Which weapons could Big Blue add each round?
Daniel Racz @Danny___Dimes
As we get closer and closer to draft day, more and more rumors circulate regarding what each front office will do when they are on the clock. In press conferences from owner John Mara and general manager Dave Gettleman, both have stressed the need to build around their supposed franchise quarterback Daniel Jones. In free agency, the Giants supported Jones by signing Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph. While Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, Darius Slayton, John Ross, and Kyle Rudolph make up a capable group, Dave Gettleman has said that every position group can always get better.
The 2021 draft class is regarded as one with excellent wide receiver depth, so the Giants can wait until day two or even three to strengthen their weapons. The Giants have six total draft picks, so a trade-up is not likely in the cards unless the front office sees a tremendous value. Many reporters expect the Giants to take at least one wide receiver in the draft, but no name or round is set in stone yet.
Round 1: Jaylen Waddle
Jaylen Waddle was the best ball in hand player in all of college football last year. Waddle returned kicks and punts, took screens, and ran deep third rounds with extraordinary success during his tenure with the Crimson Tide. Waddle competed with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Devonta Smith in college, so there are some reasons for his lack of production. While he did not command a massive share of the targets, no wide receiver in the Alabama offense did more on a per touch basis than Waddle. Waddle has drawn the oft-given Tyreek Hill comparison, though a Will Fuller with YAC-skills comparison is more appropriate.
Waddle excels in winning vertically, as his speed can take the top off almost any defense. Fans see Waddle’s electricity on virtually every touch, which could lead to lots of designed touches and special teams work. Coach Joe Judge has preached versatility when speaking about most of his free-agent acquisitions, so drafting a playmaker like Waddle would make sense. On the Giants’ offense, Waddle would serve as a complementary piece to Kenny Golladay. As a secondary option, less skilled defensive backs would cover Waddle, leading to potentially easier separation.
Round 2: Rondale Moore
Rondale Moore’s freshman season at Purdue was a sight to see. He took college football by storm as an 18-year-old, drawing many comparisons to Tyreek Hill. While Moore’s 5-foot 7-inch frame projects him to a role in the slot, his skill set would still benefit the Giants considerably. Moore is excellent at catching the ball at or behind the line of scrimmage and getting upfield. Moore’s 96th percentile burst score and 94th percentile agility score are evident on tape. His wiggle and short-area quickness help him break tackles underneath.
On the Giants, Rondale would play as a primary slot receiving option and could see work out of the backfield. Sterling Shepard takes most of his reps out of the slot, but he has seen equal success on the outside. Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton could split time on the outside to carve out a role for Moore. An intriguing place for Rondale would be next to Daniel Jones. The Giants’ current running back room consists of Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker. If Barkley needs a breather, Booker is nothing more than serviceable in the pass-catching department. Moore could take targets and carries from the half-back position and then rely on his elusiveness to get upfield.
Round 3: Tylan Wallace
Tylan Wallace exploded during his age 19 sophomore season in 2018. Wallace posted 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to becoming a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. Despite Wallace’s modest frame (5 foot 11, 194 pounds), he can high point the ball and win contested catches at an astounding rate. Tylan also separates naturally from defenders on his limited route tree, leading to targets in the intermediate areas of the field. While Wallace is not an elite athlete, his athleticism is not holding him back. Wallace’s playstyle relies more on physicality and separation.
As a prospect, Wallace has drawn comparisons to Diontae Johnson. They are similar in stature and have similar athletic testing numbers, though Wallace broke out at a younger age and had a larger share of his team’s targets. This comparison is quite favorable for Wallace, as Johnson led the NFL in targets on a per snap basis in 2020.
If Wallace were to become a member of Big Blue, it would relegate Sterling Shepard to the slot. Wallace would share snaps with Darius Slayton and John Ross, though their roles would be vastly different. While Slayton and Ross win with speed and have their share of drop issues, Tylan is a sure-handed weapon that plays competitively when the ball is in the air. Per Jordan Reid of The Draft Network, Wallace projects as a starting outside receiver in an Air Coryell Offense–the offense that Jason Garrett runs in New York–so the fit would be seamless. Wallace would not be a full-time starter in year one but could become a mainstay in the Giants’ offense as soon as year two.
There are great wide receiver options for the Giants in each round of the draft. The Giants can opt to fix their more pressing needs like offensive line and edge rusher early on in the draft. They could then add weapons on day three of a deep wide receiver class. If they opt to take a wide receiver in round two, look for names like Rondale Moore and Dyami Brown. In the third round, players like Tylan Wallace, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Amari Rodgers could be on their board. Later in the draft, the Giants could add Seth Williams, Cornell Powell, or Dazz Newsome.
The organization has promised to give Daniel Jones every piece he could need to help the Giants win football games, so investing even more in the wide receiver position would make sense. However, the Giants must avoid overindulging in flashy positions like wide receiver while neglecting more urgent needs, of which there are many.