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Mel Kiper Jr., the original mock drafter himself, has released his latest 2021 NFL mock draft and it includes a few surprises. The first pick has Jacksonville standing pat and taking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. It would be a monumental upset if they decided to choose another player or trade out of the pick.
But after that, Kiper sees a few shakeups in the order on opening night. He has the Jets trading out of the No. 2 hole with Atlanta, who holds the fourth overall selection. Atlanta selects BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. Miami, at No. 3, takes Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith and the Jets grab Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, meaning two less possible offensive playmakers for the New York Giants to choose from at No. 11.
Cincinnati is up nest at No. 5 and they select Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, perhaps in hopes of landing a modern day Anthony Munoz. At No. 6, Philadelphia eliminates another potential Giants target by selecting LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. San Francisco moves down to No. 7 from No. 12 with Detroit to take Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. So much for the vote of confidence given to Jimmy Garappolo.
With the eighth overall pick, Carolina stays put and takes Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. New England, not to be left out of the quarterback derby, moves up from No. 15 to take NDSU’s Trey Lance. Dallas, at No. 10, grabs Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
The Giants are finally on the clock and have a slew of options in front of them, perhaps even a trade offer or two. Kiper believes they will opt to snare one of the few remaining elite offensive playmakers on the board.
11. New York Giants – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Can the Giants get Daniel Jones a No. 1 receiver? He has had Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and tight end Evan Engram as his top targets the past two seasons, and they’ve struggled with inconsistency and staying on the field. Now is the time to get a full evaluation of Jones. If they don’t wade into the free-agent waters, Waddle is the best option at No. 11. He is the top deep threat in this class and is electric with the ball in his hands.
There’s no better option in this draft to take the top off a defense that Waddle and the Giants need a home run-hitting, field-stretching player to open up their stale offense. This pick will only be of worth if the Giants expand their route tree and throw the ball the deep. Otherwise, it’s a wasted pick.