The early returns are in and Joe Schoen is doing great in the exit polls.
Praises are coming fast and furious.
The Giants leading into the draft had fairly significant needs at cornerback, wide receiver, center and, wouldn’t you know it, Schoen filled every one of ’em before the weekend rolled around.
A trade up Thursday night to get cornerback Deonte Banks in the first round. A center, John Michael Schmitz, in the second round Friday night, followed by a wide receiver, via another trade up — this one 16 spots — to get receiver Jalin Hyatt in the third round.
Check out the draft grades getting assigned, often barely minutes after the seventh round was complete. The Giants are scoring well, receiving a bunch of A’s, lauded for their boldness moving up to add value and talent with Banks and Hyatt.
The fans like it, as do the draft analysts.
By all accounts, Joe Schoen — in the popular parlance — “killed it’’ in this draft.
Does he agree?
“That lasts about two days,’’ Schoen said. “You don’t win games in April. The social media rankings and everything like that, you know, it’s about what we do this fall and how we go out there and compete when it matters and how we continue to build this offseason and get bigger, faster, stronger, through our strength program and then how we prepare and execute in August, I think there’s a process.
“And do I like some of the guys we drafted? Yeah. But still, every year is different, and the team has got to gel, and we have got to build chemistry. We have to stay healthy. There’s a lot that goes into it.”
Yeah, there’s a lot that goes into it.
There is no doubt Schoen checked the boxes that needed to be checked.
Cornerback was a glaring concern and Banks, by all accounts, has the goods to ease that concern. Taking corners in the first round is risky business, though. The last two the Giants selected, Eli Apple and Deandre Baker, were washouts (though Apple has reclaimed his career with the Bengals). Not long ago, Jeff Okudah was the No. 3 overall selection in the 2020 draft by the Lions out of Ohio State, widely considered one of the safest and solid picks in years, pretty much a “can’t miss’’ prospect. He missed, beset by uninspiring performance and injuries and two weeks ago was traded to the Falcons.
This is not an indictment of the selection of Banks. Let the youngster chart his own path.
Catch up with the entire list of Giants picks from the 2023 NFL Draft, including round-by-round analysis.
The last time the Giants went with a center in the second round was in 2014, when they used pick No. 43 on Weston Richburg out of Colorado State. They mistakenly started him at guard for a season before moving him to his natural spot, where he played well before injuries hit. The Giants had no interest in keeping him. Richburg signed with the 49ers, tore up his knee, returned, needed hip surgery and retired.
This is not an indictment of the selection of Schmitz. Let the youngster chart his own path.
The last time the Giants went with a receiver in the third round was 2011 when they decided speedy, shifty and small Jerrel Jernigan out of Troy could be a weapon in the NFL. It did not work out that way. Jernigan had 38 catches and two touchdowns in four seasons and was promptly out of the league.
This is not an indictment of the selection of Hyatt. Let the youngster chart his own path.
Perhaps Schoen going with a running back, Eric Gray from Oklahoma, in the fifth round was a prescient decision based on the trend to stock that position with mid-round picks, a move that allows Saquon Barkley’s workload to ease up, keeping him fresher longer.
There is no doubt Schoen has a real understanding of how to maneuver up and down the draft board and that his relationships with his counterparts in the league — in this case, Trent Baalke of the Jaguars with the first-round trade up — are reasons for the Giants to feel confident with their football leadership at the very top.
Schoen may have “killed it’’ in this draft, but he will get back to you on that — much later.
“I think it’s three or four years when you look back, you look at the play time,’’ he said. “But you’re never — you can’t get complacent in this business, ever. You’ll have a lot of trouble if you do that.’’
Read the full article here
Discussion about this post