The New York Giants‘ rumored infatuation with projected first-round pick DeVonta Smith is no secret. Earlier this month, Matt Lombardo of GMEN HQ reported that the feeling inside NFL circles is that GM Dave Gettleman is “enamored” by the Alabama product. On Monday, NBC Sports’ Peter King pointed towards Smith winning over yet another prominent name within the Giants’ organization, claiming that head coach Joe Judge “loves” the All-SEC widout.
It’s obvious the team has at least some interest in pulling the trigger on Smith with the No. 11 pick come Thursday — and frankly, who could blame them. The 22-year-old is fresh off one of the most prolific receiving campaigns in college football history, where he became just the fourth wideout ever to win the Heisman Trophy. Add in numerous other credentials such as being the recipient of the Biletnikoff, Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards and it’s clear the SEC’s all-time leader in receiving yards is worthy of the top-10 buzz he’s garnered in recent months.
Yet, with quarterbacks (not surprisingly) rising to the top of draft boards as we inch closer to draft day, and questions about his rather small frame (6-foot, 166 pounds), it’s possible that Smith could see a slight slide outside of the first 10 picks. If this proved to be the case, that would mean the Louisiana native would be up for grabs once the Giants took the clock at No. 11 overall. And according to the thinking of ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, the organization would be quick to pounce on the opportunity to add him to their budding receiving corps.
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Raanan Hints at Giants Using 1st Pick on Smith
“Is DeVonta Smith there [at 11]?” Raanan asked ESPN Radio’s Chris Carlin when presented with the question of which prospect presents the best value for the Giants with their first pick. “And they have him as a top-three player on their board. By the way, it’s possible if he gets by the Dolphins — this is the thought — that there’s a good chance he’s there at 11. Then I think they do that.”
“DeVonta Smith… If he makes it to 11, I think that would be their pick. Jaylen Waddle and Rashawn Slater, they’re in that next range; that next level,” he added. “Right behind them — and maybe even even with them — are the two cornerbacks, Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn.”
Raanan later elaborated further on Twitter about how crucial the Dolphins’ decision at No. 6 plays into Big Blue’s draft plans.
The key pick to watch for the Giants: Miami Dolphins at No. 6. That will dictate if DeVonta Smith and/or Jaylen Waddle has any chance to make it to them at 11. Will influence their decision. #nfldraft #giants #dolphins #NFLDraft2021
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) April 26, 2021
Smith Would Cap Off an Overnight Offensive Rebuild
For the two seasons that Daniel Jones has manned the helm of New York’s offense, he’s worked with mostly (putting it nicely) second-tier options at the skill positions. Finally, the team chose to do something about their lack of supporting cast this offseason, supplying Jones with his first true No. 1 receiver since entering the league, signing ex-Lions stud Kenny Golladay. Add in a healthy Saquon Barkley and the potential addition of Smith opposite Golladay and the Giants have suddenly transformed one of the league’s worst offenses on the fly.
“Let’s say he drops and the Giants go jump and grab DeVonta Smith. You’re now adding Saquon Barkley, because he didn’t really play last year, Kenny Golladay and DeVonta Smith to your offense in one offseason,” Raanan said. “I don’t care who you are, that’s pretty exciting. Giants fans, I don’t know how you can’t get on board with that.”