NY Giants draft: Lance Zierlein tabs another TE over Jaylen Waddle, Micah Parsons
Free agency has treated the NY Giants well so far in 2021, but the Giants have historically been a team that has used the NFL Draft as their primary resource to finding franchise pillars and building a championship foundation.
Two championships were won during Tom Coughlin’s 11-year run, and Jerry Reese’s guidance was a major reason for that.
Having gotten that out of the way, the end of their run was borderline disastrous. Even the most lauded selection of the post-Super Bowl era Reese teams–Odell Beckham Jr.–had a tumultuous run with the team and skipped town with very little love lost.
Dave Gettleman has done a nice job of nabbing some of the best skill players available during his three-year tenure, though, and he now has a chance to do so in 2021.
With the #11 pick in a loaded draft, Gettleman has the chance to either further bolster the defense he’s built in free agency or supply Daniel Jones with more artillery–whether it be a brick wall of an OL or a skill player.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projects a combination of the latter, with Florida tight end Kyle Pitts being Gettleman’s selection in the 2021 draft in his latest mock:
"Pick 11New York GiantsKyle Pitts, Florida · TE · JuniorDream 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."
Pitts would be the third tight end in the NY Giants’ offense behind the incumbent starter Evan Engram and recent signee Kyle Rudolph. Had the Giants not just committed over $2.5 million to Rudolph to be a TE2, it’d make more sense to take Pitts at #11.
Instead, given the current depth chart, taking a swing on a big-play receiver like Jaylen Waddle would be a better selection for the offense.
Waddle benefitted from having Heisman winner DeVonta Smith attract much of opposing defenses’ attention, but just about any other team besides LSU, who rostered the projected #6 pick Ja’Marr Chase, would have had him as their clear WR1.
With another WR2 looking to become the primary threat in the NY Giants’ aerial attack in Kenny Golladay in tow after signing a four-year deal worth up to $72 million, Waddle could have some friendly competition with the 2019 Pro Bowler to be Jones’ top target if he were to be selected with the #11 pick.
On the flip side, the NY Giants could address their sack problem. Namely, their inability to accumulate them at a high volume.
Character issues be damned,
can track down downhill rushers and pressure the quarterback in a way current NY Giants linebackers cannot. If he were to fall to #11, it would be tough to pass on him…especially considering the glaring lack of fearsome sack threats in their LB room.
Zierlein’s choice is a head-scratcher, and his draft has Waddle landing with the Philadelphia Eagles with the #12 pick they traded down for and Parsons landing with New England Patriots at #15.
It’d be a shame to see the G-Men miss out on at least one of the duo, but to miss out on both and see them go to Philadelphia and New England would be a bad post-draft beat.