2021 NFL Draft: Here’s a wildcard name for the Giants’ Dave Gettleman to consider at No. 11 to improve passing speed

Most of free agency is complete, but the Giants still have some notable needs.

One of them, the edge hunter.

Does general manager Dave Gettleman really rely on outside linebackers Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter to help defensive lineman Leonard Williams generate a passing run?

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That nagging question is why draft drills have linked the Giants with Miami’s leading running back Gregory Rousseau to the 11th overall pick. But the latest Walter Football mock draft has Gettleman passing Rousseau, and instead picking forward running back Jaelan Phillips.

Phillips replaced Rousseau in 2020, after Rousseau was excluded.

Here is the rationale for the choice:

The Giants needed to improve their passing defense. They signed Adoree Jackson to team up with James Bradberry, but the two talented cornerbacks could use the support of a better passing run. Jaelan Phillips had a monster year replacing the excluded Gregory Rousseau.

Phillips actually had a monster year: eight sacks and 15.5 tackles to lose in 10 games. He never produced like this at UCLA from 2017-18. And then he sat down in 2019, after transferring.

Phillips was limited by injuries at UCLA and later medically retired, albeit briefly. Instead, he ended up going to Miami. And his decision paid off with an excellent 2020 season.

But would the Giants regret leaving Rousseau for Phillips? It certainly would not be the expected decision.

Walter Football’s latest mock draft has Rousseau falling to the Vikings at No. 14. Another option for the Giants at No. 11 is Northwestern offensive tackle / guard Rashawn Slater, who goes to the Chargers at No. 13 in this drill.

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