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Quotes: GM Joe Schoen previews the draft

General Manager Joe Schoen

JOE SCHOEN: It's an exciting time for myself, the franchise, the coaching staff, the personnel department. It's an exciting time for you guys doing what you do and covering the team. The draft's an opportunity to improve the roster through the draft capital that we have. Again, we have different needs throughout the roster, and we have several plans that we're still working through.

The board will probably be set tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow evening, just in terms of our preparation and step away from it this weekend to prevent the paralysis by analysis, staring at things, moving guys this much versus other players.

A lot of work went into this, between the coaching staff, the personnel staff, everybody in this building. From the 30 visits, the meals, the coordination, the travel. So really a team effort. A lot of people have their hands in the process and what leads up to draft weekend.

With that being said, I'll open it up for questions.

Q. When you and Dabs evaluate these quarterbacks, I know you watch a ton of film, you've seen a lot of these kids in person. What are some of the things you kind of focus in on when you study these guys?

JOE SCHOEN: All positions have different critical factors that we focus in on. With the quarterback position, we've been through this before with Dabs and I. It's not just what you see on film -- I think I've said this before -- at this particular position. You can take what you see on film, but I think it's equally as important what you can't see on film and spending time with the prospects.

Not just at that position. There's a reason we bring in several prospects from different positions for the 30 visits. We go and have private workouts, not just with quarterbacks, but other positions as well.

Again, I think the film is one thing, but also evaluating who they are as people and how they'll fit into your culture and your franchise is equally important. Again, that's across all positions.

Q. Given the resources you have, you only have six picks this year, I imagine you don't really want to touch next year's picks just yet. How do you kind of balance the temptation to move up and where to move up?

JOE SCHOEN: My job is to do what's best for the franchise. If there's an opportunity to go up, move back, stay, whether it's in the first round, third round, fifth round, that's what we'll do.

You take all that into account when you're making those type of decisions. That's some of the planning and strategy and meetings we'll have over the next couple of days, the what ifs and if this/then. You go back and forth on it.

The good news is, after the first round on Thursday, you can regroup going into Friday before the second and third round and have those conversations again. The draft being over a three-day period helps you in terms of when you have those meetings and strategy sessions, when you decide if you're going to go up, down, which players you like.

Those are all things we'll talk about over the next week or so.

Q. You have a trade value chart, and every other team has trade value charts. Have you found in your experience, is there like a quote, unquote quarterback tax? If you're moving up for a quarterback, do teams try to extract more?

JOE SCHOEN: I would say that's probably true. If people know what you're coming up for depending -- again, I've been involved with this with Buffalo; it probably wasn't as high. I do think Tampa Bay knew what we were doing. I do think it happens for that position.

Q. I asked you at combine how open you think the top three teams would be to trading. It was early then. At this point, do you have a sense -- do you feel like they're amenable to -- strictly talking probably about the No. 3 pick -- open to making a move if the offer is right?

JOE SCHOEN: It's hard to say. Two, being in the division, that's a difficult one typically if you're talking in the top 10 of the draft trading with somebody within the division.

Otherwise, I don't think anybody is ready to move right now. People are listening, which we'll all do that from teams behind us or moving up. I think those exploratory talks and conversations will happen here shortly. We just finished up 30 visits. As you're well aware, some other teams still had some large groups, small groups, whatever it may be.

You're still gathering information. We can still have Zooms with players 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.

I think teams -- again, those conversations will happen over the next, I would say, 48 to 72 hours those will start happening. We'll get a feel for who's open to moving and who's not.

Q. Philosophical question when it comes specifically to quarterbacks. As a general manager, what would be a bigger regret, swinging and missing at a quarterback or passing on a guy you had an opportunity maybe that you loved, pass on that guy, and then watch him star somewhere else?

JOE SCHOEN: Who's the other guy? Any position?

Q. Well, a specific quarterback. You pass on that guy, pass on that quarterback, and then he becomes a star for somebody else. Rather than swinging and missing.

JOE SCHOEN: You've got to be comfortable. We're having all those conversations now. It's not just the quarterback position. There are other positions. Again, I think, when they're all on the same level, a lot of times you've got a corner on this line and a defensive tackle on this line. That's where you take in the team need if you see them equally, in terms of the prospect and the grades you have on them.

You let your board talk to you. You go through all these conversations. Again, we're going to do what's best for the franchise in all of our meetings and all of our preparation and set the board on what's best for the New York Giants.

