NFL Draft 2021 Review: New York Giants

Adrian Holman

Last season, everyone knew that the New York Giants were toast when franchise running back Saquon Barkley tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears. However, the team showed some resiliency and finished with a 6-10 record after losing the first four games of the season. The Giants almost won the National Football Conference (NFC) East Division on the last week of the season with a win over the Dallas Cowboys, but the Washington Football Team (WFT) also won their last game of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles.

New York is optimistic this season because Barkley will be back for this season and because the team actually showed some improvement last year. A few more playmakers can possibly make the Giants a contender to win the NFC East this season. Let's take a look and see what the Giants did in the National Football League (NFL) Draft in order to give their fans even more hope for the fall.

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Round 1, Pick 20: Kadarius Toney - WR - Florida (6'0", 193 lbs). Although Toney is listed as a wide receiver, Toney can line up all over the field because of his versatility (70 receptions, 984 receiving yards, 10 TD). During his college career at Florida, he lined up in the slot or outside as a receiver, in the backfield as a running back or as a quarterback running the wildcat option (161 rushing yards), or as a kick returner (276 return yards). His versatility is definitely needed for an offense that was too predictable for most of the season.

Round 2, Pick 18: Azeez Ojulari - DE - Georgia (6'2", 249 lbs). Ojulari made his presence felt along the edge for the Bulldogs (12.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles). Although he played at defensive end in college, he will see time for the Giants at outside linebacker rushing the quarterback on passing downs.

Round 3, Pick 7: Aaron Robinson - CB - UCF (5'11 1/2", 186 lbs). Robinson led the Golden Knights with seven pass breakups last season. You can tell that he made a huge impact for UCF's defense because he opted out of the bowl game when UCF was absolutely torched by BYU last season. Robinson should see some time in the defensive backfield rotation.

Round 4, Pick 11: Elerson G. Smith - DE - Northern Iowa (6'6", 252 lbs). Smith opted out of the 2020 season, but his 2019 stats were eye-popping (21.5 tackles for loss, 14 sacks). Smith should see some time along the edge as a backup at defensive end.

Round 6, Pick 12: Gary Brightwell - RB - Arizona (5'11", 218 lbs). In a shortened season, Brightwell ran for 390 yards and accrued 53 passing yards. He will compete for some time as a third-down back as an outlet from the backfield.

Round 6, Pick 17: Rodarious Williams - CB - Oklahoma State (6'0", 189 lbs). Williams led the Cowboys with 7 pass breakups last season. He should also see some time in the secondary along with Robinson in the defensive backfield rotation.

Grade: The New York Giants addressed some of their biggest issues in this NFL Draft. Selecting Toney will make the offense be even better next season because his versatility will take away some of the attention on other playmakers on the team. The Giants had an immense problem on defense in regards to the pass rush and to covering receivers down the field. The four defensive players picked will add depth to both of those issues. The grade that I give is a C+.

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