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23 Questions in 23 Days

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23 Questions in 23 Days: Finding late-round draft gems

23-QUESTIONS-DRAFT-GEMS is counting down to the start of the team's 2023 training camp with 23 questions in 23 days.

Each day, a member of the crew will answer one question about the roster, coaching staff, schedule, and much more.

15) Which late-round draft picks could make an impact in the long run?

This is where organizations separate themselves, and the good news for Giants fans is that Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll have a track record of identifying and developing hidden gems.

The general manager and head coach first overlapped in Miami, where Daboll served as offensive coordinator and Schoen a national scout. Back at their introductory press conferences at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, Schoen told the story of a time that Daboll came in with a "very clear plan for what he wanted." He was looking for a fullback who could catch passes out of the backfield, play tight end and maybe run the ball, too, for good measure.

"I'm like, that's Jim Brown," Schoen said. "We can't find Jim Brown."

Instead, they drafted Charles Clay with the 174th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He went on to play in 127 games in the NFL and make 110 starts.

"We ended up taking Charles Clay in the sixth round because of the vision that Brian had for that type of player," Schoen said. "And he had a lot of success."

Fast-forward to 2020 in Buffalo, and Daboll came in with another request. This time, he wanted someone who could play all four wide receiver spots and is also smart, tough and dependable. That profile manifested in Gabe Davis, the 128th overall selection who set the NFL playoff record with four touchdown catches in Daboll's final game as the Bills' play-caller.

"[Daboll] clearly defined what he looked for, and in the fourth round there's that guy that checked all those boxes," Schoen said. "He's done a really good job every staff I've been on clearly defining what he wants and that makes it so much easier for the personnel staff to go find those players and identify them. Again, when the value meets where we see them, you have a lot of success when you do that."

So, what does that mean for this year's class? Time will tell. The Day 3 picks were:

Oklahoma RB Eric Gray (fifth round)

Schoen: "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."

Old Dominion CB Tre Hawkins III (sixth)

Schoen: "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 Martindale's] defense and projects well to special teams due to his physical traits and toughness."

Oregon DL Jordon Riley (seventh)

Schoen: "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."

Houston S Gervarrius Owens (seventh)

Schoen: "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."

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Get excited for the 2023 season with photos from Media Day at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.