playmaker he projected to Big Blue from Florida tight end Kyle Pitts to Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.

"If [the Giants] don't wade into the free-agent waters, Waddle is the best option at No. 11," Kiper wrote. "He is the top deep threat in this class and is electric with the ball in his hands."

Here is a look at what other draft experts think the team will ultimately do:

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network

Pick: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

Analysis: "I know GM Dave Gettleman has let it be known that he wants to add playmakers on offense. At the end of the day, though, he's not able to pass up the big, athletic edge rusher."

Todd McShay, ESPN

Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analysis: "The Giants could enjoy a fantastic duo at tight end -- Pitts is versatile enough to play with [Evan] Engram and be moved around the formation -- and provide quarterback Daniel Jones with a playmaker."

Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

Pick: Gregory Rousseau , EDGE, Miami

Analysis: "Rousseau is an intriguing option for the Giants given his athleticism, length and sack production."

Dane Brugler, The Athletic

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "With the Giants committed to Daniel Jones, the organization needs to continue and surround him with weapons. With his natural speed and burst, Waddle is dangerous before and after the catch, showing the separation skills to stress the defense in different ways (four receptions of 75-plus yards in his career)."

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Finding another weapon for Daniel Jones is essential, and Waddle has game-breaking explosiveness on all three levels of the field with an ability to back safeties off the line of scrimmage for Saquon Barkley."

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Typically, GM Dave Gettleman would look to improve the front seven with this pick. But Smith's value is too high to ignore, despite his lean frame. Gettleman's first-round pick from two years ago, quarterback Daniel Jones, will appreciate the explosive, tough and reliable Smith."

Charley Casserly, NFL.com

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Big Blue's offense looks a lot different with a healthy Saquon Barkley and Waddle on the field."

Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Waddle is the first Alabama wide receiver off the board in part due to the deep speed that showed up in his averaging 18.9 yards per reception over his three-year career. Waddle was actually the highest-graded Alabama receiver on their loaded 2018 team. He adds a vertical weapon for QB Daniel Jones, who was quietly one of the best downfield passers in the league a year ago."

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports

Pick: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

Analysis: "New York needs to supply some edge pressure to draw some double teams away from that really talented defensive tackle rotation. Gregory Rousseau has been off the map since last season but the talent is evident."

Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Smith may not be the biggest receiver, weighing in around 170 pounds, but he has very good speed, is an extremely nuanced route-runner who creates easy separation, and is a nightmare with the ball in his hands after the catch."

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

Pick: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

Analysis: "The Giants need pass rush help but bolstering the offensive line may take priority. Andrew Thomas got better as the year progressed, but Vera-Tucker proved in 2020 that he can play either guard or tackle and excelled while doing it."

Seth Galina, Pro Football Focus

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Stylistically, Waddle is my favorite receiver in the draft - the speed is shocking. It shouldn't be legal to average 11.2 yards after the catch per reception, as Waddle did over the past two years at Alabama."

Nate Davis, USA TODAY

Pick: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Analysis: "Slater was a guard in high school but played both tackle spots for the Wildcats and could settle in opposite 2020 first-rounder Andrew Thomas."

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Waddle is electric running routes and especially after the catch. He'll become an instant favorite of Daniel Jones."

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus

Pick: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Analysis: "Surtain is about as NFL-ready as it gets at the position, and his 88.6 coverage grade in 2019 was the second-highest in the country. While there are numerous other needs on the roster, a corner across from James Bradberry is a big one, as well."

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Pick: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

Analysis: "The Giants are strong up the middle defensively and look much better at cornerback, but they are in desperate need of punching their old calling card on the edge under Dave Gettleman. Rousseau, who opted out of the Hurricanes season, didn't really need to play to boost his stock after posting 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his lone significant and final season under defensive-minded head coach Manny Diaz."

Joe Marino, The Draft Network

Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analysis: "He's a versatile tight end that can play all over the formation and provide a mismatch for the offense with his size, length, and ball skills."

Anthony Treash, Pro Football Focus

Pick: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Analysis: "First things first, the chances of Sewell actually falling this far are slim. But this mock represents what I would do and not what the NFL would do, so a generational tackle falls right in the lap of New York here at Pick 11. Sewell recorded a 95.8 PFF grade in 2019, which still stands as the highest-graded season by a Power 5 tackle since 2014. At 6-foot-6, 325-pounds, it's quite amazing watching Sewell move in space - the overall athleticism is off the charts. He earned a 95.7 grade as a run-blocker in 2019 and was also nearly perfect in pass protection, allowing just seven pressures on 491 snaps."

Benjamin Solak, The Draft Network

Pick: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Analysis: "With the additions of Jabrill Peppers, Logan Ryan, and Julian Love, the Giants have a strong secondary group. It's just another outside CB away from being elite."

Jordan Reid, The Draft Network

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Smith adds to an already talented trio of wide receivers in Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Golden Tate."

Ben Linsey, Pro Football Focus

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Smith's production has been off the charts over the last two years. He led all Alabama wide receivers - a group that included three other first-round talents - in receiving yardage in 2019 and is coming off an even better, Heisman-winning campaign this past season."

Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "The Giants take advantage of the opportunity to secure an explosive threat in the passing game."

Josh Schrock, NBC Sports

Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analysis: "As Daniel Jones enters Year 3, the Giants have to find him a go-to weapon. Pitts is much more than a tight end. He's a versatile offensive weapon who can play outside, in the slot or in-line and is a matchup nightmare."

Austin Gayle, Pro Football Focus

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Waddle is arguably a better receiver prospect than Henry Ruggs III was coming out of Alabama in 2020. An explosive, dynamic athlete, Waddle ranks inside the top five in yards per route run (3.64) and yards after the catch per reception (11.5) over the past two seasons."

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "I know picking a receiver isn't the Dave Gettleman way, but they need a playmaker to help Daniel Jones. Waddle can fly."

Drae Harris, The Draft Network

Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analysis: "While the Giants' defense surprised many in 2020, Joe Judge has continued to stress the need of adding playmakers to the offensive side of the ball. A quality tight end and running game are a quarterback's best friends. They select a dynamic offensive weapon in Pitts here. He will be a matchup problem against linebackers and safeties."

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