The 2023 NFL Draft is in the books.
Following three days and two trades to move up, the Giants came away with seven picks in the second draft under Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll. The general manager and head coach met with the media at the conclusion of their seventh and final selection, but before we get into what they said, here's a recap of the 2023 class:
- Round 1, Pick 24: CB Deonte Banks, Maryland
- Round 2, Pick 57: OL John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota
- Round 3, Pick 89: WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
- Round 5, Pick 172: RB Eric Gray, Oklahoma
- Round 6, Pick 209: CB Tre Hawkins III, Old Dominion
- Round 7, Pick 243: DL Jordon Riley, Oregon
- Round 7, Pick 254: DB Gervarrius Owens, Houston
Now here's everything you need to know from the post-draft presser:
🔹 If someone told Schoen before the draft that he was going to get Banks, Schmitz, and Hyatt in the first two days, what would he say? "I would have liked to know how you're going to do that."
🔹 Schoen said "you never know how it's going to fall. We went through a million scenarios. We didn't know who was going to be there at 25 or we ended up trading up to 24, so you really don't know. Once you get into that second round, everybody sees things differently and has different flavors for the type of players they like. You may have a guy in the fifth round, he goes in the second; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As you go through the entire draft, usually the first round goes as planned, the group of players you think are going to go. But I'm thrilled with those guys, and I'm thrilled with some of the prospects we got today. We'll see. And the coaching staff is motivated to work with all the guys that we drafted, and they are going to come in and assimilate into our culture and work hard and see what happens. Everybody is going to compete for their spots. I'm happy with where we are and it's a good group of guys to work with and continue to build."
🔹 How does Schoen feel about the public praise for the draft class? "That lasts about two days. 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 off-season 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, like Dabs said, you know, in this press conference, 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."
View photos of the Giants' draft picks touring the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
🔹 Schoen broke down the Day 3 picks:
"Eric Gray is a guy we liked. He was at the Senior Bowl. Played at Oklahoma and transferred from Tennessee. Super productive. Really good hands out of the backfield. Also has some elusiveness to him inside. Like what he brings. He also has done some returns in his past; he did some at Tennessee, comfortable catching punts at Senior Bowl. So again, he'll come in and compete with our group."
"Tre Hawkins, we took him late in the sixth. From Old Dominion corner, height, weight, and speed prospect that has high upside. He's a physical kid, not afraid to tackle. You see a trend with some of these guys that we took at that position. Good developmental prospect for Wink's defense and projects well to special teams due to his physical traits and toughness."
"Jordon Riley, again, big body guy. It's hard to find these guys. When you get into the seventh round, you are looking for guys that maybe it will be hard to get at different areas. And another guy we spent time with, big run stopper in there, 6-5, 330. He'll compete for a depth role there. … He's at Oregon, you walk out to practice and there's this 6-5, 330-pound guy, who piques your interest right there. Again, some of these guys in different schemes may not have the production, the tackles, the sacks. But for what Wink looks for in terms of size, length, knock back, he possesses those traits."
"Gervarrius Owens, another guy we like, a tall, long, athletic safety from the University of Houston, was out at the East-West Game. Another physical kid. Projects well to special teams and also compete for a depth role. Excited about the group of guys we have got. All have very good traits. Competing for different roles but excited with the group. Then get the text here soon that the draft is over, and now we're working on the second draft with free agency, college free agency, which is an exciting time for us."
🔹 Asked about the edge rusher depth, Schoen said he felt comfortable but they're always looking to improve. He noted Elerson Smith coming back from injury and that Tomon Fox "is a guy we like. So those guys have all played snaps, and we're excited about them, and we may add a couple [undrafted free agents] tonight or again, we continue to look at our emergency list. We are all weighing those two things, what's available post-draft based on how teams drafted over the weekend. There may be a surplus of players that become available next week. We'll continue to look at all positions and measure where we are if we like our group or not, and again we don't play until September in terms of the regular season, so if we're devoid of something somewhere, we'll continue to look."
🔹 Daboll said Gray is "a very mature young player that's had some production." He also has "good hands."
