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Quotes: GM Joe Schoen, Coach Brian Daboll, OL John Michael Schmitz, WR Jalin Hyatt

GM Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q. You're not shy about making these trades. Can you give us your thought process behind it?

JOE SCHOEN: It was a good player that we liked that was kind of sticking out on our board, so at a position that we thought he could help us at receiver. He ran 4-3 and some change, and you could feel his speed on film. That's legit. Just a player we liked, and we spent some time with, and we thought the value was good for what we had to give up to go get him.

Q. How much of a priority has it been this off-season to make this offense more explosive?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I would say both sides of the ball, just team speed in general. O(ffense), d(efense) and special teams. I think we did that with some of the free agents we signed: Parris Campbell can roll, Jeff (Smith) can roll, (Bobby) Okereke runs well. We've upgraded the speed in general; (Darren) Waller. So yeah, that's definitely something watching our team last year, we just felt we needed to get faster in all three phases. 

Q. Every time you make a pick, you know that means you might have to not get another guy, right. So when you look at the totality of today, you got a center, who we assume will challenge for a starting job, and one of the fastest receivers in this draft, did you think that was feasible to get these two players today?

JOE SCHOEN: Not really. One of those deals, we were joking around after we took the center (John Michael Schmitz) and were like, hey, wonder if we can get them both. I told the guys, just start making calls when it looks like we're going to do it for our four, when it comes into range, and we made a couple phone calls and some teams were interested in doing it. We're ecstatic to be able to get him.

Q. How much of a deep threat guy is (Jalin) Hyatt?

JOE SCHOEN: He can roll. I was at that Alabama game. I can't remember why I came in late, but I was a little bit late. But I was on the field for the first half. I was coming from another game, landed there, and first half I was on the field, and you could really feel his speed. It's legit 4-3. 

Q. Do you typically watch games from the sideline?

JOE SCHOEN: No, but again, sometimes flight delays and everything else. I had some issues with my travel. I was able to get there for pregame but not enough time to see the body type. So I stayed down there and kind of looked at the guys physically and went up to the press box after that. Yeah, you could see more from the press box. I could see it better. 

Q. Why do you think he fell as far as he did?

JOE SCHOEN: I'm not sure. I'm glad he was there, though. Josh Heupel, the head coach at Tennessee is a good friend of mine. We go way back. Oklahoma was my area a long time ago when he was a quarterback coach. I've known him for a long time, and he was the head coach at Central Florida when we took Gabe Davis, when we were in Buffalo. There's some history there. I called him at some point today and just checked on Hyatt. We had him in on a visit. Again, I'm not sure why he was there, but we feel good about him and glad he was.

Q. What's your impression of Hyatt and how important was it to you to get more of that speed around Daniel (Jones)?

BRIAN DABOLL: I think he's a good player. I think he runs some of the routes that we run here. You can see, a little bit like Gabe, how it might translate. But again, everything is new for him. He's a young guy. We'll throw him in the mix with the other receivers and let those guys compete it out. A good visit here. Definitely has some qualities that you like when you're watching him. Good young man. So, happy we have him. 

Q. Quick follow, everybody always is happy with their draft, nobody walks away saying it sucked, right, but when you look at just what you've done so far, you've kind of hit on three needs in these three first picks here. Is that something you anticipated being able to accomplish going into this?

BRIAN DABOLL: Well, you never know. We have a lot of meetings, I would say, leading up to the draft and then these last few days and you go through a lot of different scenarios. It's not an inexact science but I'd say there's a lot of preparation. I think Joe does a fantastic job working the phones and being prepared, along with, I'd say, Tim (McDonnell) and Brandon (Brown) and Dennis (Hickey), rest of the scouts, they have done a great job. So again, you draft these players. You put grades on them. You come in; you coach them up. But you let them compete it out. That's what we're all about. So, it's just adding new pieces just like we did in free agency. We'll get them out there on the field and see how they do, 

Q. Did what the Eagles did yesterday on their defensive line make the center position that much more of a focus for you today?

