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3 first-round wide receiver options for the New York Giants

One of the biggest tasks for New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen this offseason will be to upgrade the wide receiver position. There’s no way they’ll take the next step in 2023 if they don’t improve on their 26th-ranked passing offense (185.7 yards per game).

According to reports, the Giants plan on working out a deal with quarterback Daniel Jones. If that’s the case, they have to get him a dynamic playmaker at the wide receiver position in order to maximize his potential.

There are a few ways he can accomplish this. He can acquire a proven veteran via free agency or he can trade for one. Expect Schoen to explore both of these avenues.

However with New York needing to work out a deal with Jones as well as Saquon Barkley, and needing to come to terms with Andrew Thomas and Dexter Lawrence in the not-too-distant future, the best way financially to upgrade the position will be through the draft.

The New York Giants have the 25th overall pick which means they’ll have to play the waiting game unless Schoen decides to trade up and grab the highest player on his board. Fortunately for Big Blue, there are several talented wideouts that will be available when they’re on the clock.

Draft boards will certainly change between now and the annual event, especially with the NFL Scouting Combine beginning on February 25th. But here’s a look at three receivers that could be available with the 25th pick in the draft.

Related: New York Giants void the contract of their longest-tenured player Sterling Shepard

Jordan Addison, USC

new york giants draft jordan allison
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Addison has had an outstanding collegiate career. In his first two seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers, he caught 160 passes for 2,259 yards and 21 touchdowns. His best season came in 2021 as a sophomore when he won the Biletnikoff award and was an All-American after having 100 receptions for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Then he transferred to USC for his junior season and appeared in 11 games and caught 59 passes for 875 yards and with eight touchdowns. What makes the 6-foot 175-pound receiver an ideal fit for the New York Giants is his ability to make big plays downfield and his exceptional footwork to get in and out of brakes. He is a versatile playmaker as he had 20 carries during his collegiate career as well as 20 punt and kickoff returns.

He would make an immediate impact as a rookie and would be one of the favorites to be Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Related: 4 wide receivers New York Giants should target in NFL free agency

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

new york giants draft jaxon smith-njigba
Joshua A. Bickel / USA TODAY NETWORK

A hamstring injury limited Njigba to just three games last season, but no one will forget the sensational season he had in 2021. His 95 receptions led the Buckeye receiving core that had two future first-round picks in Chris Olave, and the 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson. The 1,606 receiving yards were also the best on the team, and he had nine receiving touchdowns. Due to his performance, he was named Third-Team All-American.

Then in Ohio State’s 48-45 victory over the Utah Utes, he set the school and FBS Bowl game record with 347 receiving yards to go along with his 15 receptions and three touchdowns. It earned him the Rose Bowl MVP.

The 6-foot 197-pound receiver can play in the slot as well as the outside and is hard to catch in the open field. He could immediately become Daniel Jones No. 1 receiving option, and there’s no reason to believe the Njigba wouldn’t be as productive as his former Ohio State teammates.

Related: Sportsnaut’s 2023 NFL mock draft

Quentin Johnston, TCU

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Texas Christian at Michigan
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It might be a stretch to think Johnston who some think is the best wide receiver prospect in this draft will be available toward the end of round one. But some believe it’s possible he could slip as far as round two.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound junior would provide a big and physical threat that has been sorely missing from New York’s passing game for years. Not only can he come away with contested passes, but he has the speed and explosiveness to score at any moment as he demonstrated on his 76-yard touchdown reception in the Horned Frogs 51-45 victory over Michigan in the College Football Playoff Semifinals.

In his final season at TCU he set career highs in receptions (60), receiving yards (1,069), and tied a career-high with six touchdown receptions, and was named First Team All-Big 12 for the second year in a row.

There are other receivers such as Boston College Zay Flowers who might be on Schoen’s radar as well. We should get an indication as we get closer to the draft on which direction Schoen plans to go, but he can’t go wrong with any of the above-mentioned receivers.

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