Evaluating the 2021 Draft class of the New York Giants

“Hope Springs Eternal..”


Credits to Tom Pennington (Getty Images)

Patrick Moore, Staff Writer

The New York football Giants entered the April NFL Draft with high hopes and limitless optimism.  In the spring, everyone is a Super Bowl contender.  Let’s take a look at how they did..

Round 1: Kadarius Toney (WR, Fla)

Kadarius Toney is a fast and reliable wide receiver from the University of Florida who will instantly help QB Daniel Jones and a struggling Giants offense. Along with Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton and (when he is healthy) Sterling Sheppard, Toney should fit into this Wide Receiver core with ease. The Giants also traded down to obtain this pick with the Giants receiving a Chicago Bears First Round Pick in 2022. Personally, I believe that with Toney, a potentially very valuable first-round pick, Dave Gettleman made a smart decision here. 

Round 2:  Azeez Ojulari (LB, UGa)

Linebacker Azeez Ojulari from the University of Georgia should provide more outside help for a surprisingly strong Giants Defense. Ojulari is incredibly athletic and will be able to transition from the SEC to the NFL with relative ease. He did suffer an ACL injury his senior year of high school, potentially making him injury-prone.

Round 3:  Aaron Robinson (CB, UCF)

Cornerback Aaron Robinson from the University of Central Florida (UCF) brings a presence that will be immediately felt in a young, up-and-coming Giants Defensive Secondary corps. He should provide depth for the Giants at this position, particularly if they want to make a playoff run, as cornerback depth is becoming crucial in the NFL of today. 

Round 4:  Elerson Smith (DE, N. Iowa)

Defensive End Elerson Smith from the University of Northern Iowa is a physically strong outside linebacker. He has a large upside, but he did not play in a top college football league, making it hard to assess his talent.  The Giants plan to convert him from LB to DE relying on his quickness and size to make an impact.

Round 6:  Gary Brightwell  (RB, U.AZ)

Running back Gary Brightwell from the University of Arizona is a quick and tough running back. He is a late-round draft pick, and with the return of Saquan Barkley from injury and the rise of Wayne Gallman, Brightwell may struggle to get reps.  On the plus-side, he give the Giants depth at a key position on offense.

Round 6: Rodarius Wilson (CB, OSU)

Cornerback Rodarius Williams from Oklahoma State is a long-term project who is unlikely to get much playing time in the near future. Williams will not play much this year as the Giants are currently strong in this position. The Giants also drafted a better and higher rated prospect in Aaron Robinson, making Williams’s chances slim to make the team and play.   Look for him to contribute to the Practice squad and work his way into the line-up later in his career.

Overall, I am pretty content with David Gettleman’s draft choices this year, as the Giants traded for more future assets, which will help the team moving forward. I personally like the 1st round Toney pick and think he is a strong player, but I wish the Giants had drafted offensive linemen to allow Saquon Barkley, and more importantly, Daniel Jones, to thrive in a balanced attack. The future looks bright in East Rutherford; the division is wide open and (hopefully), these draft picks have long and healthy careers in Blue and White.