JOE SCHOEN: Not really. You know, it was a position we were looking, the entire offensive line. Again, we looked across all of them. You're always look the in the division, it's important how you match up. I go back to when he was at New England, and they had the two really good tight ends. You are always trying to figure out who can cover Gronk or whoever it may be. You're always looking at it. But I think being strong in offensive and defensive line, regardless is always going to be a priority of ours. Schmitz is a great guy, I know we haven't talked about him, but smart, tough, dependable, played a lot of ball. Had a great Senior Bowl. He's a good player and a great kid.

Q. What do you like about the pairing of Daniel and -- those two together?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we'll see how it works out. I know we've spent time with him. He's a great kid and he embodies what we want to be about. He's a good football player. Again, everybody is going to come in here, compete, earn their spot, and, you know, we'll see how it falls, but he's wired the right way.

Q. A couple of the knocks on Jalin, a little bit slight, what people are saying. When you look at the frame and his body type what gives you the confidence that maybe he can grow into it, or he can play with that body type in the NFL?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think he's still young. There's a similar body type down the road that we play twice a year, that's a good player. (He) was drafted much higher. But again, you look at it, you look at the group, you know, how tall they are, how long they are, thick they are, and you know, I know the offensive staff and Dabs, they do a great job of putting the guys in the best position to succeed; and what are the routes they run best, how can we accentuate what they do well, and then they will kind of formulate the offense around that. I think he'll be fine.

Q. Schmitz was the one guy you didn't trade up for. Is that because you felt he was going to fall?

JOE SCHOEN: I wish. I wish. Yeah, I wish I had a crystal ball. It's hard. Patience, I wouldn't say is one of my strengths, and I often get tested this time of year because it's like anything, if you want it and you have the resources to get it, go get it. I've been on the other side that when you're sitting there kicking yourself for not doing something you and don't like the subsequent result from not doing what you could have done and you were okay with, you know, what it was going to cost you. So yeah, I mean, Chicago jumped up from us, and you thought, okay, who knows what they are going to take. There were a couple of players there that we liked, but you've got to be at peace with that if it happens and say, hey, let's just stay patient and we did that. You know, any type of move-up would have cost us another pick and maybe you don't end up with Jalin. So, you know, I'm glad it worked out the way it did. 

Q. When you say that last year you couldn't do this to the level you did this year, you needed for picks last year. Is it fair to say you can cherry-pick a little bit more?

JOE SCHOEN: No, that's a good question. I think we had a little more resources in free agency and so we were able to add more depth pieces in March and April, you know, along with maybe some of that's practice squad guys we had last year that had developed, or the Isaiah Hodgins' of the world, so had a little bit more depth. We added some starting pieces in free agency, guys that will compete for starting spots. So maybe you don't need the depth and the numbers that I felt like we needed last year.

Q. Was Hyatt a guy you considered where you took Schmitz?

JOE SCHOEN: He was in the range.  

Q. Just in terms of the complicated nature of the routes you guys run in this offense, for Jalin, I would imagine, he has a diverse game to be able to run what you guys run at different spots in this game?

BRIAN DABOLL: I'd say this: With all the players, particularly, the young ones that come in, you evaluate them on tape, and then you get them here, and you try to do what they do well. You have a good idea watching the tape, but sometimes they come in and they can do a few more things maybe you didn't want to do as much as you thought you would do with one of them. Our job as a coaching staff, our offensive coaches, whether it's receivers, tight ends, running backs, is let's figure out what these guys do well. We have a pretty expansive system, which I'm sure most people do. But once you pare it down and find out who is going to be running those things, you make sure you adapt and make sure there are things your players can do well whether it's quarterback, receivers, blocking schemes with the line, defensive players. That's the job of a coaching staff. But yeah, and our other third-round pick was Waller, so we tried to do what we can do with him, too.

JOE SCHOEN: It's true. Pick's coming up probably.

Q. I'll give you the offensive line question then. When you have a young guy coming in like Schmitz, how much of it is, can he handle the physical load but also the mental capacity to be able to do this job?

