Alabama Football WR Jaylen Waddle an excellent fit for Giants

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) before the Texas A&M game at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas on Saturday October 12, 2019.Uaseason051
Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) before the Texas A&M game at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas on Saturday October 12, 2019.Uaseason051 /
Could the Giants target Jaylen Waddle? Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

That time of year has come again! It is an annual tradition for mock drafts to flood the web discussing the possibilities of every NFL team adding rookies into the fold. But when NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah drops his own mocks, the draft world stops and pays attention. How will Giants fans react to their pick?

Jeremiah recently released his Mock Draft 1.0 last Friday and there were some very interesting selections that he went with. New York Giants fans, however, should be excited at the name he paired with Big Blue at 11th overall: Jaylen Waddle.

Waddle would be a slam dunk for Giants

Right outside of the top ten picks, Jeremiah has the New York Giants picking Crimson Tide playmaker Jaylen Waddle, the third receiver selected in his mock to that point. Waddle is one of the most electrifying players with the ball in his hands, able to score from anywhere on the field.  With strong hands and a physicality that is fantastic for his size, he would be an invaluable weapon that could help Daniel Jones elevate his game. His addition would also complement Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard tremendously, with Saquon Barkley adding more electric potential to the offense.

Waddle would be a great pick here, especially considering LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and fellow ‘Bama receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith were already selected. This means the receiver depth at the top was already starting to dwindle. At 11th overall, Waddle is not a reach by any means. I’ve said before that he could fill a massive hole for a Giants offense lacking receiver talent that can separate and produce in space.

But at what cost?

In examining Jeremiah mocking Waddle to the Giants, what has to also be considered is who was still on the board when their pick came around. Talented Florida tight end Kyle Pitts was selected one pick after Waddle. He could be another offensive piece, with great versatility, that could boost their ability to threaten opposing defenses. Athletic Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, who has been mocked to the Giants before, was also still on the board, landing with New England four picks later.

What is particularly curious though about how the board fell is that no pass rusher was selected until Miami’s Gregory Rousseau at 14th overall, meaning every top EDGE player was still available. That means Rousseau, Michigan’s Kwity Paye and Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari were all there for the taking. Each player would absolutely fit the bill of addressing the Giants’s need to bolster their pass rush. However, the selection of Waddle shows that Jeremiah not only considers receiver an important, if not larger need, but possibly thinks Waddle is an incredible player that fell in their lap.

Next. Giants land Azeez Ojulari and more in 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. dark

Still early!

Overall, the Giants did not lose in Jeremiah’s mock, and fans should take it seriously. He is one of the most plugged-in draft analysts out there, so pairing a team with a player gives it legitimacy that turns into immediate speculation. Ultimately, it is his first rendition to mock drafts in 2021, so plenty can change and the Giants pick could be different as the process plays on.