The New York Giants continuously have problems on the offensive line, and those issues won’t be alleviated in 2021 after they released starting RG Kevin Zeitler. There is “optimism” that Nate Solder will make a return to the team on a restructured contract, featuring as a swing tackle or the starting RT, but I wouldn’t rule out the idea that the Giants could look to the 2021 NFL draft to solve a position in the trenches.
Ultimately, general manager Dave Gettleman has guaranteed that he would solve the problems on the line, and that promise has remained unfulfilled. With plenty of other holes on the roster, including wide receiver and pass rusher, the Giants are going to have to use the draft strategically.
Two round New York Giants Mock Draft:
1.) OT Rashawn Slater – 11
Considering Solder hasn’t officially been retained on a restructured contract, there is still a possibility they cut him and save some salary space. If they cut him pre-June 1, they will save $6 million, but if they release him post-June 1, they will save $10 million against the cap.
There is a scenario where the Giants utilize a second consecutive first-round pick on an offensive tackle. Lately, Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater has been climbing up the draft board. At 6’4” and 315 pounds, the senior is an athletic option for the Giants in the draft, with incredible flexibility and the ability to adapt to various schemes. He might be a perfect fit with the Giants at right tackle, securing both OT spots with rookies on efficient deals.
Of course, this would stop the Giants from injecting a premier playmaker into the offense to help QB Daniel Jones. However, you can have 10 amazing playmakers, but without time in the pocket, their services become obsolete.
Securing Slater here gives Jones the time he needs in the pocket, and the Giants one of the youngest OLs in football — an underrated positive.
2.) WR Nico Collins – 42
The Giants desperately need a receiver in the draft, and Michigan standout Nico Collins could fit the bill perfectly. As a receiver who will likely thrive in a vertical offense at the NFL level, he would offer the Giants a great option to target in man-coverage downfield.
Collins opted out of the 2020 season but posted 729 yards and seven touchdowns over 12 games in 2019. I believe Collins has a ton of hidden potential based on the inadequacies of the Michigan offense, which translated over to his production. He has a big frame at 6’4” and 215 pounds, giving him the size to be a solid red-zone threat and a big body that coordinator Jason Garrett likes to utilize in his scheme. While he’s a bit more developmental than one of the premier options, he’s someone with impressive upside and the physical frame to be exactly with the Giants’ need moving forward.
Some might argue that Collins isn’t worthy of the 42nd overall pick, and you would likely be right. But the Giants my view him as a perfect scheme fit, which makes him a bit more intriguing in context.
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