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.

Q. You mentioned just before, half kidding around, paralysis by analysis. Obviously, you've got to do your due diligence, but do you have to guard against everybody not overthinking it and being careful you don't outsmart yourself?

JOE SCHOEN: For sure. Every waking moment, this is what we're all thinking about is the draft. It's not just the first round. It's the second round, making sure we have the players stacked. The three players at a position, that we're sure that we like them the way that they're stacked. We're working through a lot of those now.

But, yeah, you can go round and round and round. At some point, someone has to make a decision. We're going through those, some film sessions. We were doing film all morning together as a staff and working through where the discrepancies are, if that makes sense. Whether the coaches like them a little bit higher than we do or the stack is different.

We actually get in a room together and we say, hey, this is how we're going to utilize them. This is how we see them as a personnel staff. Let's roll up our sleeves. Let's watch the film. Let's talk through it while we're watching it. Ultimately we've got to make a decision on how they stack on the board.

That's what we're trying to get through the next two days, any type of discrepancies. That way I can prevent myself from the paralysis by analysis because you can, you can go back and forth. As the draft is getting closer, I can stop going through all these scenarios and rest easy at night once these decisions have been made.

Q. There's some talk that this draft is very deep at wide receiver. First of all, would you agree with that? There's also a lot of talk that there are three guys in this draft at receiver who could be No. 1 receivers in other years. Do you kind of see that shaping up that way as well?

JOE SCHOEN: 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.

Again, I don't know which -- however people have them ranked, but just in general to your question, I think it is a good draft from the receiver position. I think there will be several taken in the first round.

Q. One more follow-up to that. You mentioned a wide receiver as the No. 1 target, having an offensive coach who would like that.

JOE SCHOEN: When did I say that?

Q. You said especially with a head coach who's an offensive guy, that he would certainly like it. You definitely said that (laughter). You didn't say you'd pick one. Otherwise, we wouldn't have to be here. How much do you think that has been missing from the offense, and how much can that do for an offense if you draft a guy No. 6 and you say this is a stud and we're putting him into our offense now?

JOE SCHOEN: Yes, having an offensive head coach, you're right, I probably definitely said that at some point. No, it can. It can really help you out, especially the way we're constructed now. Jalin Hyatt can take the top off, Wan'Dale 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.

Again, if you add another wide receiver there, whether it's in the top 10 or later in the draft because of the depth of the class, I do think it gives you options and it's going to help the offense in general. 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.

Q. How do you look at the roster with Darius obviously not being here for voluntary workouts and wanting a new contract? Does that change how you view the roster going into the draft, and are you open to those negotiations?

JOE SCHOEN: That doesn't change anything. 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.

Q. When you were in Buffalo, what was the one determining factor that made Brandon Beane want Josh Allen?

JOE SCHOEN: There was more than one, yeah.

Q. Was there one tiebreaker, one intangible or tangible?

JOE SCHOEN: No. Again, that position is so unique, it was a combination of a lot of things, his size, his arm talent. He played in the elements. Unbelievable kid. He had leadership. He checked a lot of boxes. I think it's important to check a lot of boxes at that position, not just one in particular.

Q. When teams trade up for a quarterback, then sometimes the draft chart goes out the window a little bit and you have to pay a little bit more. When there's two teams that are potentially interested in going up for that quarterback, does that bidding war commence in a way? And then is there a step away point where you have to be like, okay, we're starting to get to a number here that just we can't go there?

JOE SCHOEN: I haven't been in a draft -- at least not that I can think of off the top of my head -- where we moved back with a team that's coming up for a quarterback or bidding teams, so I'm not sure how that would work out. I really haven't been a part of that.

In any negotiation, if you have leverage, you're going to be able to probably get what your asking price is. Whether it's football or any walk of life, leverage helps in any deal.

I think, if somebody's trying to move up, again, it could be the third round, it could be the second round, and there's multiple bidders, you're going to take the best deal, I would assume.

Q. What about potentially being in a situation where you're one of those teams trying to go up with another team?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, if you're trying to move, you don't know what everybody else is doing. I have no way to know what the other 31 teams are doing. Back to your first question, absolutely, there's a walk away point on everything in any negotiation. There's what are you comfortable spending? Is it worth it or not? Then you've got to be comfortable walking away and going to your plan B or whatever it may be.

If you can't get up for that player, okay, who's going to be there when you're picking and be ready to execute then.

