2021 NFL Draft: Jets, Panthers fill QB need in three-round mock draft

The New York Jets select Zach Wilson at No. 2 in the 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
The New York Jets select Zach Wilson at No. 2 in the 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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DeVonta Smith, 2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft prospect and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith (Photo by Kent Gidley/Heisman Trophy Trust via USA TODAY Sports) /

2021 NFL Draft: Round 1, 11th overall

DeVonta Smith. 11. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. WR. 31. Alabama. player

Trying to decide what the New York Giants would do in this situation was difficult. I could certainly see this team looking to build upon their strengths on the defensive side of the ball. Snagging a top-tier cornerback like Patrick Surtain II or an impact edge rusher like Kwity Paye would certainly make sense for this team. That being said, it is impossible to ignore Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith right here.

Smith is coming off of arguably the best season for a wide receiver in college football history. On his way to winning the Heisman Trophy and a National Championship, Smith caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide. He was completely dominant on the field, showing elite route-running ability, tremendous natural deep speed and was a dynamic weapon with the ball in his hands.

Smith has it all at the wide receiver position. He is a smooth and explosive mover who shows fantastic hands and does a great job of competing in contested-catch situations. His slight frame is the only real knock on Smith as a 2021 NFL Draft prospect. Listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds by Alabama, Smith obviously lacks ideal size at the position. That being said, he plays stronger than he looks and does a nice job of protecting himself when going over the middle.

Personally, I am not overly worried about Smith’s lack of size. He plays bigger than his actual size and his other skills are so impressive that he is a fair bet to shine at the next level. Simply put, Smith is a big play waiting to happen at all times and would undoubtedly be a major addition to the Giants’ offensive attack.

If the Giants are going to give quarterback Daniel Jones any chance going forward, they need to give him a true number one receiver to work with. In Smith, they find that player early in this mock draft.