ESPN project analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper released a joint three-round simulation draft and released it just over a week before the 2021 NFL Draft started. There have been a lot of rumors about the nature of the 11th selection of the New York Giants; Dave Gettleman, after eight years without ever trading, will he finally try to gain value on day 2 and day 3, or will he stay put and select another blue boat type of player? Time will tell us!
This is how the board fell in love with the two ESPN analysts, with Kiper starting the selections:
- Jacksonville: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
- San Francisco: Justin Fields, QB, State of Ohio
- Atlanta: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
- Cincinnati: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
- Miami: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
- New England (Kiper TRADE with Detroit): Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
- Carolina: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwest
- Denver: Trey Lance, QB, State of North Dakota
- Dallas: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The desired scenario materialized in this simulacrum; five quarterbacks were selected, leaving Pitts, Sewell, Chase, Slater and Surtain II as the other five were drafted before the Giants chose at 11. Kiper selected for the Giants. He had a choice of Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith, Penn State LB Micah Parsons, USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker or any EDGE in the class.
Kiper Selection at 11: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Waddle was the Eagles’ selection at 12, meaning that a third of the players selected in the top 12 were from Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide. I am a huge fan of Smith’s game; his ability to conquer media coverage in college never really mattered. He’s got a diverse output package and understands the nuances of racing routes so well that he’s caused problems for players like South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn. I would be delighted with this addition.
However, I would prefer Waddle to Smith because of his brittle, electrifying game, speed, burst, and ability to manipulate defensive back angles. I think a combination of Waddle and Saquon Barkley would stress the defensive coordinators considerably and really give players like Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton and the tight ends such an advantage with space on the pitch. Good luck with consistently putting seven to eight men into the box to stop Barkley with a safety gaze from two depths. Additionally, Waddle is also an excellent road runner with strong hands in his own right.
Both players are said to have an insatiable appetite for playing football, which fits Joe Judge (and each coach besides). ESPN has an “odds that selected player is available for selection” counter after each selection. Smith’s odds at 11 were 47.6% and Waddle’s odds at 12 were 49.9%.
McShay makes the next two selections for the New York Giants 42 and 76. On the board at 42, Penn State EDGE Jayson Oweh was seated, with Washington EDGE Joe Tryon, Texas EDGE / LB Joseph Ossai, Alabama tackle Alex Leatherwood, Miami EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Oklahoma iOL Creed Humphrey and Alabama DL Christian Barmore. McShay didn’t go with any of those players.
McShay Selection at 42: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma
Perkins is more of a situational pass passer who can convert speed into power; put Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins on the field with a speed to power surge. Packs violence into his rushes and uses a frequent hash / soak / rip that he attempts to employ, as well as a push-pull motion to quickly stack and throw tackles – he’s cunning with his hand, but doesn’t no counterattack. moves once his plan fails. The quickness of the short zone allows it to close the width and fold into the pocket. Uses the long-arm technique to raise linemen’s center of gravity while quickly hitting the half-man and ripping or swimming through blocks while enjoying the set-up motion.
I wish Perkins had been a better and more consistent defender. He’s by no means a bad running defenseman, but he’s a bit tight in his lower half and struggled to put the advantage against more intimidating tackles. Perkins has a flair in his game and I love his competitive tenacity.
If this scenario played out, I would be a little puzzled. The Giants certainly need an EDGE, but I think all of the players listed above should be seriously considered. If it was me and the Giants found it necessary to go EDGE, Oweh is the easy choice here as long as coach Sean Spencer and Pat Flaherty vouch for his football persona.
Oweh’s advantage is through the roof from an athletic standpoint and there is familiarity with the coaching staff. Yes, he didn’t record a bag in 2020, but his features still appeared on the film. Speed, quickness, flexion, and overall movement capability combined with his bizarre measurements make him a wise second-round “risk” for a coaching staff who pride themselves on teaching.
Between the two selections made by Kiper and McShay, the first in the first round and the second in the second, the Giants met their need at the EDGE in the second while adding a playmaker to the wide receiver in the first round. McShay is back in place with the 76th pick in the draft. On the board are Houston EDGE Payton Turner, Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth, North Carolina LB Chazz Surratt, Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers.
McShay’s selection at 76: Chazz Surratt, LB, UNC
I like this choice. The Giants invested four end-of-round picks into the position in 2020 after adding an underrated free agency player named Blake Martinez. The giants converted two (Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin) of those four picks in more than one EDGE role that leaves TJ Brunson and Tae Crowder. The latter has had an exceptional rookie season for Irrelevant, but he’s still a player the Giants can improve on.
I’m sure most Giants fans would agree that we saw way too many shots of David Mayo and Devonte Downs last year at linebacker next to Martinez. Surratt would improve the overall body athletic ability of linebackers and he would be a great weapon as a blitzer in the base / nickel subsets. Had 62 presses, 12.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss in his two years playing linebacker for the Tar Heels.
On average almost 10 tackles per game in college and he really has a nose for football while using his sideline to put the speed aside to get through the second level. Attacks the downhill aggressively and reads the offense well for a player who was a quarterback for his first two years at UNC. There is still a lot of potential growth with Surratt and he would be a welcome addition at this point in the draft for the Giants.
If the giants land DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama), Ronnie Perkins (EDGE, Oklahoma) and Chazz Suratt (LB, UNC) in the draft, I wouldn’t hate it. They need to add EDGE and find a dynamic young wide receiver like Smith shouldn’t be taken off the table after the acquisitions of Kenny Golladay and John Ross. Surratt is also a player who has yet to learn from linebacker, and his physical profile matches the speed of the NFL well, although his playing strength is still only sufficient.
There are other EDGE rushers that I prefer for the Giants, ones that I think will be maybe a bit more dynamic in the first year, in terms of rising and being a versatile EDGE player. I would have also chosen, as I wrote earlier, Waddle over Smith, but the latter is a stud and I wouldn’t mind either. The project is fast approaching and there are so many questions to answer. It should be an interesting week and a half!