The 2021 NFL Draft has finally come to an end. It is safe to say that the New York Giants are a better team now than they were a week ago. They addressed needs and added playmakers. Let’s take a look at all of the picks and hand out some Giants draft grades.
New York Giants Draft Analysis | 2021 NFL Draft
Round 1, Pick #20, Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
The Giants traded the 11th overall pick to the Chicago Bears for their 20th overall pick, the 164th pick and their first and fourth round picks in 2022. The Bears turned this selection into quarterback Justin Fields. With the 20th pick, the Giants selected wide receiver Kadarius Toney from the University of Florida. They clearly wanted to give Daniel Jones another weapon, and that is what they did with this selection.
Toney proved to be electric at Florida, where he played next to Kyle Pitts. It also can’t be ignored that he measures very similar to Odell Beckham Jr. Both stand at 5-11, and Toney recorded a better vertical and 40-yard dash. If the Giants are looking for a player that can replicate what Odell was able to do during his time in New York, this might be their guy.
Round 2, Pick #50, Azeez Ojulari, LB, Georgia
With the 50th pick, the Giants selected Azeez Ojulari, linebacker from Georgia. They wanted to improve this defense even more, and that is exactly what they did here. This pick has been regarded as one of the biggest steals of the NFL Draft by some outlets, and Ojulari was a projected first-round pick until he was flagged for knee issues. Many analysts even had him mocked to go to the Giants at their original pick of #11. This clearly was a tremendous Giants draft pick.
Round 3, Pick #71, Aaron Robinson, CB , UCF
To the shock of many, the Giants didn’t address the offensive line with this pick, but instead added another player to the secondary. Aaron Robinson, cornerback from UCF was the selection here. A strong secondary can be the anchor to a great defense. A case can be made that the Giants may have a top-5 secondary in all of football.
Round 4, Pick #116, Elerson Smith, LB , Northern Iowa
Yet another defensive selection here, with the selection of Elerson Smith, linebacker from Northern Iowa. The Giants grabbed a genuine athlete with this pick. Smith could be a linebacker that breaks into a strong rotation and may also become a focal point of the special teams unit.
Round 6, Pick #196, Gary Brightwell, RB , Arizona
It was reported that the Giants were looking to add depth at the running back position. I have to assume that this pick was made more with special teams in mind, as Brightwell was a star special teamer at Arizona. If he develops well, he could easily see himself taking over for DeVontae Booker, who the Giants signed in free agency this offseason.
Round 6, Pick #201, Rodarius Williams, CB , OSU
Due to the fact that Williams will be 25 years old when the season begins, the pick was somewhat shocking. As many of the other players that the Giants selected late, Williams excelled at special teams during his time at Oklahoma State so this pick may have been made with that solely in mind.
Undrafted Free Agents
The Giants added three undrafted free agents to the roster. Brett Heggie, offensive lineman from Florida, Jake Burton, offensive lineman from UCLA, and Raymond Johnson III, defensive end from Georgia Southern.
The Giants became a better team here. Issues were addressed and good choices were made. The only issue may still be the offensive line. It is still shocking that they made the decision to wait until after the draft to address arguably their biggest need.