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Giants Now: David Diehl breaks down draft class


Two-time Super Bowl Champion David Diehl breaks down Giants' draft class

We are now a couple of days removed from the conclusion of the 2021 NFL Draft.

After highlighting the media's praise of the team's draft class, it is time to put the draft behind us and start focusing on how each of the six picks might fit with the Giants in 2021 and beyond.

Two-time Super Bowl Champion David Diehl and's John Schmeelk took a look at each of the players selected by the Giants this past weekend and how they might contribute to the team's success this season.

Here is what Diehl had to say about each of the six picks.

Round 1, Pick 20: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

"I think he was the shiftiest wide receiver and ball-catcher in the SEC. One of the things you love that he brings to this team is his explosive play ability and his versatility."

Round 2, Pick 50: Azeez Ojulari, LB, Georgia

"I love what he brings with his size, his length, his ability to still get stronger in his core and in his lower body. But his ability to dip and bend the edge, have the speed to flatten out and really recognize where the quarterback is going with the football. Not to mention the takeaway ability; the strips, the sack forced fumbles and the fumble recovery ability."

Round 3, Pick 71: Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF

"With bringing him in with Adoree' Jackson during the offseason and (James) Bradberry coming into his second season as a New York Giant, once again, it provides flexibility of what you want to show pre-snap, and what you're going to show post-snap."

"You talk about pressing at the line of scrimmage, creating separation between you and the offensive tackles and tight ends, that's what he provides with that size and length. He also has that ability at 256 (pounds) to gain weight, to get more strength in his lower body, and start to really shock and shed at the point of attack at the defensive end position."

Round 6, Pick 196: Gary Brightwell, RB, Arizona

"North and south runner, tough in between the tackles. You look at Arizona, the Wildcats, it was all zone scheme. Inside zone scheme, outside zone scheme. Doesn't have that big acceleration to get those home run-hitting (plays), but he knows and has the vision on how to cut back, he has the jump cuts. This is another player that can add value on special teams."

"He has the most consecutive starts in Oklahoma State history. That shows you his durability and what he meant to that football team. Not to mention his ability to recognize coverages, different route combinations, close in on the football and make big hits. He's one of the top tacklers when you look at the corners. If he wraps you up, you're not getting out of it."

On additional draft capital picked up in trades:

"When you think about the ability to move down in the draft, go to No. 20 but maintain the ability to get one of the top wide receivers in the draft, I would say that's great execution."

Draft class achieves stated goal of competition

The Giants’ six selections in the just completed NFL Draft covered just four positions.

Kadarius Toney, the first-round choice from Florida, should immediately take a spot in the team's wide receiver rotation. Gary Brightwell, the first of their two sixth-round picks, is an intriguing running back prospect from the University of Arizona who is expected to provide immediate help on several special teams.

The other four selections will result in a particularly competitive training camp by adding talented rookies at two defensive positions – edge rusher (Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith) and cornerback (Aaron Robinson and Rodarius Williams) – where the Giants have plenty of veteran options.

And that aligns with core philosophies of both general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Joe Judge.

"You can never have too many good players at one position," Gettleman has often said.

"Our goal is to make every position as competitive as can be and that's when you really get the best out of your team," Judge said.

Let's start on the edge. After a trade down in the second round to the 50th overall selection, the Giants selected Georgia's Ojulari, arguably the best pass rusher in the draft. They added another quarterback chaser in round four, when they secured Smith from Northern Iowa.

The newcomers join a group that includes young veterans Lorenzo Carter (another Georgia product) and Oshane Ximines, who were limited to nine combined games last season because of injury, free agent signee Ryan Anderson and second-year pros Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin and Niko Lalos. Kyler Fackrell, who had 4.0 sacks last season, signed with the Los Angeles Chargers.

"There's a lot of competition there," Gettleman said. "I've said this a million times; fundamentally, the college kids are further behind than they used to be. So, at the end of the day, it's about, do they have the talent, the physical talent, the feel, the instinct, to develop as pass rushers? Both of these kids do. Elerson definitely does. That's why we drafted him and at the end of the day, it's about competition. It's about competition. And we just feel like with those two draft picks, we've upgraded."

Inside the Film Room: Kadarius Toney brings home run-hitting ability to offense

Check out the video below to watch Super Bowl champion David Diehl and's John Scmeelk break down the film of first-round pick Kadarius Toney.


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