BRIAN DABOLL: Regardless of if it's this offense or any other offense, you're come in from college and you're playing against grown men up front. I'd say there's a learning curve mentally, but there's also a physical curve, too, and we won't find that out until August. But this guy's tough. He's smart. He's got a good frame. Former wrestler. Good leader. We'll throw him in the mix, let him compete it out with the other guys and see how it ends up.

Q. Both guys on the offensive line, on Schmitz, when he had him in the conference call, he described himself as "nasty" and he sounded like a polite young man on the telephone. Is that something you have seen on film or noticed when you took him to dinner what's your take on that?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, you see it on film.

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, you see it on film. Not when you're sitting across from him but when you turn on the film, you see it.

Q. Nothing bad happened during dinner or anything like that?

BRIAN DABOLL: No. We did a Face Time with him, the whole group and he basically wanted to put his helmet and shoulder pads on that instant, standing with his parents. He loves the game of football and just another good offensive lineman to work with.

Q. So you saw a lot of things where Schmitz and (Joe) Tippmann were almost interchangeable; one could go in front of the -- did you like Schmitz more than Tippmann?

JOE SCHOEN: There's a lot of offensive linemen we liked in this draft, and we went through -- I won't get into how we have them ranked or something. They are both good football players, both in New York and I think they will both have successful careers.

Q. Yesterday we saw Wink (Martindale) give a pretty aggressive hug to the general manager after the cornerback. As the head coach, are you allowed to express that when you get a 4.3 receiver?

BRIAN DABOLL: Sure, I did it with the Tae (Deonte Banks), too. Joe does a great job, like I said, of leading the entire draft. These scouts that are busting their tail and they are gone for six months, they might have, you know, however many people that they want to select, and we don't select any of them from their area, if you can imagine that, they are gone from their families and working their tails off. They do a great job of setting up the board, communicating with the coaches. It's a really good process but I'd say this guy leads it up and he does a great job of it. 

Q. Asked the wrong question. How did (Mike) Kafka respond to the pick of receiver?

JOE SCHOEN: He's jacked up, too. Yeah, him, Mike Groh, everybody is excited. Kafka is excited about the center, too.

Q. Schmitz is a center and you guys had talked about maybe having Ben (Bredeson) play a little center, so how does that work? Will Ben compete with Schmitz as center, or do you want Ben as your left guard? How do you see that that? How do you see Ben's role shaking out now?

BRIAN DABOLL: We'll find out. Throw them all out there. And again, we haven't had practice yet. We have selected some new players and some free agents, and we'll start phase two on Monday, which is a little bit different from phase one, but can't get out in front of each other until we get to phase three and that's really a teaching type of camp, if you will.

I don't think you want to put too much on the rookies early on because, you know, let's be honest, they have been on the road. Tae has been on the road, however many visits. They have to re-acclimate themselves and you want to be smart with them, and slowly integrate them into the system. But that's what you do every year. You try to build as much competition for your roster as you can, and that's what we're trying to do.

Q. How much of a mind game is it when you're in the draft room and you are picking second round, saying, well, if I take the center now, am I still going to get the wide receiver or how do you play that? Do you just take the best player or what?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, in that case we did. We weren't even really thinking about that. We weren't thinking about the subsequent pick. There's something out there that you want, or you desire, and you're waiting and waiting, don't know if it's going to be there, it's tough, and it can be stressful. So that's why again, sometimes you are aggressive and sometimes you move back. Last year in the second round, we moved back twice. Based on the situation, who is there, where you are as a roster, you're always taking that into account. We met extensively today and went through different scenarios and the roster and kind of wants and needs on the roster, and you know, I think it worked out well for us this evening.

Q. When you're talking to so many different teams like you were tonight, looking into trades, how many different people are on the phone at once? Are you on the phone? Is Brandon making some of the calls? How is it all working?

