The 2021 NFL Draft is just a few days old, but the evaluating and grading are well underway. Both the Giants and Jets have received high marks for their selections as both teams hope that the young men they picked will immediately make an impact. But there is a big question to ask after last weekend's draft…
Which team had the better NFL Draft?
Let's look at the selections for both teams, starting with the Giants.Ali
New York Giants
We should not get used to this "Trader Dave" character created for David Gettleman over the weekend. The trades were a byproduct of Devonta Smith being selected by the Eagles at number ten. Gettleman did pick up an extra first-round pick in 2022 from the Bears that will most likely be a high pick. So there's that, but there's a problem.
After trading down to number 20, the Giants selected Kadarius Toney. Toney is a small but explosive wide receiver giving Daniel Jones another weapon at his disposal. This pick would add a wrinkle to their offense for many teams, but this is the New York Giants and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Garrett may be one of the least creative offensive minds in the NFL, so having Toney in his receiver arsenal means nothing. Interesting pick but a reach for a team with no big play in their playbook.
Picking up Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith, both edge rushers who can drop back in coverage, was significant as the Giants' defense's biggest issue was consistent pressure on the quarterback. The two cornerbacks selected, Aaron Robinson and Rodariius Williams, were Big Blue adding more depth to the defensive backfield as Robinson could be in play for a nickel spot based on his camp performance.
Unfortunately, the Giants did not address the need on the offensive line as they essentially ignored it again. Jones will once again be behind a makeshift line with average to above-average play in a make-or-break season for the quarterback. For all the talk of Gettleman loving "hog mollies," they are continuously neglected.
New York Jets
The worst kept secret before the NFL Draft was the Jets' selection of Zach Wilson with the number two pick. After they traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers, the stage was set for Gang Green to draft yet another franchise quarterback. Wilson will most likely start the season opener, but the question is whether he will be ready. BYU did not play top competition in 2020, and while the other quarterbacks in the first round had significant intangibles, Wilson is just a good quarterback with good arm strength. General manager Joe Douglas is hoping that Wilson is good enough to lead the Jets right away, but he will need time to adjust to the NFL.
Douglas made a major move trading up to number 14 but losing two third-round picks to select guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. This is a perfect example of the team doing something different as Darnold was left out to dry since he was drafted with a subpar offensive line. With the drafting of Mekhi Becton last year and Vera-Tucker, they will protect Wilson from Day One. At 6'4" ad 308 pounds, Vera-Tucker can play either guard or tackle to give the Jets some options on the line.
Speedy receiver Elijah Moore from Ole Miss was selected in Round 2 as they are getting Wilson some weapons, something Darnold also did not receive during his time in New York. A receiver with the ability to stretch the field is something the Jets were missing after letting Robby Anderson go in free agency last season. Adding Moore to a receiving corps that features Denzel Mims, Corey Davis, and Keelan Cole gives the Jets a young, dynamic group of pass-catchers.
The nitpick comes due to the Jets waiting long to work on their defense, a definite weak spot (ninth-most yards allowed in 2020). Their final six draft picks were all defensive, but no playmakers or players with much upside were drafted. That is where trading the two third-round picks became a detriment as there were many players in that round where the Jets could have stocked up.
Who Won The Draft?
Upon further review, the Jets won the 2021 NFL Draft over the Giants. The team's first-round picks overshadow the Giants' first four picks alone. A possible franchise quarterback and an offensive lineman to protect him, the Jets are starting the rebuild where they should. Although their later picks featured no playmakers, it creates depth for a dreadful defense.
For the Giants, the Toney selection is a high-risk, high-reward selection. They got possible defensive disrupters, but nothing on their draft board screams instant success as it does on the Jets' board.