For some time, it looked as though the New York Giants would be battling for the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Now, they sit atop the NFC East with a 4-7 record.
Sole possession of first place in the NFC East:
The 4-7 New York Football Giants 🏈 pic.twitter.com/a5lXwnBYDZ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 29, 2020
The team has a variety of holes they need filled, however.
With the end of the season approaching, and college football nearing its playoffs, it is time to start looking at potential draft paths the team can take.
Where To Rebuild In The Draft
This season, the team has struggled after losing star running back Saquan Barkley to a torn ACL.
Their running game has been poor, with QB Daniel Jones leading the way with 403 rushing yards.
The passing game hasn’t been much better.
Where they really lack is in their receiving core, lacking a true dynamic game changer.
Defensively, their rush defense has been one of the best in the NFL, ranking 5th in the NFL for yards allowed.
Their defense with the pass is below the middle of the league, sitting at 19th in the NFL for passing yards allowed.
It is also difficult to predict where they will be picking in the draft.
Absolutely brutal win for the New York Giants. They drop from No. 6 to No. 19 in the draft order.
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) November 29, 2020
With the team’s struggles this season in mind, there are three distinct areas of their team that need to be addressed on draft day.
1. Wide Receiver
At the top of their receiving core, the Giants have a solid trio of receivers.
Along with this, the Giants will have the choice to save $3-6 million by cutting Tate this offseason.
Receiver would then become a necessity in the draft.
Players like Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, or DeVonta Smith could draw the interest of the Giants for their first-round pick.
Terrace Marshall Jr. is another prospect that stands out; the Giants need a large, physical presence running routes.
No doubt, #LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase will be one of the top receivers in the nation. That said, don't sleep his teammate Terrance Marshall Jr. His height, speed and athleticism will be on full display this upcoming season. #GeauxTigers #CFB #CollegeFootball NFLTwitter pic.twitter.com/QlHvWvm9WJ
— Black and Gold Nation (@B_GNation1) May 6, 2020
Marshall is a 6-foot-4 receiver who has risen to be LSU’s primary target.
He could fall into the second or third round of the draft, making him a good pickup for the Giants.
2. Defensive End
Defensive end Leonard Williams has had a great season so far.
He has reemerged to play at a Pro Bowl level.
Leonard Williams, 2017-2019 (47 games): 7.5 sacks
Leonard Williams, 2020 (11 games): 6 sacks pic.twitter.com/sVYLt37gjN
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) November 29, 2020
Being signed to the team on a franchise tag, it is likely that the Giants will try to bring him back this offseason.
However, he might leave in free agency if he can get a large enough contract.
Because of this, the team should look towards adding a talented pass rusher or two in this draft.
Early looks at the pass rushing potential in the 2021 Draft proves that the overall talent seems better than that of recent drafts.
Players like Gregory Rousseau, Xavier Thomas and LaBryan Ray stand out as some of the draft’s best prospects.
The Giants could be in position to pick one up during the draft.
3. Offensive Line
Giants right tackle Cameron Fleming is set to become a free agent this offseason.
He is part of an offensive line that has stood out for the Giants this year so far.
The team may elect to let him walk if he commands a large enough contract on the open market.
Luckily for them, there is talent on the line in this draft.
While OT Penei Sewell will likely go as a top three pick, there is tackle talent beyond him.
A player like Samuel Cosmi is ranked as a first-round talent, while Alex Leatherwood is projected for the second.
Thoughts on Cosmi at the next level? pic.twitter.com/vfEhKmhlMU
— NFL Draft Prospects Podcast (@nflprospectspod) November 29, 2020
Either of these players could become a good draft replacement on the line, saving them the money of resigning Fleming.
Whichever way the Giants elect to go, they will need to boost the existing holes on their team.