🔹 The Giants will hold a rookie minicamp on Friday and Saturday. After that, they will be thrown in with the veterans as spring football ramps up. "The cool thing about it is after the rookie weekend, they come back, and we'll finally have an auditorium full of seats," Daboll said. "Coaches will be standing on the side and finally have a full auditorium to start working with."
🔹 Schoen discussed the inner workings of how trades happen during the draft and the importance of building relationships with fellow general managers, such as Jacksonville's Trent Baalke. "Trent and I were area scouts back in the day. We have a long relationship or some of the new GMs, Kwesi [Adofo-Mensah], in Minnesota, and we have become fast friends through this process. We were first-year GMs together. You always try to cultivate those relationships throughout the league because when you're thinking about, hey, I may trade Player X, my name comes to him first that they are going to call me, whatever it may be. You always want to be in the mix if a team trades a guy. It's always important to have relationships with the general managers and personnel staff of the other teams because it can lead to deals or maybe it's easier to get a trade done or whatever it may be. Definitely in that group where we were picking in specifically Thursday night, I had a good relationship with a lot of those guys. They were easy conversations. We could shoot each other straight and luckily it worked out."
🔹 Schoen said you "definitely have to be careful of" not giving away too much information in trade discussions, but "if a trade was contingent on you giving up the information, you might as well -- that's your only chance to get there. There's some risk involved if you do that."
View photos of the New York Giants' seven-member draft class.
🔹 Schoen said they had conversations with Saquon Barkley last week and will touch base again once the dust settles after the draft. "We'll circle up after the draft. See if it makes sense or not, through dialogue."
🔹 It's the "same deal" with defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence's contract talks. "His representation had a lot of prospects in the draft, and we were focused on the draft in our meetings. Next week, things will calm down a little bit and we'll circle back up with everybody."
🔹 Because teams always have eyes on their division opponents, Schoen was asked about the Eagles acquiring a large number of players from the Georgia football program. "If you're going to do it, that's a good program to do it from. You have to ask them that. I'm not really sure. Sometimes your board just falls that way. They have a lot of Georgia players down the road. I don't know if they necessarily consciously are doing that, or again, I'm assuming their board fell that way."
🔹 Schoen said the draft is just one piece to the offseason "puzzle." Now they have to start to develop the prospects. "Some of them have not been to New York City and some of them have. They are pros. There's a human element, too, as these guys develop. We are not going to put a lot of pressure on them to be plug-and-play. We'll let them develop and learn and continue to let them grow in our culture. But yeah, right now I feel good about where we are, and as a staff, we have continuity amongst the staff this off-season, which along with the roster building I think was very important."
🔹 The Giants broke in their new draft room, which is complete with 42 screens and every piece of technology you could imagine. "One of the cool things we wanted to do was FaceTime the prospects afterward in the draft room and congratulate them one or time oncoming to the team," Schoen said. "Just a cool feature. Nice touch for the players."
🔹 Of course, the new draft room meant Schoen didn't have to carry around magnets like he did last year, when they held two picks in the top 10. "Pick 25 and not five, [he] didn't want to carry the magnets around," Daboll joked. "Begged the owners for a new draft room."
🔹 Schoen spoke about the tireless work of the scouts to get to this weekend. "Like Dabs was just saying, the scouts are away from their family a lot during the year, a lot of miles on the road, a lot of hotel points and All-Star games and then being here for weeks at a time away from their family. A lot of hard work that goes into it from the medical staff and all the guys that they look at the combine, the calls they make for us, go on and on about it's really all hands on deck in a true team effort to put this together."
🔹 This was Schoen's first full draft cycle as a general manager, so when will he find time to decompress? "When you come in in the morning and there's like nothing going on, you've got to take advantage of it, because sure enough, something comes through the door at some point, and the day you thought you were going to have all this free time turns into three or four things you've got to deal with.
"I think now that I've actually thought about this, hopefully, next week at some point I can. But it's a different process for me. I've kind of been full circle now, because when I got here, I had already seen 500 prospects, I had a really good feel for the draft. This year, I had not been through a season as a general manager and trying to watch film and see prospects and all that stuff. Now that I've been through the whole thing full circle, I think next week would be a good opportunity for me, I think I'll be able to decompress a little bit."
Step into the new draft room as the Giants make their picks for the 2023 class.