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Syndication: The Tennessean

What moves did the Giants and Jets make on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft?

Ryan Honey

And just like that, we’re two days into the three-day 2021 NFL Draft.

While Rounds 2 and 3 surely don’t carry the amount of tension that Round 1 does, the excitement and intrigue are still present — this was the case Friday night.

Right off the bat, we saw trade after trade, picks quickly being tipped off via Twitter, and numerous first-round-caliber players have their dreams come true, albeit in the second round.

We additionally saw either New York ballclub make highly beneficial moves.

While the Jets were quieter than they were during the opening round, the Giants made a number of trades, one of which was down the board for the second time this draft.

How does either team look following Friday night’s action?

Jets add a talented weapon for QB Zach Wilson

The Jets were receiving interest for the No. 34 overall pick in the second round but decided to stay put and draft receiver Elijah Moore.

The Ole Miss wideout was arguably the top one on the board. He could’ve been a first-rounder, so the Jets acquiring him at No. 34 is a great value pick, especially when you take into consideration what he’ll be able to bring to the offensive unit.

Moore is a speedy, athletic, and versatile slot receiver who carries the sheer ability to make plays. He was highly productive for Mississippi last season, having caught 86 balls for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns.

He’ll be a reliable complement to Corey Davis and Jamison Crowder, but the most important aspect of this selection is what it does for Zach Wilson.

The Jets knew they needed to further enhance the talent level within their offense for Wilson’s sake — the free-agent acquisitions of Corey Davis and Keelan Cole weren’t enough. As a result, they traded up to draft USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round and have now acquired Moore to assist in Zach’s development.

Trading back from No. 34 could’ve led to the Jets missing out on Moore — they likely wanted to ensure they would be able to acquire the individual they had their eyes on.

The Giants continue to kill it in this draft

The Giants made a spectacular move Thursday, trading back in the first round, garnering extra draft capital from Chicago (including a first-round pick next year), and still acquiring a talented and versatile receiver in Florida’s Kadarius Toney.

On Friday night, they continued to make superb decisions.

Originally slated to select at No. 42 overall in the second round, the Giants swapped picks with Miami, moved back to No. 50, and acquired a 2022 third-round pick from the Dolphins in the process.

They did all that…and still were able to draft Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari in the second round.

Ojulari is one of the more talented edge rushers in this draft class and probably slipped to the second round due to a knee issue.

Azeez assures the knee is in good shape though, telling the media Friday night, “everything’s good…everything’s perfect.”

Despite him dropping, Ojulari is expected to be a talented pass rusher at the professional level and provide a boost to a Giants edge rusher unit that definitely needs it heading into the 2021 season.

Later on in the night, the Giants decided to utilize one of the picks they received from Chicago (the 2021 No. 164 selection in the fifth round) to trade up from No. 76 to 71 overall.

And with that new selection, they chose UCF cornerback Aaron Robinson, a versatile defensive back who could end up performing in a multitude of roles within the Big Blue secondary.

Robinson can play both on the outside and in the slot — Joe Judge and Patrick Graham preach versatility, so the Central Florida standout definitely caught their attention.

But the most significant development for the Giants thus far is the fact they’re garnering numerous 2022 draft picks — thanks to trades, they now own a pair of first-round, third-round, and fourth-round picks next year.

This is extremely important; the evaluation process of these prospects should be back to normal as we work to exit the COVID-19 era, so the true value of the 2022 selections will ascend.

Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge are playing chess right now, and it’s awesome to witness.