JOE SCHOEN AND BRIAN DABOLL
JOE SCHOEN: Daniel Bellinger was our first pick today, tight end out of San Diego State. A guy that we liked, size, speed, athleticism, should be able to help us on special teams, was in Senior Bowl, was at his pro day, too, and a guy we've liked throughout the process.
Dane Belton, another guy we liked, the versatility in the player, he's got ball skills, he can play from depth and down in the box, can pay nickel.
So the common theme you'll hear is versatility on a lot of these guys.
Micah McFadden from Indiana, another guy with very good size, speed. He was a captain, he's athletic. I think he'll help us out. He can play inside, outside, and he's a good blitzer as well. Again, another versatile piece.
D.J. Davidson, see him more as a nose, out of Arizona State, be a good depth player that has some upside. We are excited about working with him inside, again, trying to add some depth up front there.
Marcus McKethan, another guy obviously we spent some time with, the North Carolina kids. Huge human being. Very good size, length. Again, some versatility, he's played tackle and he's played guard. Again, going to add depth and competition to the roster. We'll probably start him at guard, but he does have tackle flex.
Darrian Beavers is another guy that we really liked, versatile piece, he played inside and he played outside. I was at his pro day. He did some stuff as an outside rusher and that looks like something that may be part of the package. Like his versatility to be inside, outside, and play on special teams.
Excited about the young men that we added today. Again, everybody is going to come in here and compete, no matter where you were drafted, and these guys are no different, so we are excited about the players we added.
Q. A few of the guys said that they had 30 visits here, the tight end had dinner with Brandon Brown. Did you identify these guys early and then honed in on? How does that process work?
JOE SCHOEN: Typically, that's what happens. When I first got here, the first meeting with the scouts was in February. So we kind of identified players that we were interested in and then who we needed to get around a little bit more.
A lot of these guys -- not to show my hand in the future, but you guys are good at tracking this stuff -- but, yeah, we want to feel comfortable with the individuals as well as the player, and I think pretty much all these guys we spent significant amount of time with, whether it was coming here or going to see them.
Q. What did you think of your first draft? Anything surprise you?
JOE SCHOEN: Have to reflect on this tomorrow and throughout next week. It's just different. You come in with a whole new staff, so you have a process in place, but where you used to look for answers when you had questions, you're looking to different people, different scouts in the room that you haven't worked with, and our staff did a tremendous job. The coaching staff did a tremendous job.
So just still getting to know our roster as it is. Again, not being around a lot of these guys for a while, getting to know the new coaches. That's just all that will come with time in working with each other. But overall, it was a good process, and I really enjoyed it.
Q. Joe, did this go very much like you've been accustomed to the last four years in Buffalo and other places, or did you have to adjust this year?
JOE SCHOEN: It went pretty much how I would plan it to go. The only difficult part was with the players being in here two weeks early with the next head coach. So our schedule when we typically would have had an uninterrupted meetings for a week or two with the coaches involved, those days were a little choppy. We had to move our schedule around.
Overall, the process will stay the same that we had this year. It will start now. May and June, we'll already start looking at the players for next season, and our scouts have already gotten a list of the Top-5 UFAs, Top-5 players from their areas. Next week, I may take a week, but we'll start looking down the road what the players look like through free agency and the draft next week.
Q. You have a pretty big class with 11 players. Do you anticipate bringing in many undrafted free agents -- how big of a class do you anticipate?
JOE SCHOEN: As soon as the Draft is over and we can start working on that, we will. We still have – defensively, I think is where we are going to have to add. Again, when we got here, where the roster was, we had to add a lot of pieces, and there's only so many resources. So we did the best we could this weekend, and we'll continue to do that in free agency.
Again, players might have gotten drafted over somebody else, so what that means is maybe next week there's going to be some cuts and may be some veterans that are on the street because they drafted over players on their current roster. We don't play until September. Our location in the claim order, the final cutdown will be important or as players are cut.
The roster is never finished. It won't be finished during the season, and we'll always be looking to upgrade.
Q. Doesn't seem like you found a replacement for James Bradberry in this draft class. At some point, does the contingency plan to keep him become the plan?
JOE SCHOEN: We are going to work on that. We have had some conversations. I've talked to his representative. We'll see where that goes. I don't have a definitive answer on that right now, but we are working towards some contingency plans.
Q. When would you like to have an answer on that?
JOE SCHOEN: I'm not going to put a timeline on it as we are working through this. So I don't know how long it will take, but we are working through some things.
Q. For years, people were saying fix the offensive line. Since you two have been here, I think you've brought in six free agents, drafted three guys, you have guys coming back who have been hurt, you have veterans. Do you have enough bodies?
JOE SCHOEN: I think so. We've got some big bodies, too.
I think I told you guys at the Combine, we had maybe five healthy bodies, offensive lineman, on the roster, and that's my point. There were several holes, and we didn't have a lot of depth throughout the roster.
So start there, start up front, let's see the best version of Daniel Jones we can, and it starts by hopefully keeping him on his feet. And that's going to help Saquon and that's going to help the receivers because he'll have more time to get him the ball. I think we upgraded the offensive line, which hopefully we did. We'll see how the competition in training camp goes. But, yeah, I'm happy where we are with the depth overall.
Q. When it comes to the war room, when you were setting up who is in there, how many guys, the way the whole setup is, here in years past they have had coaches, coordinators. Did you put into the process who you wanted in there, why it was important to do certain things?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I definitely wanted to be inclusive with the group. Those guys did a lot of the work. We had our pro department in there, too, so they could see the process and some professional development to see how the process works. And our pro scouts also sat in on some of the college meetings.
