Giants NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Azeez Ojulari gamble fills glaring need

It is called a “Mock Draft” for a reason. It is not authentic or genuine, but there is no intention to deceive. We will leave the art of deception for the NFL general managers, as they delight in misinformation this time of year.

It is no fun to take the same path, so we decided to get a bit edgy for Mock Draft 2.0, taking some chances, leaning on some hunches and relying on ever-popular guesswork to get through the Giants’ six selections.

For this Giants Mock Draft 2.0, we used the Pro Football Network simulator, after going with the Pro Football Focus simulator for Mock Draft 1.0. Let’s get it on:

Round 1 (No. 11) — EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

The top two offensive linemen, Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater, are off the board, but receiver Jaylen Waddle is there. The Giants pull a surprise, going with a riser who several scouts label as the top pass-rushing prospect in this draft. Let’s face it, this is a position of need. Ojulari does not have great size (6-foot-2, 249 pounds) but he is instinctive going after the quarterback. He had 9.5 sacks as a redshirt sophomore, including a three-sack performance in the Peach Bowl. Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham craves versatility and Ojulari has it. He is a superior in coverage to Michigan’s Kwity Paye and should instantly contribute as a situational pass rusher as he acclimates to the NFL game. Giants gamble on upside here. Ojulari could be available in a trade-down, but we aren’t doing those here.

Azeez Oljuari plays for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2019.
Azeez Oljuari plays for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2019.
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Rounds 2 (No. 42) — WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

The Giants like this guy a great deal and are delighted he is available to scoop up. Toney was a breakout star in 2020, with 70 receptions for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns. He can also run it (19-161), an indication he is a triple threat who can catch the ball down the field, inflict damage on jet sweeps and take it the distance as a kick returner. Toney could use more thickness to his 5-foot-11, 193 frame, but he is a blur (4.38 in the 40) and should be a perfect complement to the wide receiver corps of Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. Toney forced 43 missed tackles in his college career, the highest percentage per catch of any Power 5 wide receiver since 2014.

Round 3 (No. 76) — OL Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater

Here is a small-school player who dominated at a lower level (Division III) of competition and then completely wowed the NFL community with his showing at the Senior Bowl. He projects as a nasty run-blocking, 320-pound guard, a spot where the Giants are not exactly loaded. This could be the final year in blue for Will Hernandez, making this an area in need of fortifying.

Round 4 (No. 116) — DT Tyler Shelvin, LSU

General manager Dave Gettleman loves his big hog mollies and this is one of the biggest around. Shelvin at 350 pounds might actually be too big and his weight and conditioning will have to be monitored. He is a massive, impossible-to-move nose tackle brought in for immediate depth and a big role in the near-future, with veteran Danny Shelton signed to a one-year deal.  

Round 6 (No. 196) — S JaCoby Stevens, LSU

Big, tough box safety who needs to be in the right system to flourish, considering he is more of a downhill defender and he might struggle in coverage. Graham has use for all kinds of defensive backs and this tweener (linebacker or safety?) can also find a role on special teams.

JaCoby Stevens #7 of the LSU Tigers reacts after recovering a fumble.
JaCoby Stevens could find a role in Patrick Graham’s defense.
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Round 6 (No. 201) — LB Justin Hilliard, Ohio State

A three-down linebacker coming off a career year for the Buckeyes brings versatility and special teams value. Joe Judge loves to stack linebackers on the roster.

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