Peter King of NBC Sports has released his final mock ahead of the 2021 NFL draft and he has the New York Giants staying put at No. 11 overall.
So, who does general manager Dave Gettleman select with cornerback Jaycee Horn, wide receiver DeVonta Smith, tackle Rashawn Slater, guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and multiple edge rushers still on the board?
None of the above.
11. New York Giants—Micah Parsons, OLB, Penn State
Last Giants’ first-round linebacker: Carl Banks, 1983. Okay, so once every 38 years a linebacker comes out who’s worth it. The Giants always do a good job disguising their intentions, and this year they’ve been particularly good. Three things I’ve heard: Joe Judge loves DeVonta Smith; the organization likes cornerback Jaycee Horn a lot; and Dave Gettleman loves Parsons. If you can get past some of the immature pockmarks on his résumé, there is so much to love. Easily the best linebacker in the draft, with the ability to be a top edge player and double as a sideline-to-sideline presence. Now, he’s only a one-year starter, didn’t play football last year, and the Giants will have to be comfortable with the fact he’s had maturity issues. Smith or Horn could easily be the pick here—Parsons is my best guess—but 4.36-in-the-40 linebackers are quite rare.
Hearing that Joe Judge loves Smith is a first. Previously, all reports suggested it was Gettleman who was “enamored” with Smith, which could very much be true. And if both Judge and Gettleman have eyes on Smith, he’ll be the pick if he’s there.
As far as Micah Parsons, there’s no denying his athletic skill as a non-pass rushing linebacker. But is that really what the Giants need? He’d certainly add to an already strong defense, but it would do little to shore up the cornerback depth or lack of a game-changing pass rusher.
There are undoubtedly fans who would love the selection of Parsons, but it would not be a unanimous consensus by any stretch.