I'm a firm believer in that, we talk out loud, we have conversations, try to think big picture the best we can. And if I can surround myself with as many of those people as I can, it's just going to bring ideas and we'll all be better.
As for the setup of the room, I may want to change that a little bit. There was a different board this year, and I kind of like more of an open area in the middle, I'm a big pacer, where I can go to the scouts and talk to them. That's something we'll work on next year.
But as for the coaches, you may not have seen them, but they were in and out, coordinators, position coaches. If it came down to two guys on defense, Wink may come in, or Kafka came in a few times for the offensive guys.
Q. I was going off the other night when you said you had not seen Wink yet.
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I had not, and specifically that night, because it was 5 and 7, it was back to back, so without having any commotion or distractions in there, we thought that was the best way to do it, and they kind of knew what we were going to do anyway.
Q. Do you anticipate making any changes to the personnel staff, subtractions, additions?
JOE SCHOEN: I haven't even thought about that yet. I'm about ready to fall asleep on this microphone.
Q. In Buffalo, you concentrated on developing offensive lineman as well as drafting or acquiring starters. So have you brought that same kind of plan to the Giants, and is that where some of these picks are coming into play?
JOE SCHOEN: Really across the board, we have a really good coaching staff, and I think X's and O's are very important as a coach, but also developing players. And Bobby Johnson has a very good track record from my time with him, as does Dabs and Shea Tierney. You bring in guys in that are wired the right way and have traits, they are all hands on deck in terms of developing these guys. That's just the O-line, but the defense, we have some good coaches over there, too. A lot of these players have upside.
Again, once you get in the second and third round, those players are in the third round for a reason, or fourth round for a reason, or sixth or seventh, when you take those guys, they are there for a reason. Nobody's perfect. So the best we can do in terms of developing those guys and accentuating their strengths is what the coaching staff will try to do.
Q. What were you trying to accomplish in your first draft, and how successful were you with the goals that you came in with? I know things change as you move along.
JOE SCHOEN: Versatility, I mentioned earlier. Guys that have versatility, we wanted to add depth at competition to the roster, which I think we did. Again not every guy is going to come as a starter. It takes time. Guys have to develop. And Pat's question, just develop and good coaching. Over time, you have to have depth players and frontline players. I think the idea was to get the best we could. Defensively, the guys with versatility. And offensively, as you're around Brian, you'll see, he'll take the pieces and whatever we have and develop the offensive scheme around those pieces that we have, and Wink kind of adheres to the same philosophy.
Q. A big picture, team building question. Where do you stand on the theory of building a team to compete in the division against the teams that you're going to be facing twice a year for the next -- forever year?
JOE SCHOEN: You have to pay attention to that. There's a lot of good D-Lines in our division, and I think that's where the emphasis on the offensive line early on was important to us.
Yeah, we definitely always -- I was in Miami forever, and they had Gronk there for awhile, how are you going to defend this guy, when they had Gronk and Hernandez. So you're always paying attention because you have to play that team twice a year. And the ultimate goal is to win the division, and the rest will take care of itself is. Yeah, we'll always be looking at that.
Q. When a guy like McKethan has some flex but mostly plays guard, would you rather him have the versatility to play both, or sometimes does a guy have a position and you'd rather hone in on that?
BRIAN DABOLL: You'll see here in OTAs when you guys are around and in training camp, we are big believers in mixing and matching as many people as we can early on because you can only get so many to go to a game. And the more you can do, the more you can do.
Most of the players, unless you're really, really, really good at one spot, and that probably goes throughout our team offensively and defensively, is as much versatility as you can have, the better it is for the team.
Q. On the defensive side of the ball, guys have multi-versatility. How excited are you that you can change your defensive scheme because of the diversity of the skillsets?
BRIAN DABOLL: Wink, he's pretty diverse in what he's done the past few years when he was in Baltimore. We are still working through some things, just figuring out what our guys can and cannot do.
So we'll see. We'll take it kind of day-by-day on that. But I think the smarter you can be as a football team, the better you are in terms of being able to put your best foot forward.
Q. I know Bobby Johnson was at the UNC pro day and worked those guys out. How valuable was getting his input and letting him get in there and coach them up?
BRIAN DABOLL: That's always valuable. The process, Joe talked about this, the communication we've had from the scouting department, the coaching staff, the people that set up the trips, it was very well organized, thought out.
This morning I was watching a bunch of Zoom calls of potential guys we could pick. The coaches put a lot of time and effort into it. There were weekends off that they had they were out on the road, and the same thing with the scouting department. It's been really good interaction with both sides.
So 11 picks, 11 players, we'll throw them out there with the rest of the guys on the team when they get here and let them compete it out.
Q. Do you think you have an offensive line now you can work with and get done what you need to get done on offense?
BRIAN DABOLL: We'll see once we get pads on and things like that. I know the guys are hard working. They are smart. They show some toughness when you watch them on tape. The people that we've had in the building are dependable. It's been good to go into meetings with Bobby and Tony (Sparano) and those guys. They are eager.
Again, let's not make it more than it is. Your job is to protect the inside part of the pocket and the width of the pocket and get moving in the running game, but that position you need five guys operating as one unit. And that is what will be really important.
You'll see. I know I will get a lot of questions on it once we get out in OTAs, and I'll tell you right now, there are going to be a lot of guys mixing and matching. You can write the lineup down each day, but it's going to change from day to day.
Q. Guys have strengths and weaknesses, but evaluating players, guys are kind of the same, you say we want this guy, we want this guy, is there just something inside you that says we think he's right for us?
JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I would say after all the preparation, Zoom calls, interacting with the kids, going and seeing them or having them in your building, you've got enough information where you say, yeah, I'm good with this kid, can we all see the film, I'm good with this kid as a person and his ability to learn football and what he'll bring to the organization. We try to get all that information so when we turn the card in with anybody, we are at that point.
