Daniel Jeremiah draft 3.0 mock: DeVonta Smith remains the Giants’ pick

The 2021 NFL Draft is approaching, with only a little over three (3) weeks to go right now. However, there are still three full weeks to go, which means there is still plenty of time to fill with mock drafts.

We’ve been trying to keep up with the biggest mock drafts out there. Not so much because we think they are particularly accurate when it comes to predicting the actual draft, but rather because larger media and well-connected draft experts could give us a glimpse of what is being thought at NFL headquarters.

Former NFL scout and current NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah pitched his Mock Draft 3.0 on Tuesday. This is his first time following him in free agency and a series of trades reorganized the top 10 and perceived needs in the NFL. But if you read the headline, you know that things didn’t change much when it came to the New York Giants.

11. New York Giants

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Even after the Giants’ signing of Kenny Golladay, I still have a feeling that Big Blue wants more weapons. Smith is the best road running back in the draft.

Raptor thoughts:

I’ll do my best to be brief on this because, frankly, Jeremiah is not breaking new ground with this selection. I don’t dispute that Smith was fantastically productive for Alabama and he’s a great road runner, and that should allow him to be productive immediately in the right situation.

But I’m still skeptical of him for the Giants in particular and the NFL in general. While I don’t like offering career comparisons for college prospects, they are sometimes a shortened way of describing traits. And the player I see in DeVonta Smith is a young Golden Tate coming from Notre Dame, if he had been allowed to play a modern Spread Coast offense with Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones instead of Jimmy Clausen.

In short, a “faster than faster” slot catcher that does its job with the route running and running after catching opportunities. And the Giants already have two of those players in Sterling Shepard and Dante Pettis.

It’s also a red flag for me overall that Smith admitted to weighing 170 pounds (although he declined to be measured and was rumored to play at 160), and did not run a 40-yard dash (again, his speed is suspected to be somewhere in the 4.5s). The list of wide receivers who officially weigh 170 pounds or less and have a 1,000-yard season is precisely one (1) player: DeSean Jackson.

And while the two could be of similar weight, Jackson is shorter (and therefore denser) and much more explosive. And yet Jackson only had two healthy seasons, missing 48 games so far in his career.

From the way the board broke, with Penei Sewell, Ja’Marr Chase, Kyle Pitts and Rashawn Slater all in the top 10, I probably would have gone with Micah Parsons. He could play a variety of roles on defense and help with midfield coverage and the passing run.

Elsewhere in the NFC East

10. Dallas Cowboys – Kwitty Paye (EDGE, Michigan)
12. Philadelphia Eagles – Patrick Surtain II (CB, Alabama)
19. Washington Soccer Team – Alijah Vera-Tucker (iOL, USC)

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