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2024 NFL Draft

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Takeaways from GM Joe Schoen's pre-draft press conference

It's a busy time at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Players reported on Monday for the start of the offseason workout program. Divided into three stages, the next nine weeks are intended to provide training, teaching, and physical conditioning as they build up to organized team practice activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Meanwhile, the draft room has been buzzing with just a week to go before the first round kicks off in Detroit. Joe Schoen took a break in the action on Thursday afternoon to hold his pre-draft press conference, an annual ritual for reporters and general managers across the league. One side tries to gather as much information while the other typically plays it close to the vest.

Here are the takeaways from the auditorium:

◾ Schoen said their final draft board should be set by Friday evening. They will step away from it for the weekend "to prevent the paralysis by analysis."

◾ Speaking Thursday afternoon, Schoen said he doesn't think teams are ready to move yet in the draft order, but they're listening. "We all do that." Those conversations should heat up in the next 48-72 hours.

◾ Asked if there is a "quarterback tax" on trade value charts, Schoen said that's "true."

◾ In terms of potential trade partners in the top 10, Schoen said having Washington, a division opponent, at No. 2 is a "difficult one."

◾ Teams can still have Zoom calls with prospects up until Wednesday. "I think teams are still getting to know some of these prospects or any loose ends they need to tie up before the draft."

◾ Schoen: "I'm confident we're going to get a good player next Thursday, whatever position that is, and we'll sleep good at night knowing we did all the preparation and we let the board talk to us."

◾ Does Schoen agree with draft pundits hyping this year's wide receivers? "I do think it's a deep receiver draft. I do think there are -- again, they come in different shapes and sizes and speeds, but I do think it's a deep wide receiver draft from top to bottom, depending on what you're looking for. Some added value with guys, the new kickoff rules, the guys that can also do returns. I think there's an added element there too, and there's some receivers that can wear multiple hats, not just as a receiver, but also as a returner. Yeah, I do think it's a good draft."

◾ On the Giants' current receiver corps, Schoen said Jalin Hyatt "can take the top off" defenses. With Wan'Dale Robinson working in the slot, "I think you can really see what he was able to do late in the season when he was finally healthy." Darius Slayton has been "uber consistent" during his time.

◾ On how an elite receiver could help the Giants' offense? "We have to score more. At the end of the day, we need to score more points. Adding, if it's a No. 1 receiver, whatever you want to call it, just a better receiving weapon is going to help everybody."

Players have returned to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the offseason workout program.

◾ The Giants are giving Darren Waller "his space" as the veteran tight end mulls his NFL future. "We've had conversations with Drew Rosenhaus, his agent. He's kept us in the loop on Darren. We're giving him his space. Hopefully he's going to make a decision in the short term, but we're giving him time and space to make a decision on what he wants to do."

◾ The Giants have not given Waller a deadline.

◾ On Slayton: "These are voluntary workouts. There's been players since I've been here that haven't been here, and I understand that. I love Darius. Michael Perrett is his agent. He's a very good friend of mine. I understand where he's coming from, and that's his prerogative to not be here. They are voluntary workouts, so that's understood."

◾ Schoen understands where Slayton is coming from because "I've had communication with his agent. That's all that is. We just signed the deal a little over 12 months ago. It was a two-year deal. Again, I understand where he's coming from based on our conversations is what I meant by that."

◾ There haven't been any setbacks with quarterback Daniel Jones, who has progressed to running straight line and throwing as he comes back from a season-ending knee injury.

◾ Schoen would be "comfortable" with going into the season with the three quarterbacks they currently have. "I think with Drew [Lock's] experience, he has started games and played, and Daniel's experience. And what Tommy [DeVito] did last year, another year in the system, Tommy's come a long way."

◾ Offensive tackle Evan Neal is "progressing well." Schoen saw him this week and said he "looks good, in good spirits."

◾ At No. 6, the Giants have "surprisingly" gotten a lot of calls from teams behind them. "I didn't think I'd have as much activity at six from people behind me as we've gotten. So those are options too as we look at, if we go back, how far back do we want to go?"

◾ Schoen: "I think everybody is assuming who's going No. 1. We can all agree that's probably going to happen. It's going to be Caleb [Williams to Chicago], and then the draft starts at two. We'll see what Washington does. There's rumors of teams behind us wanting to come up and some of the calls we've received. We don't know what's going to happen at two, three, four, five, are people are going to come up behind us, but those are all things we're talking about and going through different scenarios."

◾ It's even more important to keep his cards "close to the vest" when holding No. 6 as opposed to No. 25 like last year.

◾ On Monday, the Giants had their meeting with the medical staff, where they can give the green or red light on players in terms of injury history. "We didn't lose too many people. That's always a scary meeting for us because which one of these players that we love are going to be disqualified because of medical or they advise that we don't take them. We didn't lose a lot of players this year luckily."


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