BRIAN DABOLL: If they are close, you know, sometimes there is a gut feeling. It's like when you're getting ready to call a big play in the red zone, you like two plays and you're anticipating something coming up. There's a gut feel at times. Some of that is the same with when two guys are close, but the preparation leads you to that decision usually for the most part.
Q. Sometimes is it just like, you know what, close your eyes and say, I think I want to coach this guy?
BRIAN DABOLL: Three times this past week, Joe flipped a coin and decided who he was going to pick. We were calling heads and tails over there.
No, it's a lot of work that goes into it. Joe has talked about it. I've talked about it. When you put a lot of hard work into it and you feel prepared, then you're comfortable with the decisions that you make.
Q. When you get into the middle rounds, how much do you lean towards traits? Some guys rated well on tests. Was that a big factor, or did that happen to be the case?
JOE SCHOEN: After Wan'Dale being undersized and Flott, I figured I better go big guys today. You take that into account, but when you look at guys with developmental upside, if they have height, speed and character, the history of those guys developing is a little bit higher than others. Definitely when you get into day three, you do take that into account. It is important, I think.
Q. Knowing you had Daniel under contract and Tyrod to back up and you had Davis Webb, do you sit there and say, quarterback is not a priority this year?
JOE SCHOEN: I wouldn't say we didn't say it wasn't a priority, because we did do work on those guys, and I think I said it yesterday that I had seen all those guys play live, and we did send a quarterback coach and coordinator to spend time with those guys and Zoom and other things.
Again we are going to evaluate the entire board across all positions, and when we think the time is right, regardless of position, we'll pull the trigger if we think it's best for us.
Q. What is it you guys think that you can get so much more out of Daniel Jones?
BRIAN DABOLL: I'll just speak on the few weeks that I've been around him. I've been very pleased with how he's approached things. He's an intelligent -- he's picking up the stuff really well. Again, the pieces around him, we have a lot of work that needs to be done but I'm encouraged with my interactions with him up to this point.
Q. I asked you last night about the tight ends, you said it depends on the player?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah.
Q. You got one?
BRIAN DABOLL: We got six. Just trying to figure out exactly what they do. I've had years where I had Marty Bennett and Gronkowski and other years with Charles Clay, who is a completely different type of guy.
I would say we have a variety of guys right now on the roster, some bigger-type receivers. Some a little bit more blockers. Running around with shorts on, it's good to see their movement skills and how they can track a ball. But once we get to training camp OTAs when they have to do things a little more quickly, we'll figure that out.
But I would say we have a mix of guys that can get down in a three-point stance and block some defensive ends, and that's getting harder to find each year. It's just the nature of the game. If you have young kids that play football, you see how the game is being played. It's a spread game. A lot of RPOs, even from the earliest stages, and then you get into high school, and I don't need to talk about the evolution of game right now, but that's kind of what it is.
You go to college and you see the same thing. It's not -- you've got to look at offensive linemen a little bit differently. You have to look at cover players a little bit differently. It's a completely different game than it was even 22 years ago when I started, and I think you have to evolve as a coach, too, both how you evaluate players and how you design scheme.
Q. Joe, what would you tell Giants fans you think you accomplished with this draft?
JOE SCHOEN: I think we added competition and depth. Hopefully as many of these guys turn into starters as we can, but again we are not going to hand anybody anything. We want them to come in, compete, work hard, and, again, we want to see progress. I've said that since day one and I think this will lead us to that.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX & EVAN NEAL
Q. I'm sure from a young age you were thinking about holding up a jersey of an NFL team. What did it mean to be up there doing that and also having some family members here?
EVAN NEAL: It means the world. That's something that you grew up dreaming about, idolizing about, and for that to happen, it's a blessing and just a testament to all the hard work that it took to get here. So I'm just thankful.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: And to build on what Evan said, it's just a blessing. Your family puts in so much to get you here. Seeing your mom, your family, all the sacrifices that they made, and now to be able to rejoice with them and really celebrate this moment.
Q. What have these few days been like for you guys? Sounds like you've been enjoying it.
EVAN NEAL: Yeah, these few days, they have been awesome. They have been long (chuckles) but they have been awesome. Everything that I dreamed it would be and everything that I expected it would be.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I would say the music has just been hitting differently. So that's why my voice is gone because I've been singing along and singing my heart out. But just enjoying it. Like I said, trying to be in the moment.
Q. What did you think when you flew in this morning and saw New York and the skyline?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: For me, it's actually crazy that you talk about it because New York is a place that I've traveled in the past year, maybe in the past two years, I've been to New York more times than any other place. And it's so random. It was just so random. But touching down, it was like, you know, it's meant to be.
Q. Kayvon, there's been so much talk about your brand. What does that mean to you? What are your off-field aspirations?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It's just so crazy, so when they handed me the playbook, it was in iPad form. And me, I learn best writing. So for me, it was like the brand went out the window, right. The only thing I can think of now is the playbook and really get into it and dive into it and make sure that I know everything that I can going into training camp.
Q. Wink is known for edge rushing, zone technique. Giants run multiple schemes. How do you feel getting bumped down to three or five tech?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I love it. I feel like that's a testament to the versatility I'm going to have and I'll continue to work on, and then I'll always be sharpening my tools, so I'll never go dull because Coach will be moving me around. I'll know a lot of the defense.
Q. How much football have you really talked about already with Coach Daboll and where do you see yourself already contributing to the team?
