EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Wan’Dale Robinson has been told for most of his football career that he isn’t tall enough.
Robinson on Friday found an NFL team that agreed with him when the New York Giants surprised many by taking the 5-foot-8 Kentucky wide receiver in the second round of the NFL draft.
Giants general manager Joe Schoen was in a wheeling and dealing mood on the second day of his first draft, moving down twice to pick up extra picks and then taking a receiver who had 104 catches for the Wildcats in the tough Southeastern Conference.
Schoen said the Giants had a deal in place before the start of the second round and quickly made another one, dropping a total of seven places in the round before grabbing Robinson, who was with family and friends in a hotel in Lexington, Kentucky.
New York also continued to search for help across the board in the third round, taking North Carolina lineman Joshua Ezeudu and LSU defensive back Cordale Flott.
“I just feel like somebody just had to believe in me and not believe in the height thing and just believe in the football player,” Robinson said, adding the Giants are getting a tough, elusive, exciting playmaker.
Robinson had a breakout season in 2021, gaining 1,334 yards and scoring seven touchdowns.
Giants coach Brian Daboll said Robinson can play in the slot and outside. Combined with Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, he will give provide added versatility for Daniel Jones and the offense.
“What we are trying to do is put as many generating pieces out there to create space and stretch the field, whether it be vertical or horizontally,” Daboll said. “This is another good guy that has ability to run after catch, which is an important aspect of it.”
The selection of Robinson fills another hole on a team that posted a 4-13 record in Joe Judge’s second and final season. New York took edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon with the fifth pick and Alabama tackle Evan Neal with the seventh choice in the first round on Thursday night.
With the early choices it was an easy first day for Schoen. His second day was creating more picks in the draft.
The Giants dropped down in both their second-round trades.
First, they traded the No. 36 pick overall to the Jets for No. 38 and a fifth-round pick. Just as quickly they dealt the 38th pick to Atlanta for the 43rd overall and an extra fourth-round choice.
The Jets took running back Breece Hall of Iowa State with the 36th pick and Atlanta took edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie of Penn State.
Ezeudu made 28 starts for the Tar Heels, including 21 the past two seasons. Most of the starts were at left guard but he also made four at left tackle and three at right tackle. He has also played different positions in the same game.
Ezeudu said he met a few times with Giants offensive line coach Bobby Johnson.
“I mean, I would say for your name to be called is always a surprise,” Ezeudu said. “Everybody expects it to happen, but until it actually happens, it actually kind of shocks you.”
Flott started 21 games for LSU and played in 35. He was versatile as he played cornerback, safety and the nickel position.
The Giants will have six picks in the final four rounds on Saturday.
“We want to continue to build depth,” Schoen said. “Depth is important whether it’s a backup role or competing for a starting role or special teams. Just continue to build depth and competition.”
Schoen said he would be willing to use his picks to move up or down or create flexibility, either this year or next.
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