JOE SCHOEN: Last night, the first round, it's a little bit slower. You get more time to turn in your pick. There are so many different scenarios, especially last night. So that was more myself. Then today, it's a group effort. Dabs, actually, executed his first trade. He initiated the trade with the Rams; so, I congratulate him on that. But no, if you know somebody, hey, why don't you shoot the Rams a text, or you know, give them a call and again, hey, this is what it looks like it would be, does it make sense and we just call and say, hey, when you're on the clock, let us know. 

Q. Was that a FaceTime trade then?

JOE SCHOEN: That was a test.

BRIAN DABOLL: That was not a Face Time trade.

JOE SCHOEN: We had to type it in his phone for him. He said, "Here, just type it in for me."

BRIAN DABOLL: I'm a Face Timer, that's about it.

View the top photos of offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz's career at Minnesota.

Offensive Lineman John Michael Schmitz

Q. Do you like being called John Michael? John? What do you prefer?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Well, I kind of just went along with the flow, but I was always John Michael growing up because I'm a junior and my dad was always John. The name just kind of stuck with me.

Q. John Michael it is. What's tonight been like for you? What does it mean it get drafted by the Giants?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yeah, I mean I'm still shocked right now, just taking it all in with the people that you love and family and friends – it's been amazing.

Q. What was your experience with (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby Johnson? I know he was at your pro day. What was your vibe with him and your interaction with him in the process?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I love Coach Johnson. Spent a lot of time with him, obviously with the pro day and a dinner before that. It was amazing to connect with him. He's a good coach and just what he's doing with that offensive line, I'm so excited to be a part of it.

Q. What do you feel like your greatest strength is at the position? Do you feel like you're better at the run, protecting? According to PFF, you only had two sacks allowed in your career.

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I would just say, my mentality as a whole, my toughness, my grit, the way I finish plays is what sets me apart from other people, so that's what I'm going to go with.

Q. What did you think when you heard you were going to land with the Giants and how likely did you think it was throughout the process?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I always thought it was definitely a possibility to go with the Giants, and I'm so happy to be a part of this team. I'm ready to get to work, that's what I told the coaches when we first talked. I'm so excited.

Q. Were you in Minnesota at all to pay attention to the Giants playoff victory?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I was actually at the game. That's the best part, I was at the game.

Q. And? Who were you rooting for?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: You know, I was at the game just watching football, that's all I've got to say (laughs).

Q. Did you know they lost both centers to free agency?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: You know, that's something that I didn't really look at. I'm just excited for the 2023 Giants football team and I'm excited to be a part of it and get to work.

Q. (General Manager) Joe Schoen has said recently that this is a complicated offense. What makes you confident that you can come in right away as a rookie and dictate terms on offense?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Honestly, it's just my mentality, coming in. (inaudible) good enough, I would just say, I love a challenge, so learning the game even better than I have, and I can't wait to work with Coach Johnson, pick his brain. I mean, he's going to help me out a lot. I'm so excited.

Q. How much did you go through some of the intricacies of this offense during your visit with Bobby and the talks that you've had with the coaches up until this point?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: They just throw basic things at you here and there, nothing too crazy. So yeah, that's all I'd say.

Q. Is there anybody you admire at the position?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: What I always said in my interviews with the teams, I really like how (Buccaneers Center) Ryan Jensen plays the game. I mean, he's one of the nastiest people on the field and just the way he plays, his mentality, you know that he's going to bring it every play. He's a tremendous leader, also.

Q. Would you describe yourself as "nasty"?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yes, yes, that's the biggest thing I would say. The nasty, tough, grit factor, definitely.

Q. Has (Quarterback) Daniel Jones reached out to you yet?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I am not sure if he has.

Q. What do you think that relationship will be like, will you come in here and attach yourself to him at the hip a little bit?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yeah, it's definitely important to have a great relationship with your quarterback, and you guys have to be on the same page. The quarterback and the offensive line, the running back, especially in pass pro, they have to work together. It's very important to have a great connection with your quarterback.

Q. Some of the scouting reports describe you as, "strong, tough, dependable, his footwork needs work." How do you respond to that?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: You don't really listen to everything that's always out there. You focus on what the guys that I've been working with (Guard) Alex Boone, Jeremiah Sirles, my agent, Coach Johnson, and I mean, I'm a very hard 'critiquer' of myself. I always want to get better. There's always stuff to get better at, at the end of the day.