EVAN NEAL: Yeah, I talked a good amount with Coach Daboll and the O-line coach. Got on Zoom a couple times and installed the playbook, and it's crazy that Coach Daboll was the offensive coordinator at Alabama, so a lot of like scheme things and concepts kind of aren't foreign to me. I've seen them before, so it's going to be a real help coming in and trying to learn the playbook, for sure.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: For me, I was able to chop it up with Coach Wink when I was out here and just seeing everything they did with the Ravens and their time, it was unbelievable. So just being able to see the guys who did great things, and then envision myself and all the great things that he has that I'll be able to learn and grow.
Q. How familiar are you with the history of pass rushers that the Giants have had? I know you know Michael Strahan but beyond that, they have a history of great guys here.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I'm not -- I would say that's really the only thing I'm ignorant to is when it comes to my football history. So I will be picking it up. I was just telling Dion in the back, I have to do some research before I get in front of all these cameras.
Q. At the Super Bowl you were at a party and Colin Cowherd said he was talking to you and you told him back then you thought the Giants were going to take you. Why did you think that so far ahead of draft?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: You guys won't believe this, alright, but I'm a big believer in God. And it's a testament to it, so I got a tattoo, and the tattoo is five stripes. It's tally bars; one, two, three, four and five on the cross, and when I got it was because I had five friends that I knew I was going to become successful with.
But when I really thought about it was more the five of us, so I didn't really have a purpose. But this was three years ago. And now I've been picked, selected as the fifth pick in the NFL Draft to the New York Giants. So to me, it's just a testament of God and everything and the legacy that He bestowed me with just fell in line.
Q. We already learned that Graham Gano is a tough negotiator, he has No. 5 here. Where do stand on that and the number and wanting to wear it? Have you talked to him?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It's funny, you guys, just know, this is real now, we're talking real numbers. When you tell somebody 250, I don't know what 250 means. You forget all the zeros behind it (Laughter). Things are a lot different now.
But yeah, he's a great guy and we obviously are going to build a relationship, and I'm going to be able to really get into it and we're going to talk about it.
Q. But you would like to wear that --
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: That is something I'm pursuing. Obviously he's a vet and he's put the work in, and he's got five kids, so you know there's a whole lot of negotiating that's going to have to happen before anything shakes.
Q. How does 55 sound?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It doesn't sound as good as 5, but hey, the number don't make the player, the player makes the number.
Q. Strahan, how did you get connected with him?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I have some good people at Oregon who already had envisioned me being like him one day and how big he's become. So we've had mutual friends through Oregon and the people there and they connected us. I was able to get on Zoom with him, chop it up with him. I think this was when I was still in school.
So I would say last year, probably fall camp, actually, was when I first had the first Zoom with him and then I got to meet him. Now, actually seeing him and really talking to him and building that relationship has been dope.
Q. What did he tell you about playing here? What did he tell you about playing well here and what that can do?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Just to keep the main thing the main thing and that's kind of been the focus of all that. Football is going to be that avenue. Football is going to be that terminal for everything you want to do after, so long as you keep the main thing the main thing.
He also shed light into the idea that people thought the same thing about him. Like, man, you must have had this planned out. But for him, he shared with me that it took him being great to really cultivate everything he did off the field. It kind of just fell into place.
Q. What would be more important to you: To have Strahan's football career or Strahan he's post-football career?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: They are both ridiculous, but for me I feel like I kind of want to pave my own way. You know, he's done the great things he's done because the work he's put in. So I got to go put the work in myself and build that legacy for myself.
Q. This entire pre-draft process, you're training for the Combine and doing everything like that. Is there any type of relief where you feel like I've got to do my football stuff now and I've got to get back to being a football player rather than training for a Combine and numbers?
EVAN NEAL: Right, the uncertainty of the pre-draft process is all over now and now I can really just get back to the main thing, which is football. So it's a really good feeling for sure to be able to come in and work as hard as I can and just help the team for sure. It's definitely a great feeling.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I was just going to agree with what he's saying, like, damn, we're ready. Just being competitors, it's hard; it's not fun competing with the clock. But when you compete with somebody next to you with a heart and a brain just like you, it's a whole lot of fun.
Q. When it came to like the top tackles in this draft, how much did it matter to you, or was that your goal to be the first one drafted? I know it didn't -- the way it worked out --
EVAN NEAL: My goal was just to be drafted, man. That's what I've been playing football my entire life for. So I'm just thankful that the Giants organization gave me an opportunity to do that. I'm definitely going to make the most of it.
Q. We usually see you very quiet, reserved. Your high school coach told us about a video you sent them earlier, I guess last season, to hype up the team for a game.
EVAN NEAL: Yeah, that was Evan in his football mode. I had turned the switch on, just fired the gods up for sure. It was a pretty special moment for them. I forget what team they were going to play. But I'm thankful I got the opportunity to share a little bit of wisdom and just help motivate those guys going into the game.
Q. How often does that personality come out?
EVAN NEAL: Every time I line up on the football field.
Q. When teams are interviewing you during this process, did you interview them, too, for yourself? And if you did, what did you learn about the Giants that you think makes this a good fit for you?
EVAN NEAL: Of course. You definitely want to ask questions going through this process and one thing I take away from the Giants organization is that they are really trying to get back to that winning culture, and that's something that I really respect.
So I'm just thankful and glad to be a part of it.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: You know, when I come to it, I like to see how people think and see what's their train of thought.
So for me, just coming in and seeing, like -- you know, I would ask different things, what's their perspective on the Draft, how do they think it's going to play out and what's their perspective on the upcoming season and changing, bring guys in.
But they really have it down to a T. And when you talk about men with a master plan, they have the master plan and now it's just about for us to buy into that culture and be a keeper of the culture.
Q. You guys talked about this the other night, but you came in together, you're two draft picks apart and you will probably face each other in practice. How much is that going to push each of you during the course of your careers?
