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New York Giants NFL draft picks 2021: Analysis for every selection

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Kadarius Toney's NFL draft profile (1:18)

Check out the best highlights from Florida WR Kadarius Toney's college career. (1:18)

The 2021 NFL draft was held April 29 through May 1 and every New York Giants draft pick has been analyzed here.

After last season's virtual draft, Cleveland played host to festivities this year with a handful of potential draft picks present and socially distanced because of COVID-19.

Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player New York has selected will fit.

Analysis of every NFL pick | Updated NFL depth charts


Round 1, No. 20 overall: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

My take: The Giants maneuvered nicely around the board given what was available to them. They got significant value in their trade with the Chicago Bears and still landed a serious playmaker for quarterback Daniel Jones. That seemed to be a priority. Now they have another crack at it later in this draft and added a coveted first-rounder next year, plus more. That's huge. It didn't matter the Giants already signed Kenny Golladay in NFL free agency or have Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Evan Engram on the roster as viable pass-catchers. I've never heard anyone complain that their team had too many playmakers. And you don't draft specifically for this year; you draft for the next four or five years. Toney is a lethal playmaker (Jaylen Waddle-lite) who can be used all over the field. This offense, after finishing 31st in the NFL last season and being unable to make a big play, shouldn't be lacking this season or into the future.

Slot him in: Toney ran 78% of his routes from the slot in 2020, per ESPN Stats & Information. That makes it an interesting fit, with the belief Shepard would return to the slot more following the departure of Golden Tate. But Toney can also be used in the backfield, outside and on special teams. His comp is former Gators legend Percy Harvin. Toney had 120 career receptions at Florida with 12 receiving touchdowns and 13.3 yards per catch. Harvin had 133 catches, 13 TDs and 14.5 yards per catch. So, very similar production. Another similarity to Harvin: The Giants will need to game plan for Toney in order to get him involved and allow him to do damage with the ball in his hands.

Wild-card category: General manager Dave Gettleman had gone the first 54 picks of his career as a general manager without making a trade down. No. 55 was the one where it finally happened, perhaps with a little assist from coach Joe Judge with his New England Patriots roots. The Giants went from No. 11 to 20 and pocketed first and fourth-round picks next year and a fifth-rounder on Saturday. That's a lot of draft capital in return. Given no discount for future picks and assuming next year's picks are 16th in each round, the Giants added the equivalent of a first-round pick's worth of value in its deal with the Bears, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The picks the Giants received are worth almost double what they gave up! That's good value.


Round 2, No. 50 overall: Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia

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Azeez Ojulari's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from Georgia LB Azeez Ojulari's college career.

My take: This is a pick most wouldn't have complained about if it was at No. 20. Instead, general manager Dave Gettleman traded back again (adding a future third-round pick to the stockpile) and landed the talented Georgia pass-rusher. How can you complain about that?

The only reason Ojulari slipped this far was because of arthritis that exists as a result of a high school knee injury. But he was checked out by renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews this year and given the stamp of approval. Still, it scared off teams and he slipped from a late first-round talent into the middle of the second round. But Ojulari's versatility is a perfect fit in the Giants' multiple defense.

"Really talented," said one executive. "Checks a lot of the boxes," proclaimed a scout. "Great talent. Will keep getting better," Mel Kiper Jr. said.

And he's only 20 years old.


Round 3, No. 71 overall: Aaron Robinson, CB, Central Florida

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Aaron Robinson's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from Central Florida CB Aaron Robinson's college career.

My take: The Giants continue to load up in the secondary, after also adding cornerback Adoree' Jackson in free agency and Darnay Holmes last year in the middle rounds of the draft. It's getting crowded. But you can never have too many capable corners and Gettleman has been adamant about never having too many good players at a single position. Some considered Robinson a second-round talent and the Giants landed him early in the third round. They traded up five spots with the Denver Broncos (it cost them a fifth-round pick) to get him.

Robinson is a fast, physical corner who can play on the outside and in the slot. The Alabama transfer (note once again, SEC roots) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at his pro day.


Round 4, No. 116 overall: Elerson Smith, OLB, Northern Iowa

My take: Keep throwing numbers at outside linebacker. Not a bad approach at this point. The Giants also took Ojulari in the second round. They have increased their athleticism at the position no doubt. Smith is long and lean (6-foot-6, 252 pounds) with some versatility. He is a developmental pass-rusher who had 14 sacks in 2019.

If Smith develops, he can be a better Kyler Fackrell.


Round 6, No. 196 overall: Gary Brightwell, RB, Arizona

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Brightwell leaves defenders in dust on 94-yard Arizona TD

Arizona RB Gary Brightwell finds a hole and chugs 94 yards up the sideline and to the house.

My take: It’s not a surprise the Giants added backfield depth in the later rounds, especially someone like Brightwell who has special teams value. Brightwell is 5-11, 218 pounds with some speed and good open-field instincts. Saquon Barkley or Devontae Booker don’t need to worry about their jobs. At least not now. Brightwell is a developmental prospect who has played on just about every special teams unit at Arizona. That should explain what the Giants have planned for him in the foreseeable future.


Round 6, No. 201 overall: Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State

My take: The brother of Cleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams (a first-round pick in 2019) was the Giants’ final pick. Rodarius Williams played at Oklahoma State and will be 25 years old at the start of this season. He's a physical player whose skill set would also suggest he has special teams value. You can see what the Giants and Judge were targeting late in this draft.