The NY Giants’ top priority this offseason must be surrounding quarterback Daniel Jones with explosive game-altering talent.
If the Giants are going to facilitate Jones bouncing back from a dramatic regression in his second season and set him up to take a leap towards developing into a bona fide franchise quarterback, his supporting cast must improve.
Owners of the No. 11 overall pick, the NY Giants might have an opportunity to steal one of the draft’s premier playmaking wide receivers, Alabama’s Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith.
That’s exactly how Pro Football Focus’ latest NFL Mock Draft 2021 scenario plays out:
"The Giants likely went into the 2020 season feeling content with their offensive weapons and made no real moves to add to their receiving corps. It’s hard to imagine that being the case again in 2021, so Smith falling to 11th overall would be an ideal situation for New York.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. From his releases to his ball skills, there is a lot to like with Smith, and he would give a much-needed injection of talent to the Giants’ offense."
The regression of the Giants’ wide receivers in 2020 was one of the more disappointing aspects of the offense’s struggles, which led to finishing ranked No. 31 in scoring, averaging just 17.4 points per game.
The Giants’ top four receivers; Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Golden Tate combined for just 238 receptions for 1,795 yards and eight touchdowns. Slayton accounted for a team-high 751 receiving yards.
Smith would be an instant infusion of speed, explosiveness, and reliable hands.
Last season, Smith, 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns, while averaging 15.9 yards per reception.
PFF lists Smith as the outlet’s No. 8 ranked prospect, and second-ranked wide receiver, behind his Alabama teammate, Jaylen Waddle. Smith produced a career-high 94.9 overall grade.
Smith falling to No. 11 would be one of the bigger surprises of the draft, but if he is on the board, general manager Dave Gettleman and the NY Giants should turn their draft card in with Smith’s name on it the instant their time starts ticking down.
Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.