New York Giants Post Free Agency Seven Round Mock Draftby Lee Wehry April 12, 2021 1 comment
The New York Giants surprised many by going on a huge spending spree in free agency. The team signed big-name players at positions of need, with Leonard Williams, Kenny Golladay, and Adoree’ Jackson all getting multi-year deals. The moves did come at quite a price, as the Giants doled out approximately $121 million in new contract guarantees. The length of these contracts is confounding, considering most other teams were content giving shorter “prove it” deals after the salary cap went backward in 2021. The front office had to be creative with existing contracts to make the splash signings possible. In doing so, has a general manager on the hot seat ham-strung the organization’s cap for years to come?
The Giants added a combination of big names and bit players via free agency, and the roster is starting to take shape. With a glaring need at defensive end, did they do enough to give them the flexibility to draft the best player available at 11th overall? Let’s find out.
To Help with this draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
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Round 1, Pick 11: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
The Giants have been shoveling resources into their offensive line for years now with minimal results. Nate Solder opted out of the 2020 season and hasn’t lived up to the massive contract he signed in 2018. Kevin Zeitler is now in Baltimore. 2018 second-round pick Will Hernandez has been disappointing following a strong rookie campaign and was benched at the end of the 2020 season in place of Shane Lemieux. Andrew Thomas, the fourth overall selection in 2020, came on strong at the end of the season. Despite Dave Gettleman’s vow to restore a struggling offensive line, there still seems to be many question marks surrounding this unit.
At 6’4″ and 304 lbs, Slater is a bit undersized for an NFL tackle, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for with athleticism. Despite opting out of the 2020 season, he has continued to move up draft boards. Recruited by Northwestern as a guard, Slater’s versatility is something that the Giants are sure to covet. Slater put up impressive numbers at his pro day, recording a 4.88 40-yard dash, a 7.48 three-cone drill, and 33 bench reps. His wingspan was measured at 33 inches, which is below league average for tackles. With Solder and Thomas seemingly entrenched at the tackle positions in 2021, Slater can move inside as a rookie and give the Giants some much-needed help at guard.
For more on Slater, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 2, Pick 46: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Giants haven’t taken a linebacker in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft since Clint Sintim in 2009. That streak finally comes to an end with Collins at the 46th pick. Many experts project Collins to be a first-round pick, so his availability here is a steal and a no-brainer. Last year, the Giants added Blake Martinez as a free agent, and he took his place as a solid thumper in the middle, recording 151 total tackles in his first season with New York. The one thing the Giants have lacked at the linebacker position in what seems like an eternity is athleticism, and Collins has that in spades.
Collins is a big man, measuring in at 6’4, 259 lbs, but don’t let his size fool you. The dude can move. Collins clocked a 4.60 40-yard dash at his pro day and looked incredibly explosive in his workout. His 35-inch vert and 10-2 broad jump only helped confirm this. On tape, it’s apparent that Collins understands the game and has excellent instincts. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He shows above-average bend while rushing the passer and is quick enough to get off of blocks to make plays in the backfield. Pairing Collins with Martinez and a healthy Lorenzo Carter could transform this linebacking core, turning one of the Giants’ previous weaknesses into a force in 2021.
For more on Collins, check out our scouting report on him here.
Round 3, Pick 76: Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest
In this draft, the Giants didn’t rush to take a lesser prospect in round one to fill a need at defensive end, and it pays off. Standing at 6’5″ and 285 lbs, Basham totaled 19.5 sacks and 35.5 tackles in his career at Wake Forest. He was banged up in 2020 and only played in six games, but recorded a sack in five. In 2019, his tape showed a pass rusher to be feared, tallying 11 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Basham is a well-rounded defender who doesn’t take plays off and has an excellent first step. Basham does have flaws in his game. He’s not a freak athlete and doesn’t have the superior bend associated with elite edge rushers. He does have an excellent inside move and a motor that never quits. The Giants will be ecstatic to add a talented player like Basham opposite Williams in 2021.
Round 4, Pick 116: Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU
The Giants lost Dalvin Tomlinson to the Minnesota Vikings in free agency and signed former first-round behemoth Danny Shelton. Here they add a talented depth-piece in Shelvin, a former four-star recruit, opted out of the 2020 season. His 2019 tape shows a big man who knows how to blow up the backfield. At 6’2″ and 350 lbs, Shelvin uses his low center of gravity to leverage would-be blockers and wreck plays. Gaudy numbers are not his specialty, but his ability to draw double teams should open up lanes for Williams and company.
Shelvin does come with some concerns. He was forced to take a redshirt freshman year due to academic performance, and his weight has been known to be a problem through high school and college. If the Giants can get this young man on a solid training regiment, with the help of fellow big man Dexter Lawrence, Shelvin could develop into the talent many thought he would be coming out of high school.
Round 6, Pick 196: Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech
We all know that Saquon Barkley is a generational talent, and when healthy, is one of the best at his position in the NFL. Unfortunately, the last two seasons haven’t been kind to the young back. He missed the majority of the 2020 season after tearing his ACL in Week 2, and although he played 13 games in 2019, he was hampered by a high ankle sprain and didn’t look himself. The Giants let Wayne Gallman walk in free agency and overpaid Devontae Booker to be Barkley’s backup.
Herbert is an intriguing prospect. He played at Kansas for most of his career (which was nothing special) before becoming a post-graduate transfer at Virginia Tech. In 2020, the Hokies gave him a feature-back role, and it’s safe to say that he ran with the opportunity. Herbert amassed 1,183 yards on 155 carries and eight touchdowns while adding ten receptions for 179 and a touchdown through the air. On film, he’s a patient runner who has above-average vision. If Herbert proves not to be a one-year wonder, he could be a perfect complement to Barkley, a terrific insurance policy, and a steal this late in the draft.
Round 6, Pick 201: Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois
New York’s big splash in free agency was signing Golladay. The Giants now have a true “X” receiver to pair with Darius Slayton, and allow Sterling Shepard to move back to his natural position in the slot. Meanwhile, Imatobhebhe is quite an athlete. At just under 6’1″ and 218 lbs, Imatorbhebhe ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at his pro day and would have set a modern-day combine record, recording a 46.5-inch vertical jump. He has solid hands and uses his weight well to square up against defenders. His leaping ability helps him win on contested passes, and he has enough speed to break big plays. Imatorbhebhe is a developmental prospect with enticing physical ability and an excellent player to add with the Giants’ final pick of the draft.
For more on Imatorbhebhe, check out our scouting report on him here.