EVAN NEAL: I believe it's going to push us tremendously. I believe in iron sharpens iron, so what better place to get better than the New York Giants. So I'm just excited to go out there and just compete, compete my hardest, man, and hopefully we make each other better.
Q. We saw a video of you two guys in high school going against each other. What do you guys remember of that?
EVAN NEAL: Yeah, yeah.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I think it speaks value to the competitiveness. It speaks value to wanting to be better. For me and him, every time we came to a camp, we knew it was like, okay, you know how they're going to set us up, you know. But it was that, like, okay, he's the best; I'm the best. Now let's get better, you know what I mean. Let's prove to ourselves on why we got this far.
Q. How ironic that you two are here, considering they matched you up every time you showed up and now you're here?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It's not ironic.
EVAN NEAL: Yeah, crazy.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: It's not ironic, though. It's God. I'm telling you, it's God. It's God.
Q. Wink is known for loving the blitz and being really aggressive on defense. How exciting is it for you going into a defense like that?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: Wink is going to look out for me. Going against him (Evan), I'm going to need a couple blitzes and some extra people to throw him off so I can get some extra wins. I think that's the greatest part.
Yeah, Wink has just been, his mindset, his scheme, like football is mental. So just him being able to give those different looks, put guys in different positions and keep the offense honest, I think that's really going to be beneficial for me and obviously for the guys in the locker room.
Q. Does a rookie have to come in and be humble?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I feel like a rookie got to come in and grind and everything is about what you do. I feel like one thing with me, you can't be a guy who blows smoke. I can't be a guy with nothing to show for it. I can't be a guy who people look at and don't believe in, right.
So for me, no matter what I say, I know I got to go put in the work.
Q. I read you were 390 pounds in high school. How did you manage your weight to get it to where it is and what is it now?
EVAN NEAL: To be honest with you, Bro, I've always been just a really big guy. In the eighth grade, I weighed in at 378 pounds but always carried my weight well. I can move, whenever we would run, I would always be in the front of the pack with the O-Line. It was really important to me to not allow no one else to outwork me.
So yeah, I just come from a really big, blessed, athletic family. And going into college I knew I was going to have to shed some weight, but I didn't look at my weight as like a project or anything like that. I just had to trim a lot of that baby fat off. Whenever I came in here I think I weighed in at 340, 342. Last year I played around the 340, 345 range.
Q. Do you good in that 340-ish range?
EVAN NEAL: I feel good at that, for sure.
Q. Back at the Combine when you had your press conference with us, you revealed the Giants gave you a hard time in that meeting. When you left that meeting, did you feel like you won them over or did you feel like there was something left?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: There was definitely still something left. The job is never finished. Obviously at that time, that was kind of like our first initial meeting with everybody, but for me, and I feel like even Joe has this and Wink has this, they all know it, but you can't fake it. You can't fake it, you know.
So for me, I felt the energy in the room and I knew when someone is willing to give you -- and that's me -- and that's how I know because I'm that guy, I'm going to give him a hard time every day. Every day we come in, I'm going to give him a hard time, but it's because I know how great he can be and I know how great the guys around me can be. I think that's a testament to brotherhood and that's a test amount to love.
Q. Have you talked to Azeez?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: He did just reach out. I just got here. I landed this morning, but I'll definitely be in touch with him later on today.
Q. Did Michael give you any advice on how many sacks to guarantee your first year?
KAYVON THIBODEAUX: I know one thing I do got to guarantee is that I'm going to know that playbook before training camp starts.
Q. Have you talked to Andrew Thomas at all?
EVAN NEAL: I haven't. Today is my first day here. But I'm sure I'll see him around and get a chance to be around him and get a feel for him.
WAN'DALE ROBINSON, JOSHUA EZEUDU & COR'DALE FLOTT
Q. Josh, what was it like seeing your teammate drafted here today?
JOSH EZEUDU: Man, I love all my teammates. I love Marcus (McKethan). We're really close. I'm close really with everybody but I'm just very excited right now. I just can't wait to call him and scream with him on the phone together (laughs).
Q. What's the last 24 hours been like for you days?
WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Shoot, it's been surreal, still doesn't really feel real, I guess you could say. Even got on the flight this morning and I'm still like, I don't really believe it. Even walked in this building and then started to feel a little bit more real.
But I don't think it will be anything like that until we start to actually put on the pads and things like that and get going. It's been a blessing and I can't be thankful enough for it.
Q. What was your impression of this place, the facility, you got a chance to go look around, everything that surrounds it?
COR'DALE FLOTT: Yeah, it's actually a nice city. Me being from the South, I had never been to a big city like this, and the organization, coming in here with great coaches and being able to get along with everybody. I definitely feel comfortable here. So, I like it.
Q. Wan'Dale, Cor'Dale said yesterday that you were the hardest receiver to cover last year. What did you think when he said that, and what was he like as a corner?
WAN'DALE ROBINSON: He was a tough one, too. I say whenever I saw that I looked at my girl and I was like, he's tough, too. That's just props to each other. We're just trying to make each other better out there and just competing, and now we're teammates and we are going to have to make each other better each and every day on the practice field.
Q. How much are you looking forward to going against each other in training camp?
WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Iron sharpens iron.
COR'DALE FLOTT: That's the best – perfect quote for that one.
Q. Josh, we read that essay you wrote. What do you want to do with this platform, for people with stutters?
JOSH EZEUDU: I just really want to show them that if you have a stutter or even if you have anything that might not be normal, you can still do whatever you want. If you would have asked me ten years ago if I would be here now, I would have told you no. And now, ten years from then, I'm here talking to all of you guys.
