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Daniel Jeremiah releases first mock draft of 2021

DANIEL-JEREMIAH

With the countdown to the 2021 NFL Draft breaking 100 days this week, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his first projections of the season. The former NFL scout had the Giants taking Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle at No. 11.

"The Giants are all in with Daniel Jones," Jeremiah wrote, "and now they need to give him some weapons on the outside."

The 5-foot-10, 182-pound Waddle was a dangerous receiver and return specialist for the Crimson Tide, who just claimed their sixth national championship in the Nick Saban era. Waddle, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury against Tennessee in October, owns three of the top-five longest scoring receptions in Alabama history. He averaged 19.1 yards per catch for his career to rank second on Alabama's all-time list.

Waddle also recorded 733 career punt return yards (sixth in Alabama history) and was selected as a second-team All-SEC return specialist despite playing in only half of the Tide's regular-season games in 2020. His college teammate, DeVonta Smith, recently became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991.

The Giants hold the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. View photos of notable players selected in that spot.

Below is a look at other mock drafts around the sports world:

Pick: Gregory Rousseau, DE/OLB, Miami-FL

Analysis: "Rousseau opted out this season, but he had 15.5 sacks for the Hurricanes in 2019 and has speed and power coming around the corner. Alternatively, offensive line, wide receiver or cornerback could be areas to keep an eye on for New York."

Pick: Kyle Pitts, WR/TE, Florida

Analysis: "Pitts can play tight end or wide receiver and create mismatches with his size, athleticism and ball skills."

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "New York graciously welcomes the Heisman Trophy winner and one of the most productive wide receivers that college football has ever seen. DeVonta Smith is a polished performer and, by all accounts, a grounded young man that should pay immediate dividends for Joe Judge."

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."

Pick: Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan

Analysis: "Finding a pass rush is at the top of the offseason to-do list and Paye, who is an athletic marvel, fits exactly what the team needs along the D-line."

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."

Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analysis: "The Giants upgrading at tight end with Pitts would be a smart decision as Daniel Jones enters his third season under center."

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Smith certainly qualifies, as he's carried the Alabama offense despite being without his three fellow first-round receivers. He has racked up over 1,200 receiving yards, including the third-most yards after the catch in the country."

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."

Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "Paye is an ascending talent with elite physical gifts that could make him a dynamic threat off the edge for a Giants defense that is already stout on the interior."

Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analysis: "The versatile tight end played just shy of 64% of his offensive snaps inline, but he dominated unlike any other tight end we had ever seen when he lined up out wide in single coverage. Pitts went toe-to-toe with press coverage when lined up out wide for 40 receiving snaps this season and came away with seven explosive receptions of 15-plus yards on those opportunities. We have never seen a tight end record more than two of those in a single year before Pitts this season."

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."

View photos of players to accept an invite to the 2021 Senior Bowl.

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