With Super Bowl LVII in the rear-view mirror, the offseason is full steam ahead. The NFL Draft is one of many tools that teams will use to build a roster positioned for success in 2023 and beyond.
Dennis Hickey, the Giants' Assistant Director of Player Personnel, recently joined the Giants Huddle: Front Office Edition podcast, where he discussed the scouting team's rapport with General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll as well as the characteristics they look for in draft prospects.
As the team's quasi director of college scouting, Hickey oversees the evaluation of up-and-coming talent.
He spoke with John Schmeelk in the thick of Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala., and shared that there is tremendous value in coming together as a staff for tentpole events:
"We see ourselves as a collective," he said. "There's a lot of different experiences – (scouts) coming from different teams in different roles, all those things. We just want to put all our heads together. Joe and Dabs are very inclusive. They believe in diversity of thought. So, we're getting all the educated opinions together. And we're working through and trying to get it right for the New York Giants when it comes draft day"
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Identifying talent and appraising a player's potential is all part of Hickey's day-to-day, but the process involves intricate collaboration between coaches and scouts.
"That's what's so great about our organization – we have a clear vision of what we're looking for," Hickey shared. "It's a big competitive edge for us because we know what we're looking for. There's consistency. That's some of the things we do in training camp. Coaches come in, and they just lay out: 'These are the kind of guys we're looking for and what fits us.'"
Finding raw talent only scratches the surface, though. Hickey and his team take it a step further to evaluate players as people.
"It's the character and the makeup that determines whether they can reach their ceiling or not and maximize what they have physical skillset-wise. That's why we research, talk to a lot of sources, spend a lot of time investing and find out what makes these players tick and what motivates them."
Hickey also spoke about his own career trajectory and joked that he's "pretty much filled out the personnel bingo card."
As a former general manager himself, Hickey oversaw Joe Schoen at the Miami Dolphins. The two worked together again at the Buffalo Bills from 2017-2021.
Hickey concluded early on that Schoen was destined for success in the industry. Along with an unparalleled work ethic, Joe had "a keen eye for evaluations," Hickey revealed.
Now the Giants' General Manager, Schoen's leadership has translated into an enriching work environment.
"It's fun to watch his relationship with Coach Daboll and just the alignment we have at the top. That's great for the whole organization. I think you see that in the results."
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.