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Mel Kiper, Todd McShay agree (for now) on Giants' pick in latest mock drafts


The pool of prospects available for the Giants at No. 11 largely depends on how many quarterbacks are drafted ahead of them.

In his new mock draft, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay projected five ahead of Big Blue, including signal-callers going in the first four picks. In order, they were Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Zach Wilson (BYU), Justin Fields (Ohio State), and Trey Lance (North Dakota State). Mac Jones, who recently led Alabama to a national championship, went No. 9.

That is good news for teams not in the market for a quarterback.

As a result, an elite group of non-quarterbacks could be available to the Giants, whom McShay projected to take Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.

"There isn't a more dangerous player with the ball in his hands in the draft class, thanks to excellent top-end speed, vision and elusiveness," McShay wrote. "And I hope Nick Saban has been glued to his TV because that's four straight Alabama players off the board, including two first-round receivers for the second time in two years."

While teaming with DeVonta Smith, the first receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991, the 5-foot-10, 182-pound Waddle averaged 18.9 yards per catch for his career to rank second on Alabama's all-time list. He also led all Crimson Tide players with a 19.3 yards per punt return across three seasons, and his 733 career punt return yards rank sixth in Alabama history.

Waddle, who owns three of the top-five longest scoring receptions in Alabama history, suffered what looked to be a season-ending ankle injury against Tennessee in October but returned for the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Waddle's credentials were also good enough for Mel Kiper, who agreed with his ESPN colleague as the pick for the Giants.

"If they 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."

Photos of 2021 NFL Draft prospect, Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle.

Who else agrees (or disagrees) with Kiper and McShay? Here is a look at the latest mock drafts floating around:

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."

Pick: Gregory Rousseau , EDGE, Miami

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

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)."

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."

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."

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

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

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft for the final time before the start of the draft.

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."

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."

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: 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."

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: 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."

Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "The Giants struck gold last offseason with the acquisition of James Bradberry in free agency, and there was some temptation to take another corner here to fortify a strength. However, given the value proposition of elite edge players taken high in the draft relative to what they are paid as veterans at the top end, Paye is an athletic bet the Giants need to make here to secure their first elite edge defender in quite some time."

Pick: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Analysis: "The Giants need a true playmaker at the linebacker spot, and Parsons is absolutely that."

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."

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Waddle, like his Crimson Tide teammate Smith, is a highly skilled all-around receiver the Giants could use to run all the routes and get open everywhere outside for Daniel Jones. He could easily take over as the "X" go-to guy in New York, with Sterling Shepard sliding back into his best position as the "Y" in the slot and Darius Slayton settling into the big-play threat "Z"."

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."

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."

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."

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

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

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."

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analysis: "An offense with Pitts, a healthy Saquon Barkley and a potential top free-agent wide receiver would be far more formidable than the unit that finished 31st in scoring last season." - Dan Duggan

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "The perfect picks for the Giants at No. 11 are Waddle and Pitts, but I don't think Pitts makes it this far. Waddle has a chance to."

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Smith is my WR1 because his consistent route running and ability to earn separation give him the highest projected floor and ceiling in this class. The Heisman Trophy winner had the highest percentage of receptions in which he had more than 3 feet of separation at the time of the catch despite a defender being within 3 feet of him on the path of the route. This vision carries over into yards after the catch; his ability to increase his speed once he had the ball in his hands was the third-best in FBS this season."


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