So I'm just trying to be a role model for all the kids who stutter. I know it can be hard, it can be very tough. But all you have to do is put your mind to anything you want to and then actually go and put in the work and then everything else will follow.
Q. You can even become President of the United States.
JOSH EZEUDU: Yes, if that's what God tells me to do, then I'll do it then.
Q. Have you talked to any other players? I know some players in the past have been through the same thing. Have you had an opportunity to speak to anybody who gave you advice?
JOSH EZEUDU: I haven't talked to anybody yet, but I'm sure that will come too. But I've also heard of a lot of stories that coaches will tell me about some guys that also had a stutter too.
Q. You were talking about how it's such a whirlwind, rookie minicamp is two weeks away, what do you do the next two weeks? Take it minute by minute?
WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Got to get to work. Getting drafted, that's only the start of it. The job is not finished and you haven't made it yet. Now it's just time to come in and prove it and come in each and every day and just prove how we're here to help the team win.
COR'DALE FLOTT: Right.
Q. How long are you guys in town now?
COR'DALE FLOTT: Just for today.
WAN'DALE ROBINSON: 24 hours. We'll be out tomorrow.
Q. Have you talked to Mike Kafka, the offensive coordinator, about what he sees for you?
WAN'DALE ROBINSON: We have not gotten into the details of everything, but obviously we know the versatility and just me coming in, I'm going to do everything that I can to help our team win and just help the offense in whatever way I can.
Q. People don't like to compare all the time, we do, but he coached a pretty dynamic smaller receiver in Kansas City.
WAN'DALE ROBINSON: Yeah, there are guys who compare, but at the end of the day I want to be my own guy. I don't want to be anybody else. I like to take bits and pieces of people's games and apply them to mine but I just want to come in and be myself and help us win.
Q. Are you taking some from the smaller receivers?
WAN'DALE ROBINSON: You have to take some from everybody. I feel like receivers come in all different shapes and sizes, so being able to take something from all those guys just can help you be a better receiver all around whether they are big or small.
Q. Cor'Dale, what's with the chain?
COR'DALE FLOTT: Oh, this is a nickname. This is what they called me back (inaudible). If I say Flott out loud, sometimes from a distance, you might not hear me or understand, but sometimes some people come up and call me Flock just for reference if they don't know my name really, so that's one of the reasons I got this chain. And also, I didn't want my last name to be right here.
COR'DALE FLOTT: Flock, yeah.
Q. What was going through your head when you got the call from the Giants? And had you been talking to them during the pre-draft process?
DANIEL BELLINGER: I was just super excited. My heart was pounding when I got the call. It was a great process with them. I enjoyed every single second talking to the coaches and the assistant GM. It was a great process with them.
Q. What would you say the strength of your game is?
DANIEL BELLINGER: I would say blocking, blocking and being versatile in both the passing game and blocking game because I think I can do a good job blocking and I can stretch the field and make plays when I need to.
Q. What do you think about coming to this team? The depth chart isn't very flush here at your position.
DANIEL BELLINGER: I'm just excited to get in and just play football and really just help the team any way I need to.
Q. You mentioned talk to the assistant GM. Was that like a Zoom call or something?
DANIEL BELLINGER: We had a pre-pro day dinner.
Q. Have they talked to you about how they envision using the tight end position in this offense?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Not too much. I just know that whatever they need me to do, I'm going to come in and compete and just be the best tight end that I need to be.
Q. Where did you go to dinner with Brandon Brown?
DANIEL BELLINGER: We went to this rooftop place in San Diego. I think it was Lilly's. It was a great place.
Q. Is there really a bad place in San Diego?
DANIEL BELLINGER: It was just overlooking the water and can't beat the views too much in San Diego.
Q. Do you feel like as a pass catcher, you were under-utilized in the offense you ran in college?
DANIEL BELLINGER: A little bit but at the end of the day what our goal at San Diego State was to win games and whether that was me getting a hundred receptions or me getting no receptions, whatever it took for us to win was our main goal. I would say a little bit, but it really came down to game plan and schemes that we needed to do for that week. And if I didn't get enough balls, that's all right as long as we got the win.
Q. How much do you take pride in your sure handedness? I saw you didn't drop any passes last year. How much pride to you take in that?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Tremendous pride. I've been playing the game since I was six years old. So just playing catch with my dad and never dropping the ball, because he would get mad at me even as a little kid dropping the ball. So I take a lot of pride in making sure I don't drop the ball too much.
Q. What do you like being in the backfield? You lined up at fullback a little bit?
DANIEL BELLINGER: Absolutely. I just love football. Whether I'm in the backfield, attached, detached, whatever it means to go hit the guy across from me.
Q. Nowadays, the way tight ends have blown up in this league, you ask a guy who they model their game after and you are getting these pass catchers. For you growing up, are there any tight ends that you watched to pick up your blocking and your love for the way you block?
DANIEL BELLINGER: The guy I watched a lot, especially the last few years, is definitely George Kittle. He's a guy that can do both. When I think of George Kittle, I think of a great run blocker and a pass catcher. I try to implement my technique and things after him and guys like Dallas Goedert and guys like Travis Kelce in the passing game a little bit. Dallas Goedert in the run game and George Kittle in the run game as well.
Q. Do you like be attached or detached?
DANIEL BELLINGER: I like to do both. If I had to pick, I would say attached. I feel comfortable attached, but I really feel comfortable doing both as well. I think it's fun to be detached and be one-on-one with a linebacker, but it's also a lot of fun being attached and going to go against a D-end.
Q. Give us a scouting report on your game and what are the Giants getting.
DANE BELTON: I would say, one, first off, they are getting a competitor, a guy who loves the game who is going to come in ready to work does and do whatever it takes.
