NY Giants mock draft: Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle at No. 11

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (Image via Tuscaloosa News)
Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (Image via Tuscaloosa News) /

The NY Giants enter free agency and the NFL Draft aiming to upgrade the skill players around quarterback Daniel Jones in an effort to boost his development entering his third NFL season and ignite what was one of the league’s most disappointing offenses last season.

Given the strength and depth of this year’s wide receiver draft class, and the marquee free agents available, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Giants explore options during both key phases of the offseason.

In Doug Farrar of USA TODAY Sports’ TouchdownWire’s latest mock draft projection, the NY Giants come away with Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle with the No. 11 overall pick, adding an explosive weapon to Jones’ arsenal:

"Yeah, one wrong move with this guy, and you’ll be eating his dust. Waddle played just six games in 2020 due to an ankle injury, but he still posted 28 catches for 591 yards and four touchdowns. A ridiculously explosive player on everything from sweep handoffs to deep posts, Waddle caught five of six targets of 20 or more air yards for 146 yards and two touchdowns. The only question here would be whether Daniel Jones could hit those deep posts (especially under pressure), but any offensive coordinator should be able to find ways for Waddle to blow opposing defenses up."

Waddle would arrive as an immediate starter for the NY Giants atop a wide receiver depth chart that left much to be desired in 2020.

“Waddle has the total package,” Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner writes in the outlet’s annual NFL Draft guide. “o be an elite deep threat in the NFL. He’s more than just that, though.”

Injecting big play ability at the receiver position would go a long way towards shepherding Jones’ development and aiming to elevate an offense that scored just 17.1 points per game last season, and an aerial attack that averaged just 7.1 intended air yards per attempt.

Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL.