Giants Snag Victor Cruz Comp in Wild Draft Scenario

Giants select Ja'Marr Chase in Mock Draft

Getty Could the Giants land the next Victor Cruz in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Alabama standout DeVonta Smith may be the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, however, LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase is the wideout widely perceived as the top player at his position in the 2021 NFL Draft. The No. 2 overall player on NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah’s big board, Chase is widely perceived as a blue-chip prospect and a potential top-five pick.

The idea of Chase lasting long enough for the wide receiver-needy New York Giants to get their hands on the former Biletnikoff Award winner would appear to be nothing more than a pipedream. Yet, don’t tell that to Pro Football Network.

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Giants Draft LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase in Mock Draft

In Pro Football Network’s latest mock draft, AJ Schulte throws a wrench in the typical outlook on the class’ receiver group, by slotting Chase as the third wideout off the board –– a dream scenario for the Giants. 

11. New York Giants: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Ja’Marr Chase is a stud weapon on the perimeter. With the Giants moving on from Golden Tate, they will need another weapon to help Daniel Jones. Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard aren’t true WR1s.

Chase’s ability as a receiver will help mitigate Daniel Jones’ accuracy issues and draw attention away from Slayton and Shepard.

Schulte has Alabama duo DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle each being selected ahead of Chase. Smith goes No. 6 to the Miami Dolphins to reunite him with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Waddle quickly follows, landing with the Detroit Lions at No. 7.

Readily linked-to tight end Kyle Pitts comes off the board directly ahead of the Giants’ pick, as the Minnesota Vikings trade up to No. 10 to secure a replacement for the recently released Kyle Rudolph.

Chase Draws Kenny Golladay, Victor Cruz Comps

Chase is no stranger to lofty comparisons. Last May, ESPN Draft expert Mel Kiper even went as far as to put the LSU product in the same category as AJ Green and Julio Jones as a prospect. As for the aforementioned Daniel Jeremiah, he sees a faster version of three-time Pro Bowler Anquan Boldin.

Yet, the two comps that may make Giants fans’ ears perk up come from Pro Football Network’s Matthew Valdovinos. First, the PFN analyst likens Chase to rumored Giants free-agent target Kenny Golladay for his ability to high-point the football and turning “50/50 balls into 80/20s.”

However, Valdovinos’ one pushback to his own comp was the differential in size. While Golladay towers over opposing defensive backs with his 6-foot-4-inch, 214-pound frame, Chase checks in at a much more modest 6-foot-1-inches. In return, he landed on a second comp, one far more similar in stature who possesses similar elite deep threat traits –– Giants legend Victor Cruz.

This is a comparison that I didn’t initially think of, but fellow PFN draft analyst Nick Farabaugh brought up. I was hesitant initially, but after sleeping on it I can see how it works. Chase functions as an elite deep threat, whether it’s catching a ball over the middle of the field and taking it to the house, or just instantly winning vertically.

Cruz, a similar size, was also impressive in contested catch situations. People forget how good Cruz was at times, there was a three-year span where he averaged 80-1208-8. Cruz went undrafted in his NFL Draft class but Chase will not have that in common as he’s more than likely a first-round selection.

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