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Make The Case

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Make the Case: DeVonta Smith vs. Jaylen Waddle


"Make the Case" is once again in session on

In this series, we look at projections provided by analysts and then ask you, the fans, to weigh in on what the Giants should do in the draft.

Next up is a debate between two of the top offensive playmakers in this year's draft, who happen to come from the same school.

Alabama WR DeVonta Smith vs. Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle

DeVonta Smith

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0 / 170 pounds

2020 stats: 13 games, 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns

Jaylen Waddle

Height/Weight: 5-foot-10 / 182 pounds

2020 stats: 6 games, 28 receptions for 591 yards and four touchdowns

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network: DeVonta Smith - "Even after the Giants' signing of Kenny Golladay, I still get the sense Big Blue wants more weapons. Smith is the best route runner in the draft."

Adam Rank, Jaylen Waddle - "The smart play might be to go with one of the premier edge rushers available at this spot, because it's truly a team need. You guys have already added Kenny Golladay, Kyle Rudolph and (checks notes) John Ross to the mix on offense, so going with Waddle might be considered overkill at this point. But I'm of the mind that you give Danny Dimes every available resource to be successful in this league."

Dane Brugler, The Athletic: Jaylen Waddle - "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)."

Chad Reuter, DeVonta Smith - "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."

Photos of 2021 NFL Draft prospect, Alabama WR DeVonta Smith.

Charley Casserly, Jaylen Waddle - "Big Blue's offense looks a lot different with a healthy Saquon Barkley and Waddle on the field."

Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus: Jaylen Waddle - "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."

Nate Davis, USA TODAY: DeVonta Smith - "QB Daniel Jones could certainly use better protection after getting sacked 45 times in 14 games last season, but giving him an electric wideout like Smith might also make teams think twice about blitzing."

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Jaylen Waddle - "The Giants signed Kenny Golladay and have Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton on the roster, but Waddle is a four-down player who can consistently stretch the defense."

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

Austin Gayle, Pro Football Focus: DeVonta Smith - "DeVonta Smith's reported weight (170 pounds) shouldn't keep the Giants from pulling the trigger on the Heisman Trophy winner if he falls into their laps at No. 11 overall."

Cynthia Frelund, DeVonta Smith - "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."

Trevor Sikkema, The Draft Network: Jaylen Waddle - "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."

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaylen Waddle - "Adding a speedy pass catcher like Waddle will make this unit more explosive -- just what Big Blue needs."

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.


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