New York Giants NFL Draft Picks & Grades 2021

Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants anticipate competing in the NFC East next year and a strong 2021 NFL Draft class would help immensely. Expect the Giants to invest in Daniel Jones while also targeting pass rusher value. What grades did the Giants’ 2021 NFL Draft selections earn?

Giants draft picks in 2021

  • 11th Overall Selection (R1-P20): Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
  • 50th Overall Selection (R2-P18, from Miami): Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
  • 71st Overall Selection (R3-P7): Aaron Robinson, CB, Central Florida
  • 116th Overall Selection (R4-P11): Elerson Smith, EDGE, UNI
  • 196th Overall Selection (R5-P12): Gary Brightwell, RB, Arizona
  • 201st Overall Selection (R5-P17, from Arizona): Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State

Who did the Giants draft on Day 1?

With the 20th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney.

New York Giants grades for 2021 NFL Draft

The Giants chose to invest in a playmaker early in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

Toney is an explosive YAC monster who’s still developing as a receiver. He has excellent change of direction ability and contact balance, with the tools to create separation with impressive route running. The Giants now have one of the top young receiving units in the NFL.

I do think there were bigger needs on the board for New York. Toney is a good player, but top 20 is a bit high for a smaller receiver with a lackluster production profile and some injury history. I’m a fan of Toney, the player, but I think the Giants could have found better value elsewhere.

Grade: C+

Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

The New York Giants made one of the best picks in Round 2 with their selection of Azeez Ojulari. Ojulari is one of the most explosive and dynamic edge rushers in the 2021 class. Ojulari is a Day 1 starter on a very talented defense for New York. Excellent selection by Dave Gettleman.

Grade: A+

Aaron Robinson, CB, Central Florida

The Giants continue to strengthen a very talented defensive unit. After drafting Ojulari in the second round, they bring in Aaron Robinson in the third. Robinson joins James Bradberry and Adoree Jackson. Expect Robinson to start as the nickel corner as a rookie on a potential top 10 defense. 

Grade: B+

Elerson Smith, EDGE, NDSU

Elerson Smith is an intriguing physical specimen that will compete for rotational minutes in New York. After a great showing at the Senior Bowl, Smith rocketed up draft boards. He joins Ojulari to form a very interesting young pass rush tandem.

Grade: A-

Gary Brightwell, RB, Arizona

The Giants chose to address the running back depth here adding Gary Brightwell on Day 3. A well-rounded back with no standout traits, he should function as a solid backup for Saquon Barkley.

Grade: C

Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State

Rodarius Williams provides the size and physicality to be a boundary corner. It’s unlikely he sees substantially playing time as a rookie but could develop into a quality depth piece. A willing tackler and can be effective against the run.

Grade: B-

New York Giants: A-

The Giants reached for Kadarius Toney with the 20th pick, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. They added a number of talented prospects on Day 2 and 3, headed by the elite selection of Azeez Ojulari — arguably the best overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Giants team needs coming into the NFL Draft

The Giants’ offense is explosive, but where can they add talent?

EDGE

The Giants are in desperate need of edge rush help. Markus Golden was their most productive pass rusher from the edge spot before they traded him to Arizona. New York possesses a talented defense with a true pocket collapsing edge threat as the only major hole.

Offensive Center

Nick Gates struggled last year, and New York should be highly motivated to replace him. Any center on Day 1 or 2 should provide a substantial upgrade.

Offensive Guard

Similar to center, the Giants had poor guard play for a majority of last year. Adding one or two rookies who can compete to start this year would be ideal.

Wide Receiver

Despite signing Kenny Golladay, the Giants will still look to add dynamic playmaking to the receiving corps.

Linebacker

The linebacker had productive play from their linebackers last year and can afford to pass on the position entirely. However, adding some athletic ability to the position group could elevate it to a new level.

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