Q. The Giants obviously do need a center. Do you intend to come in here and grab that starting job immediately?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: That's not my decision. I'm going to be coming in to work and earn the coaches' and players' trust to take that role. But that is the coaches' position to do that.

Q. There was a lot of talk about how you and Joe Tippmann were the top two centers in this draft. What did you think when you saw him get drafted by the Jets and does that -- how do you sort of take that in and what's the thoughts about playing in the same city as him now?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: You always look at other people that got drafted in front of you. I mean, honestly at this point, I'm just focused on the New York Giants and focused on this team and doing everything I can to make this team better and bring it a Super Bowl. I'm so excited.

Q. This division has a lot of strong defensive lines, Eagles, Washington, Dallas. From your vantage point as a center, what does it take to handle an elite defensive line for four quarters?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I would just say setting the tone from the start. You've got to be physical. You've got to set the tone from the start, first quarter to fourth quarter. It's not going to happen right away. We always used to say, if you are going to run the ball, you're going to have body blows and the body blows turn to like 25, 30-yard touchdowns, and I mean, you just continue to wear those guys down, the defensive linemen, and eventually they'll break.

Q. What about your personality through the years, it can be intimidating for a rookie to step into a center with a lot of veterans, especially in a big city. Do you relish that opportunity to be able to have that voice in the huddle, have that command when you basically have guys around you who have been in this league and who have done some things in this league, won a playoff game in this league? What's your expectation from that level?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I'm very excited to connect with this offensive line group. Just get to know these guys and I feel like I'm a really good leader, a communicator. As a center, you have to be a really good communicator, and a leader position sometimes comes natural to that position because you're the first one to the line, and you set the calls, you set the protections, and you're in control of that offense, especially as the center-point of the offensive line. I would just say that.

Q. Do you ever run into (Inside Linebacker) Micah McFadden lately?


Q. Where are you, where were you when you found out about the pick?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I was at home in Homewood, Illinois. We're just with family and friends, about 20-25 people. It was special.

View the top photos of wide receiver Jalin Hyatt's career at Tennessee.

Wide Receiver Jalin Hyatt

Q. What was this draft experience like for you? Did you expect to still be on the board in the third round? What have the last two nights been like?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, you know, definitely something where you're just waiting for your name to be called. Really for me, I don't care where it was, what round, what team. I just wanted to be on team. New York came and they really blessed me and my family and I'm forever grateful for it and I just can't wait to do what I have to do when I get there and meet my new teammates. Get there and be competitive and do what I have to do. 

Q. Given your speed, how dangerous of a deep threat are you?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, I feel like I'm probably the best deep threat receiver in the draft. I really do believe that, and Giants they really got a playmaker, they got a dynamic playmaker, an explosive playmaker – and that's what I want to bring and add to the team.

Q. Is there part of you that always spends time wanting to show that you're more than what the speed game is in your arsenal?

JALIN HYATT: Oh, yeah, yes, sir. Yes, sir. I mean, I love it when I'm counted out and the Giants, they took a chance on me. So, I'm forever grateful but at the same time, I know now it's time to put in the work and now I know it's time to go. Like I said, I was never picked first for anything. I'm grateful for the Giants giving me an opportunity and I can't wait to go and show and do what I have to do.

Q. Some scouting reports have mentioned your size and slender build as a possible concern and can you hold up in the NFL, is the question. What's your response to that?

JALIN HYATT: Like I said, that's something that I feel comfortable in. Now I'm around 188, 189, getting to where I want to get to my goal weight of 190. I still have a lot of things to work on but at the same time, definitely work on that with the Giants and I definitely know what I can do and what I'm capable of it and what type of player that I am. I really believe the Giants added somebody who can change the game and I can't wait to do that and show that.

