For years the New York Giants have been the team that has filled their WR1 void with second-tier options. That no longer appears to be the case following the signing of former NFL receiving touchdowns leader, Kenny Golladay.
The addition of the ex-Detroit Lion knocks down the likes of Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard to a more suitable placement in the receiving pecking order. Within the past five months, the team has also added two recent high-round draft picks in ex-second rounder Dante Pettis and former ninth-overall selection John Ross.
One may think that with an abundance of receiving arsenal in place, the Giants would opt to focus their attention on addressing other needs come draft day. However, fascination towards one of the class’ top prospects may ultimately lead to Dave Gettleman and company pulling the trigger on yet another wide receiver.
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Giants ‘Enamored’ With WR DeVonta Smith
Recently, an unearthed dig directed towards Giants draft bust Eli Apple landed Heisman Winner DeVonta Smith even more backers amongst Big Blue faithful. Yet, fans aren’t the only ones intrigued by the idea of adding the Alabama product to their new-look receiving corps.
“There is a feeling inside the NFL that Gettleman is enamored by Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith,” Matt Lombardo of GMEN HQ reported. “But, even if the NY Giants go in a different direction with the No. 11 overall choice, don’t be surprised if Gettleman adds a receiver sometime in the first two days.”
Smith is coming off one of the most prolific receiving campaigns in college football history. “Smitty” not only became the fourth wideout to ever win the Heisman Trophy, but he was also the recipient of the Biletnikoff, Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards. In 2020, the first-team All-American led the FBS in receptions (117), yards (1,856) and receiving touchdowns (23).
Smith, who is the SEC’s all-time leader in receiving yards, left a lasting impression on the country when he torched the Ohio State Buckeyes to the tune of 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns in mostly two-quarters of play. The wideout’s MVP performance caught the eye of many Giants players, past and present.
Trade up and get this kid Devonte Smith @Giants jeez
— Justin Tuck (@JustinTuck) January 12, 2021
Where do we pick in the draft? Asking for a friend.
— Xavier McKinney (@mckinney15__) January 12, 2021
I’m taking Devonta Smith at 1. This kid is so silky smooth. 😳
— 𝗟𝗮𝘄𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗧𝘆𝗻𝗲𝘀 (@lt4kicks) January 12, 2021
John Mara Hinted at Looking Elsewhere Early in the Draft
Bringing Smith to East Rutherford would be widely accepted by the masses, quarterback Daniel Jones included. However, owner John Mara told reporters back in March that a big reason for signing Kenny Golladay in free agency was that the team would not be pressed to take a receiver early in the draft.
“I did feel some sense of urgency,’’ Mara said, via New York Post. “We didn’t want to lose him. We thought he’d be a vital piece to what we want to accomplish going forward. To have a receiver with that skill set alongside the guys we already have we thought would be a huge piece for us.”
“It also takes pressure off of us going into the draft. We don’t have to take a receiver in Round 1 or Round 2, we can sit there and just take the best player available when it comes to our spot,” he claimed. “I think that’s another reason why it was so important to us.’’
Is Mara spewing facts or fueling typical draft season smoke screens? Either way, many draft experts aren’t buying the owner’s claims. Both NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah and CBS’ Chris Trapasso have the Giants taking Smith with the No. 11 overall pick in their latest mock drafts.
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