Q. Throughout your tenure here now, you're known to draft (indiscernible). How strategic would you say are you in terms of your planning and evaluation, going back to January, of putting everything together? Is that schedule flexible, or do you pretty much have it all the way laid out through the visits ending yesterday as to what you're going to do? Are you pretty comfortable with the process?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I'm comfortable with the process. As we set the board, you get a pretty good idea of who's going to be there when you're picking, in generality, where you can -- if you need a tight end, where does that look like? There's depth in the draft. How many guys are going to go high? Some drafts, there aren't a lot of receivers like this year and maybe the first receiver goes in the second round.

Every draft is different. It's unique based on the players you're getting from college. So you plan and make your plan A, B, C, D, whatever it may be, based off your board and then your team needs, where can you acquire those picks? If you don't get a corner here, where's the next chance you're going to get him? We'd better take him in the fourth round because we don't have another corner on the board.

You take all of that stuff into account. The further you get in the draft, a lot of times, like I said earlier, if guys are on the same line, you're going to go with need at some point or if you already took someone in that position. We go through all those scenarios right now, and then it's flexible as you go through the draft based on what you've taken previously if that makes sense.

Q. Joe, where are you with Darren Waller right now?

JOE SCHOEN: We're giving Darren his space. 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 de in the short term, but we're giving him time and space to make a decision on what he wants to do.

Q. Wouldn't that be helpful for you before the draft? Have you given him that kind of timeline at all?

JOE SCHOEN: No, we haven't given him a deadline.

Q. Regarding Darius, as a follow-up, how open are you to adjusting or extending his contract?

JOE SCHOEN: We haven't had conversations about any type of extension.

Q. When you say you understand where he's coming from, is that a way of you saying that you intend to try to address that later this off-season?

JOE SCHOEN: That's a good question. I understand where he's 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.

Q. Regarding Daniel, how is he progressing?

JOE SCHOEN: Daniel is doing well. He's running straight line, and he's throwing. There haven't been any setbacks. Hopefully he's on track for training camp. I believe he said that the other day. That's the plan, as long as there's no setbacks.

Q. Coming in, do you find historically speaking that the draft tends to address needs, or do you feel there's a good core in place that you can be flexible?

JOE SCHOEN: I think right now we have enough needs that it can go either way, offense or defense. I think we're not one player away or two players.

So I think Shane (Bowen) coming in has been phenomenal with his communication and articulating what he's looking for in his scheme. We've had really good communication with him throughout this pre-draft process in terms of what players fit his scheme and, again, the value where we can get those players. Shane has been a really good addition and enjoying my time working with him so far.

Q. How is Evan Neal progressing?

JOE SCHOEN: Evan is progressing well. I saw him, I guess it would be Monday, we had a team meeting. Looks good, in good spirits. He's progressing well.

Q. Any setbacks since we last talked to you?


Q. What is draft day like for you? Especially as the pick nears, what is that like?

JOE SCHOEN: A lot of our work and the preparation -- especially in the first round. Last year was a little bit more stressful because when you're picking further back in the draft. Where this year at 6, it makes it a little bit easier because you can say, okay, here's six names, here's how we like them, here's our different scenarios, and you can go from there.

The first round is pretty calm just because you've done all the work. No matter how it pans out, you've got your stack and how you like the players. Last year, again, there's a little bit more anxiety and uncertainty because to us last year the draft didn't really start until pick 15, and now you're starting to narrow down who's going to be there.

Where when you're picking this high, it's a little bit different. Pretty calm because all the work and the preparation that the staff, the coaches, all of us have have done leading up to the draft. Usually feel pretty good about our board, and as you go through it, the board talks to you, and a lot of the decisions have already been made.

Q. You said you are not one or two players away in this year's draft so you could go either way, how does that impact your decision on whether you move up and what you're willing to part with to move up?

JOE SCHOEN: I haven't said we're going to move up or we will or we won't. It impacts do we stay -- surprisingly at 6, we've gotten a lot of calls from people behind us. I didn't think I'd have as much activity at 6 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?

Then the stack I was just talking about, now there's 10 names instead of 6 or 15 names instead of -- where does it make sense for us to move back, and what else can we get with that? We're taking all of that. Whether we go up, back, stay, all that's being talked about right now as we're going through it.

Q. Do you expect it to be a more active draft day? Do you expect more calls going in given the fact you've gotten so many already?