Q. What do you think you can get up to weight-wise?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, I want to play at 190. I want to play at 190 this year, something I'm now feeling comfortable around just gaining weight and being in the weight room and doing a lot of work after the pro day. I'm really pleased with where I am now as far as training and I can't wait to go to the Giants, I can't wait to move and get the show moving.

Q. What did you play on last year?

JALIN HYATT: I played at around 175, 176.

Q. How much do you know about (Quarterback) Daniel Jones and how do you think your game will mesh with his?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, Daniel, he already texted me. I can already tell he's the leader of the team. Like I said, by the time I get up there, that's one of the first things I'm going to meet with to understand what he does, what he likes in games, what his best throws, what's he wants me to do for him. I think when you build that connection with a quarterback, you can go as far as you want to go.

Like I said, I'm going to be consistent, I'm going to be consistent in the facility and meeting with him and doing what he wants me to do for him, because I'm here to help him out. That's why I can't wait to do it. 

Q. One of the questions is how the offense you play in college for wide receiver, the transition to the NFL, like when you look at NFL games or what you'll be asked to do, how different do you think it will be?

JALIN HYATT: We did run a little different things offense, but at the same time, I played in pro-style offense before. It's not like I always play spread my whole – I've played pro-style offense. I understand what I have to do and the roles to it.

But you know, that will be something that I will consistently learn from the playbook, from my old playbook, and I just can't wait for the journey.

Q. What does it take to score five touchdowns in a game against Alabama and what do you think that did for you?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, you know what it takes for that, you have to be consistent. You have to be consistent getting open and I really believe that's one thing I'm very consistent on. When I get to the league, I want to be consistent in getting open and be consistent in the quarterback trusting me and making plays. That's what I'm here for, so just here to show consistency, show a guy that's willing to work, show a guy that's hard worker but at the same time ready to prove his moment.

Q. Were you aware the Giants GM Joe Schoen was at that game?

JALIN HYATT: He told me. I wasn't aware at first. I think when we went out to dinner or something, he told me about. It's just crazy, you know how much Tennessee brings and a lot of people that comes to the games. I never thought a person, a guy like that will be at the game and later on down the road he'll draft me. It's crazy how things work but like I said, I'm blessed.

Q. What did Daniel say to you in his text?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, he just said, "Are you ready to go"? Like, are you ready to go. Obviously, the Giants, we already are a playoff team and know what we have to do. I'm just here to add that other asset to it, and I just can't wait to do what I have to do and meet with him and understand what he likes and what he wants to do. I'm just going to be there with him. 

Q. You came up here for your visit, meeting with them, what was that like coming in the facility and everything?

JALIN HYATT: Oh, yeah, it was amazing. Never been to New York before in my life. Came up, my first time in New York was to meet the Giants and I really loved the coaching staff up there. Love everything that they are doing. I just love what they are doing and what I can be a part of, so there are already great players there. I'm here to learn and develop and at the same time prove why the Giants drafted me. I'm ready to do what I have to do.

Q. The Giants fans have looked at the receiver room and said, we don't really have a target No. 1 receiver here. Do you think you can be an elite No. 1 receiver in the NFL and what gives you that confidence?

JALIN HYATT: Oh, yeah, 100 percent. My confidence comes from my hard work. It doesn't matter what pick, what round it was going to be; and when I saw the Giants called me, I knew what I had to do and I knew what I'm capable of; I'm going to be learning from the players there, the receivers there, developing a bond with them, understand their style of football, getting plays down, understand the playbook, but at the same time I'm there to show my opportunity and show why I should be here.

Q. Did you mostly play in the slot in college and do you believe you can play outside, or do you think of yourself more as a slot?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, I played slot in college mostly just based on what we did, a lot of motions and me going left to right side. I'm comfortable wherever they want to put me at. If that's outside receiver, then that's something I'll be comfortable with. If it's slot, that's something I'll be comfortable with.

I'm here for the team. I'm here for the coaches. I'm here for Daniel Jones and what he wants to do. They brought a great asset and I'm just here to prove why I'm here.

Step into the new draft room as the Giants make their picks for the 2023 class.


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