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Cover 3

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Cover 3: How Giants will approach the NFL draft


In this week's edition of Cover 3, the crew discusses how the team will approach the draft with the new regime:

John Schmeelk: There was a lot to take in from new GM Joe Schoen, who spoke on the Giants Huddle podcast while he was in Mobile, Ala.

1. The Giants understand that having more swings when it comes to draft picks is a good thing. Schoen did not rule out moving up for a first-round value with the Giants' second-round pick, but said - given the Giants' status - having more opportunities to make more picks is better at this stage. In other words, keep an eye on potential trade downs if they can find a partner.

2. Schoen values players at premium positions because he knows they are very difficult to find and very expensive to sign in free agency. Expect him to target players at premium positions, such as offensive tackle, pas rusher, corner and receiver, with premium picks.

3. Testing and measurements will matter. Working with the coaches, Schoen will have an idea what he wants players at certain positions to look like and how they should test. He will have thresholds at certain positions and if a player does not meet those thresholds, he will have to be able to see a skill that would allow that player to overcome whatever they lack.

Dan Salomone: For starters, everything is going to be viewed through a fresh set of eyes. The Giants hired outsiders at general manager (Joe Schoen/Bills), head coach (Brian Daboll/Bills), and assistant general manager (Brandon Brown/Eagles). This is what the Giants set out to do after team president John Mara said it was time to hit the "reset button" following the franchise's fifth consecutive season with double-digit losses.

Schoen said the biggest thing he learned during his successful run in Buffalo was having the "entire building working toward a common goal." You do that, he said, by getting the "right people in the right seats." At the top, this phase is completed - now comes the hard part.

The Giants have a lot of work to do with the salary cap. They have tough decisions to make in the coming weeks, and their moves will give us an idea of how they plan to use their stockpile of picks, which includes the fifth and seventh overall selections.

Lance Medow: Joe Schoen's most notable statement at his introductory presser tells you plenty. "Again, it goes back to we've got (nine) draft picks, so you've got to draft well. I believe in drafting, developing and then retaining our own. I think that's the way to build and supplement the roster with free agency." Based on his words and the Giants' salary cap situation, the team is going to try to take as many at-bats as possible in an effort to add talent (starters and depth) to the roster without putting much strain on the cap. The only way you accomplish that goal is relying heavily on draft capital.

Head coach Brian Daboll's schemes and needs, based on what he wants to run, will dictate how they go about selecting talent. Schoen has spoken of Daboll's beneficial recommendations when they crossed paths in Miami and Buffalo. For example, the 1981 Dolphins selected tight end Charles Clay in the sixth round while Daboll was the offensive coordinator. Daboll said he wanted a player who could serve as a fullback, tight end, pass-catcher out of the backfield, and maybe run the ball. The description he provided helped the front office pinpoint Clay. This happened again when the 2020 Bills chose wide receiver Gabriel Davis in the fourth round. Daboll wanted a wideout, who could play all four positions and was smart, tough and dependable. Who matched those traits? Davis. Given the relationship Schoen and Daboll have built over the years, you'd be surprised if those dynamics don't continue.

And keep this in mind, too. In 2018, Bills GM Brandon Beane and Schoen had eight picks and used those selections to address six different positions. In 2019, the Bills chose players at eight different positions in as many picks, and the following year, touched seven positions in as many selections. There was a lot of overlap in 2021, but that's understandable given they already had several seasons to transform the roster.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his final edition of the top 50 prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.


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