JOE SCHOEN: It could be. 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, and then the draft starts at 2. 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 2, 3, 4, 5, are people are going to come up behind us, but those are all things we're talking about and going through different scenarios.

Q. As you piece together what those other teams are going to do, do you have a handle? Not that you can share with us, but how do you go about it, and what is your handle on it?

JOE SCHOEN: What I do personally is Monday, Tuesday, depending what I'm thinking about doing or what I'm interested in doing, I'll call the general managers, call each team, and check in. What are you looking to do? Are you looking to move up? I may be willing to go back. I may be looking to go up, depending on who it is. You have those exploratory conversations if they'd be open to it. It's, okay, circle back or text me the pick before you're on the clock or if we want to come up.

You'll gather the information. Most of the stuff I gather, it's word of mouth with the actual general managers, if they would be interested in it. Trent Baalke last year, we had that conversation during the day depending how the board falls. Again, we were a little bit worried about some teams maybe coming up behind us to take Tae (Banks). We also had contingency plans with some teams to move back at that point too.

A lot of those conversations were had the day of the draft that morning leading up to it. So you knew what the teams around you were doing and looking to do. So that's typically where I get most of that.

Q. How comfortable are you when you're making those calls? Do you have to lean on general managers you have relationships with, or do you feel free to call a guy you might not have a relationship with? How do you balance the idea of how much information you want to give versus you don't want to give away your plans?

JOE SCHOEN: There's not a lot of detail in those conversations, so you really don't get into what you want to do, but, hey, I may be looking to move up if one of the players is there that I'm interested in. You don't say, hey, John Smith's there, I want to come up. So you don't give that much information. Just, hey, would you be interested in moving back? Then it's more just touching base, then through text or a phone call when you're on the clock.

Comfortable calling every team and their decision-maker. Yeah, definitely not showing our cards.

Q. How conscious are you that you're not giving away too much information? I've heard from many people where Joe Schoen is keeping people guessing as to what the Giants are going to do. Is that a conscious process for you?

JOE SCHOEN: I would say especially at 6. Where we're picking, I think -- again, at 25 it's a little bit -- you're so far back there, you don't really know what's going to happen ahead of you. At 6, it's important to keep things close to the vest.

Again, there's a competitive advantage to that, to people not knowing what you're thinking or which way you're going to go. You've got to have a lot of trust when you're there, when you do have conversations with people behind you looking to come up or whatever it may be. So you try your best to keep your cards close.

Q. Determining how aggressive you want to be and potentially moving up, how much do you weigh your early evaluations on next year's draft? Like what you think that class could be when you're thinking about potentially parting with future picks.

JOE SCHOEN: Not just draft but free agency, what's that market going to be. You're always looking at that, the market in the future, who's become available. But you can only weigh that so much.

I'll never forget, I was living in Texas at the time, and I was golfing with one of the Carolina Panthers scouts the day that Andrew Luck decided he was going to go back to school. So as much as you can -- you don't know what's going to happen, or Tua is coming out and Tua got hurt. You know what I mean? There's a player that you like that could get hurt, that could decide to go back to school.

Dennis Hickey, our assistant director of player personnel, I think he said we had 170 players we had draftable grades on that went back to school. With the NIL, it's like you can look at it and prepare for it, but there's no guarantee that those players will get through the college season healthy and actually come out.

You can try to predict as much as you want, but there are variables that's can affect that as well.

Q. Has Michael Penix Jr. acquitted all concerns or possible concerns about his injury history in your mind? Then kind of a follow-up to that would be are you more reticent sent now than maybe a year ago to take a chance on a guy who has an injury history, or is it the same as it ever was?

JOE SCHOEN: I think we always take that into account. We have to listen to our medical professionals. We've unfortunately had some issues with injuries the last couple years since I've been here. You want to stray away from injury risks the best you can. I am not going to get into specifics on Michael, it's well documented the injuries he had while he was at Indiana, but he has been healthy at Washington and played two full seasons there.

A lot of times those are indicators. Even if it's not -- again, we'll go back to John Smith. He had an ACL his sophomore year, but it hasn't swelled up and he hasn't missed any games or had to aspirate it or anything like that. You usually lean on how the patient responds to those surgeries and how they perform.

We had our medical meeting Monday night. 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.

Q. Are you getting a temptation to draft a franchise quarterback at 6 or above, how much pressure do you feel to get this right?