Two, a guy who loves to study the game and try to continue to improve myself. I feel like I pride myself on creating takeaways and understanding how offenses attack and just trying to get in the passing lanes and doing what the defense needs to do. So just a person coming in ready to work.
Q. Can you describe what your role was? Was it a hybrid position?
DANE BELTON: In our base defense, I played a 2-high safety but any time the offense came out in 11 personnel, 10 personnel, basically passing formation, I went down to a nickel what we call cash, and really just a versatile player that has to guard slot receivers and play in the box, blitz off the edge, doing multiple things.
Q. When you were talking to the Giants, did you get the sense that that was something that they liked?
DANE BELTON: Yes, definitely, being able to understand different positions and also being the guy who made the calls a lot of times in the defense and having to do that in the NFL was something I feel like might have intrigued them.
Q. Did you talk to the Giants a lot in the pre-draft process? Did you meet with them or anything?
DANE BELTON: Yes, sir, I did. I met with them quite a few times over Zoom and I took a 30 visit. It was my last visit before the Draft.
Q. What do you remember about the visit? What stood out while you were here talking to the coaches?
DANE BELTON: I really loved it up there and talking to coaches, coaches spoke highly on the new coaching staff coming in. Coaches that had been here from last year and the previous coaching staff talking how the energy has changed. They just love being around here and the players come ready to work, and I feel like the coaches were energetic and love to coach and love the game. So I feel like it was a good environment overall.
Q. What were the last few days like for you? Did you think maybe there was a chance that you would go last night and what's the wait, been like for you?
DANE BELTON: There was a chance I could go last night, just chilling with my family, just being here watching it, I felt like I wasn't necessarily too anxious. I felt like whatever happened, happened. Put my trust in God and honestly I fell to the right place and a good situation a great organization and I'm ready to get to work.
Q. How many visits did you have during pre-draft?
DANE BELTON: So the Giants were the only 30 visit but I visited the Bucs in person, being a local guy and then I had a whole bunch on Zoom.
Q. So did you get a sense that the Giants had this interest in you, that there was a decent chance it might work out this way?
DANE BELTON: Yes, I think so. Coming up the last weekend of visits and interacting with them, I definitely felt that.
Q. I may be wrong, but did you get a chance to play against Wan'Dale Robinson?
DANE BELTON: Yes, I played against him multiple times when he was at Nebraska and also my last game when he was at Kentucky.
Q. What's the scouting report on him?
DANE BELTON: He's a really good player, a shifty guy, gets in and out of breaks, a playmaker. He made a lot of plays against us in the past few years, so a really good football player.
Q. I know you were in a blitz heavy defense, how excited are you to stick with that with Wink Martindale? Seems like you're a good fit for that scheme.
MICAH McFADDEN: I can't wait. Really excited to be part of the team. Honored that this organization drafted me. I just can't wait to get to work and perform.
Q. How would you describe your game?
MICAH McFADDEN: You know, my game is physical. I think I can get after the quarterback, but I think I'm great dropping back in pass coverage and just getting a hat on guys and being a dominant force in the middle.
Q. How much contact did you have with the Giants during the Draft process?
MICAH McFADDEN: A little bit of contact. I got to talk with the linebacker coach on a Zoom call a few weeks ago. I think I talked with a few scouts at the Combine but not a whole lot. So I thought they were pretty interested but wasn't really sure. So I was excited when they drafted.
Q. What have you seen from Blake Martinez over the years, I'm sure a guy you've studied. What's it going to be like to be his teammate now?
MICAH McFADDEN: Yeah, somebody I definitely look up to and admire his game and the way he plays and just what he's done over the past few years. Really excited to learn from him and just getting in the locker room and the linebacker room with him and I think we're tied up with the same agency. So that's pretty cool as well. I'm just really excited to learn from a player like him.
Q. How much did you play special teams at Indiana?
MICAH McFADDEN: Yeah, I played a good amount. Freshman year, I started on, I think, three and then played a lot of punt as well. Then sophomore and junior year, I started on punt and kickoffs, played those while I was starting at linebacker as well and then this past year, I think I started pretty much every defensive rep, so I was mainly just taking punt reps after that.
Q. I saw you had an injury and you didn't play in the Shrine game. What was the injury, and are you 100 percent now?
MICAH McFADDEN: Yeah, all good now. I was just coming off a turf toe injury that happened late in my season. Kind of lingered a little bit into that pre-Combine training process. I thought it would be best not playing in any of those games and keep recovering and get ready for the Combine.
Q. How much contact did you have with the Giants during the pre-draft process?
D.J. DAVIDSON: I went on the 30 visit like towards the end of the 30-visit deadline. So I went on a 30 visit and talked with Coach Patterson, talked with everybody, the GMs, player personnel, the whole thing when they brought me in there, and had constant phone calls. I had Zoom calls with Coach Patterson and Coach Cox. And they're amazing. The building is amazing, the coaches are amazing. I love the Giants.
Q. What was it that made such a positive impression?
D.J. DAVIDSON: I believe what made the positive impression is who I am as a person. I went back to my roots. I stayed true to myself. I stayed true and kept it real with the owners, with Coach Patterson, with all of them and what my goals are, just to be the best teammate, to be the best player that I can be, have them challenge me every day, my good days and bad days, and continue to respond in a positive way.
I said those things to them, and I think that's the main thing is just me as a person, they know the character that I am and just keeping the main thing the main thing, coming in, be the best team player, and just really put myself in the best ability and the best situation in their defensive scheme and what they have for this next season coming up.
Q. What are you expecting for your position, your role? Do you view yourself as a defensive lineman or nose tackle, or do you expect both?
