How the Giants signing WR Kenny Golladay impacts the 2021 NFL draft

Kenny Golladay Giants

The New York Giants made a huge splash in free agency on Saturday with the signing of wide receiver Kenny Golladay to a four-year, $72 million contract. The deal includes $40 million in guarantees.

Golladay was the biggest prize in the free-agent wide receiver market and the Giants, who’ve long been pegged as a team likely to draft a receiver in the first round, were an obvious match. New York outbid the Chicago Bears for Golladay’s services, and with a salary averaging $18 million per year, it’s clear Big Blue views him as a WR1 moving forward.

Golladay, 27, had an injury-riddled 2020 season that ended with just 20 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns, but his previous two years were more indicative of the type of playmaking ability he’s bringing to New York’s offense.

He registered a career-high 1,190 yards and a league-leading 11 touchdowns in 2019, and at 6-4 and 214 pounds, he’ll bring the kind of size and downfield ability that third-year quarterback Daniel Jones desperately needs.

His presence also allows the Giants to look elsewhere in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.

Golladay joins a suddenly impressive receiver group that includes Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard, along with former first-round pick John Ross, whose speed at least makes him a wild card to crack an active roster spot. When factoring in the upside of tight end Evan Engram, New York’s passing game is cooking with gas.

Nearly 40% of mock drafts currently have the Giants picking a wide receiver, with Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle the most popular choice among them. And while Waddle would still be great value at No. 11 overall, I just don’t see New York investing so heavily into their wide receivers in one offseason. Instead, I’d move edge rusher — someone like Michigan’s Kwity Paye — to the top of the list of likely Giants targets on April 29.

Signing Golladay was an expensive decision by New York, but it’s one that will give them invaluable first-round flexibility.

Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

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