JOE SCHOEN: I feel like -- again, we can go several different ways. There's several different options that we can take, and we're going to be okay. I'm comfortable where we are in terms of whatever we do.

Q. You guys needed to add a quarterback just basically with where the roster was. You added Drew Luck. Do you still feel like you need or want to add a quarterback in this draft?

JOE SCHOEN: I don't think so. I think with Drew's experience, he has started games and played, and Daniel's experience. And what Tommy did last year, another year in the system, Tommy's come a long way. No, I think we could go into the season with the three that we have and be comfortable with that.

Q. Is it different when you're looking at quarterbacks in the seventh round? So you could take a guy in the sixth or seventh round that could be a special teams guy or develop into a nickelback. But in a quarterback, when you draft a guy in the later round, is that something you believe in? Or you say, I don't know if this guy's ever going to be a great starter, but he just adds to the room. It's different because he may not add anything to your team for a couple of years, you know what I'm saying? He may not be a guy that can win a Super Bowl for you, but he adds to our room. It's different than other positions, isn't it?

JOE SCHOEN: It is. It's not, okay, you're going to be a backup guard and you're going to go to the game, and you can play -- if somebody gets injured, you can go play center or guard and there's flexibility to be one of those eighth offensive linemen.

The hit rate at that position in those rounds you're talking about is not high. Again, you hope, typically, if you're going to take a guy down there that they can develop into a good No. 2. From a financial aspect, Drew is making $5 million. Well, that player in the fifth round, if he can develop into a No. 2, is saving you money over a four-year period versus a Tyrod or Drew or whoever some of the backup quarterbacks are around the league.

Q. Obviously you've done a lot of work on the quarterbacks. What's been your impression of this group as a whole from spending a lot of time with them? Also with a guy like J.J. McCarthy, the concept of from the outside, people are like, oh, he's rising up draft boards. They think that through the process, the combine, the pro days, and everything, a player rises up. Do you view that as the case, in the grand scheme of things, that guys do do that? Or have you had guys already in those spots beforehand?

JOE SCHOEN: I think the rising is a thing. That can happen. Again, not specifically quarterback only, but we were having a conversation about a player yesterday that we had some concerns with throughout the fall, but every step along the way, they've answered the bell and continued to improve, whether it was an All-Star Game, Combine, Pro Day, visit here, private workout, continued to answer the bell.

So I do think the more you're around these players and you get comfortable with how they're wired and what they're about, I do think you can give them the push up. I think the quarterback class, it's a good quarterback class, and I think it's deep. You look at some of the guys and the amount of games some of these guys have started and played, it's impressive. Really haven't seen a class like that with some of the quarterbacks that have started and played as many games as they have at a high level.

It's been really fun getting to know these guys. Again, it's a unique position. There's only so many people walking planet earth that can play that position at a high level. So really getting around these guys, we like to do it every year, and getting to know them, I think is important.

It's not just necessarily this year's draft, but you look at some of the past drafts and the high picks at that position that were traded or became free agents or whatever it may be, I think the exposure coming out of college at that position is important. Again, not just for today, but maybe they are free agents or are going to be traded or whatever it may be down the road.

Q. At the combine or after the combine, Rich Eisen went on his show and said that all he heard was a lot of buyer's remorse from the Giants -- he didn't say from whom obviously -- about the contract given to Daniel. On Monday Daniel talked to us, and he said very confidently, he thinks he is the best quarterback to start the season, assuming he's healthy, for the Giants. Where are you right now, maybe small and big picture, on Daniel Jones?

JOE SCHOEN: Like I said before, the expectation is for him to be our starter. Again, I don't have a crystal ball. I hope he doesn't have any setbacks. He's working his tail off.

One of the things, when you go back and you watch the 2022 season or all of his throws in 2022, like he was a 25-year-old player that played at a high level and we won 10 games and won a playoff game. I'm still confident in Daniel, the way he's wired, what he showed us in 2022.

Again, did we have the best start to the season last year? Absolutely not. Anything that could have went wrong, it seems like it did early on between injuries and some other things. I've still got a lot of confidence in Daniel.

Q. Doesn't part of you wonder who told Eisen that stuff?

JOE SCHOEN: I can't worry about that. There's stuff out there all the time that's not true. You really can't let it bother you. I've got a good relationship with Daniel, and we communicate all the time.

Again, he's here all the time. We've got a good relationship, and we communicate well. If he has an issue or hears something or something I think I need to talk to him about, we do that often.

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


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