D.J. DAVIDSON: I would say primary nose tackle but also at the 3-technique as well, be versatile. I expect myself to pick up on things very quickly and make sure I continue to stay in shape and continue to do the right things that I have been doing to get to this point.
As I said before, stay true to myself, stay true to my identity, and just really play for my teammates, my new teammates, the Giants, people like Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, and just really playing for them and playing for Coach Patterson and everybody else at this position.
And that's what I expect from myself, and that's what I hope everybody in the building expects from me, is just be the best person, the best player, the best teammate that I can be.
Q. Did you get much input on the Giants from Antonio Pierce?
D.J. DAVIDSON: No, I actually didn't talk to Coach AP that much throughout this process because he's with the Raiders. He never really talked to me about the Giants or anything like that. I know he played with the Giants when he was at D.C., at Arizona State, he always put up his film. Always saw Twitter clips of him being a monster on the field, coming downhill, making tackles for loss, covering in coverage, all those types of things.
That's what really inspired me as a player, seeing my defensive coordinator in that position. And, I mean, it's the Giants. Knowing he played there and seeing that, I want to live up to what he lived up to and be on that level with him.
Q. Can you explain your journey a little bit? Seemed like out of high school, you had to take a little time just to get into college. What happened there?
D.J. DAVIDSON: So pretty much for me, came out of high school, I didn't start playing -- really didn't play tackle football until my freshman year of high school. I was in a gym and the football coach, the head coach, Jeremy Hancock (ph) and the D-line coach kind of all brought me in. They were telling me, this isn't basketball tryouts. Came into the gym, they said here you go, come sit over here. You are a big body, you can come play D-Line. I said, okay, let's get it.
Once I just fell in love with the sport, with that brotherhood, the camaraderie, the people that were all around me, the support systems, they really motivated me to get to that next level in college. I mean, I was originally offered to Central Florida coming out of high school, and I ended up -- that scholarship ended falling off, so I ended up staying home at Arizona State, which is where I ended up playing the rest of my years in college at, the past five years. That's how I really ended up getting into college.
I'm excited to get up there and get to work with Coach Patterson, Coach Cox and the whole D-Line and the rest of the defense.
Q. Have you heard from Josh Ezeudu yet?
MARCUS McKETHAN: Not yet. It's been a little busy, but I'm pretty sure he's going to call.
Q. How exciting is it to be going to the same NFL team as your college teammate like this?
MARCUS McKETHAN: Oh, this is a great feeling, playing next to somebody for three years, just getting to go to the same NFL team, it's really just like a dream.
Q. How much contact did you have with the Giants during the pre-draft process?
MARCUS McKETHAN: We had a couple meetings, a couple Zoom meetings and I had a personal visit with the O-line coach. So I guess quite a bit.
Q. Have you ever played tackle?
MARCUS McKETHAN: I have a little bit but not in the last three years.
Q. Do you think that's something that you could work on developing in the NFL, or do you view yourself as a guard and like that's your wheelhouse?
MARCUS McKETHAN: No, I can definitely play tackle as well.
Q. How would you describe what kind of offensive lineman you are?
MARCUS McKETHAN: Just somebody that loves to move people, I just love contact.
Q. Hey, Darrian. How you doing?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: Good, you?
Q. Good, congratulations.
DARRIAN BEAVERS: Thank you so much.
Q. What do you feel like is the strength of your game that can translate directly to the NFL in your rookie year?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: I would say my football intelligence. I'd say that I'm very intelligent when it comes to knowing what the offense is going to do, picking up on plays, picking up on anything, so I feel like I can bring that to the table right away.
Q. I'm sure you prepared coming in not really knowing exactly where you were going to go, and I don't know if you can prepare for it. How did you deal with the emotions as the rounds kept going on and you didn't hear your name called coming into today?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: You have to close your mind when it comes to that stuff. You have to just know that being drafted in general is a blessing, so I feel like me knowing that I'm in the draft is a blessing. I had to keep (positive) and wait for my phone to ring.
Q. How much pre-draft work did you do with the Giants?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: I did a couple calls and a couple Zoom calls with them. Went over some defense and stuff like that. I kind of got used to the defense and used to the coaches.
Q. What was your reaction when you got that phone call?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: I mean, like I said, it was a dream come true, something I've always pushed for and strived for to be in the NFL and that opportunity has come, so now I have to go and prove that I belong here.
Q. What led to the position change when you switched schools?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: That's the best fit. Like I said, I'm very versatile when it comes to stuff like that. I think it was the best fit for me.The coaches thought that was the best fit for me, so I switched positions and it worked out for me. So I feel like just me being versatile, me being able to switch positions and still succeed is something I bring to the table.
Q. With the NFL, different scheme, with your skillset, do you think you're better in a 3-4 or 4-3 or does it matter?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: I don't think it matters. I can be very successful in any defense and any position out there, you put me in a 3-4, outside or inside, I'll be very successful. If you put me in a 4-3 inside backer, I'd be fine with that, too.
Q. How much experience do you have on special teams?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: I have a lot of experience. I think every year, except this past year, I played special teams and I played every one. So I have a lot of experience on special teams.
Q. What did you think of Sauce's chain?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: I mean, that's Sauce, he has that flash to him, that style to him. So that's something that he will always has. I didn't expect nothing else from him.
Q. Are you excited to be coming to New York with him?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: Obviously, yes, I'm excited to come to New York. I've been there two or three times. New York City is a blessing.
Q. How about just coming here with Sauce, playing in the same stadium?
DARRIAN BEAVERS: No, it will be nice. I mean, it will be nice to compete against him and here in New York, we'll have something that we have got to catch up sometime.
View photos from the college careers of the Giants' entire 11-player draft class