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Mock Draft Tracker 16.0: Final picks for Giants

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The speculation is (almost) over.

The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. ET in Cleveland, where 13 prospects are confirmed to be on-site in addition to another 45 virtually. The first round will be held the first night, followed by Rounds 2-3 on Friday (7 p.m.) and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday (noon).

The Giants own six picks this year:

Table inside Article
Round Pick Overall
1 11 11
2 10 42
3 12 76
4 11 116
6 12 196
6 17 201

Without further ado, below is a look at the final picks coming in from media outlets around the country.

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Waddle just makes too much sense as a weapon who can take Daniel Jones to the next level. He is an elite playmaker."

Pick: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Analysis: "The team has added some nice pieces up front and at cornerback in recent offseasons, but Parsons gives them the difference-maker they need at the second level of the defense."

Pick: Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan

Analysis: "The Giants' biggest hole right now is off the edge, and Paye is my top-ranked prospect there. They need to add more game-breakers to pair with Leonard Williams and keep their vastly improved defense strong."

Pick: Micah Parsons, OLB, Penn State

Analysis: "Last Giants' first-round linebacker: Carl Banks, 1983. Okay, so once every 38 years a linebacker comes out who's worth it. The Giants always do a good job disguising their intentions, and this year they've been particularly good. Three things I've heard: Joe Judge loves DeVonta Smith; the organization likes cornerback Jaycee Horn a lot; and Dave Gettleman loves Parsons. If you can get past some of the immature pockmarks on his résumé, there is so much to love. Easily the best linebacker in the draft, with the ability to be a top edge player and double as a sideline-to-sideline presence. Now, he's only a one-year starter, didn't play football last year, and the Giants will have to be comfortable with the fact he's had maturity issues. Smith or Horn could easily be the pick here—Parsons is my best guess—but 4.36-in-the-40 linebackers are quite rare."

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "The Giants miss out on both of the top corners (either of whom I think they'd take instead of a wideout) and go with Waddle over his college teammate DeVonta Smith. Dealer's choice here. GM Dave Gettleman and coach Joe Judge love toughness. They love gamers. Waddle's return to the field for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game is all that and more."

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Waddle gives the G-Men an explosive weapon to round out the team's revamped receiving corps."

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "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."

Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "If one of the top WRs falls this far (or Penn State LB Micah Parsons is available), this pick could change, but the Giants need a top-ranked pass rusher, too."

Pick: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Analysis: "The Giants don't draft linebackers up high very often, but in those rare instances, they look like Micah Parsons. The last linebacker New York selected in Round 1 was Carl Banks in 1984, but Parsons has a chance to be a legitimate tone-setter in a modern-day defense — not just a throwback to an obsolete 1980s brand of football."

View the best players still available in NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top 150 prospect ranking.

Pick: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

Analysis: "The Giants have alleviated the need to force a pick at wide receiver thanks to their mega-deal with Kenny Golladay and the additional signing of John Ross."

Pick: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Analysis: "Need matches up with value too well here, with Slater being the 11th-ranked player on the PFF draft board."

Pick: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Analysis: "New York has to be thinking offense with this pick and general manager Dave Gettleman appears focused in free agency on adding to the skill positions, opening the door for another investment on a hog molly for the offensive line, especially with the departure of Kevin Zeitler."

Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "If the draft was ever straight forward, you likely would not be reading a mock draft to gain insight."

Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "Is Paye the 11th-best player in the draft? Debatable. But several teams believe him to be the best pass rusher available, which is a position the Giants are looking to upgrade. The chance to draft his choice of pass rushers will likely be appealing to Dave Gettleman."

Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analysis: "Dream scenario here, as the Giants get a chance to choose between electric speed (Jaylen Waddle) and matchup talent (Pitts). I see them taking the latter."

Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "Paye dropped to 261 pounds for his pro day, allowing general manager Dave Gettleman to envision the former Wolverine standing up in the Giants' defense. His agility and strength are perfect for winning and setting the edge."

Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "The Giants, who desperately need an outside pass rusher, take advantage of Paye being available here."

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: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Analysis: "The Giants have had an excellent offseason adding Kenny Golladay, Adoree' Jackson, and re-signing some of their key players. I always liked the idea of the Giants taking either Waddle or DeVonta Smith here, and to be honest, I am not totally against taking a receiver even after the Golladay addition. In the end, I believe the Giants will turn to their defense and add a playmaker who can help get the ball back to their offense. Parsons is a top-seven player in this year's draft and is one of the best linebackers prospects to come out in the last few years. He has outstanding size, speed, burst, and range and is equally productive against the run and the pass. He would be a tremendous fit for Patrick Graham's multiple front defense and has the physical and tough attitude that head coach Joe Judge appreciates."

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "The GM also has an affinity for big guys so WR may not be the play here -- but it should be if Smith is still available."

Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "They could easily go with Jaylen Waddle here, but Paye is also a playmaker — he just plays on the other side of the ball. Raw but incredibly talented, Paye would represent a significant upgrade at edge for the Giants."

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "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."

Pick: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Analysis: "This is likely a high draft slot for Bateman, but with the top three guys off the board, the Giants go with another weapon for Daniel Jones in the former Golden Gopher who opted out for parts of the 2020 season. Former 49ers first-rounder Michael Crabtree is a statistical comp for Bateman, an outcome New York would gladly welcome."

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

Pick: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Analysis: "The Giants defense was one of the more surprising units in 2020. As they enter 2021, an addition like Parsons, whose do-it-all skill set has denoted him as arguably the top linebacker—by far—in the class, could help the Giants' defense be elite."

Pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Smith, Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton, and Sterling Shepherd represent a fine receiving quartet for Daniel Jones."

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: 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: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

Analysis: "Unless I hear something strong on Gettleman feeling confident in Miami EDGE Jaelan Phillips and his spotty history, I'll leave the pick as Ojulari for now."

Pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Analysis: "Mocking an athletic tight end early for the Giants will give many pause, but whether it's WR or TE, don't get caught up in the two letters in front of Pitts' name. He's an "all of the above" player that can satisfy the roles of both a wide receiver and tight end. A serviceable blocker and unique weapon in the passing game, he has the potential to quickly turn into one of the more dangerous players at the position during the early stages of his career."

Pick: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Analysis: "Slater is more than capable of beginning his NFL career at guard on a team that boasts Will Hernandez (58.1 PFF grade in 2020), Shane Lemieux (32.2) and the recently signed Zach Fulton (63.0) as its current top options at the position. Slater's athleticism and clean technique give him a real chance of having success outside at tackle despite being undersized for the position, as well."

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: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "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."

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "They have to get more speed in their passing game and Waddle would be that guy. This would go against the grain for Dave Gettleman, who prefers picking big people."

Pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Analysis: "New York needs edge defenders and we all know how much Dave Gettleman likes to draft linemen. While this is a little rich for Kwity Paye for most, Gettleman ultimately decides the upside is too great to pass up, aligns him next to Leonard Williams, and allows the duo to go hunt quarterbacks."

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: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Analysis: "According to reports, Giants head coach Joe Judge attended two pro days: Micah Parsons and Jaelan Phillips. I believe it's one of the two."

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."

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "With Kenny Golladay demanding attention outside, Waddle could run wild across the middle of the field."

Pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Analysis: "Waddle gives the Giants a speedy field-stretcher who will open things up for Kenny Golladay and Evan Engram. The Alabama prospect adds return ability, as well as the juice to take a slant to the house."

Pick: Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern

Analysis: "Though he's a tick undersized, one talent evaluator said Slater is one of the most technically sound offensive linemen he's ever scouted."

Pick: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Analysis: "I let technology take full control using The Draft Network's Mock Draft Machine to create a mock based on what teams will do in the first round of this year's draft."

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