Skip to main content
New York Giants homepage

Giants News | New York Giants –


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

General Manager Joe Schoen & Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q. Talk about the guys you picked today.

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, so 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. Tre Hawkins, we took him late in the sixth. From Old Dominion corner, 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's defense and projects well to special teams due to his physical traits and toughness. Jordon Riley, again, big body guy. It's hard to find these guys. When you get into the 7th 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. Gervarrius Owens, another guy we like, 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. Then get the text here soon that the draft is over, and now we're working on the second draft with free agency, college free agency, which is an exciting time for us. 

Q. Can you talk more about Riley? He was not somebody that was listed by too many.

JOE SCHOEN: 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. 

Q. Can you talk about the whole thing overall, did you fill all the needs you want or are there still things out there?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we are always going to be looking to continue to improve. We'll never be satisfied. We'll continue. Again, right now is another opportunity to add players and depth in competition with the college free agency process. Then we'll have a rookie mini-camp next weekend, so we'll have some players that will be here for that. Ideally, we have a bunch of 53 Pro Bowlers, but that's impossible. We'll continue to find where we need to add depth or maybe light on a starter or whatever it may be, but we'll continue to add depth and competition at all times.

Q. As part of the off-season, you talked about how you wanted to add depth along the defensive line, which you've done. Do you feel like you have enough depth among edge rushers?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, and that's something, again, we can continue to look for that. Again, I think we have Elerson (Smith) -- showed promise but had an injury last year. (Tomon) Fox is a guy we like. So those guys have all played snaps, and we're excited about them, and we may add a couple tonight or again, we continue to look at our emergency list. We are all weighing those two things, what's available post-draft based on how teams drafted over the weekend. There may be a surplus of players that become available next week. We'll continue to look at all positions and measure where we are if we like our group or not, and again we don't play until September in terms of the regular season, so if we're devoid of something somewhere, we'll continue to look. 

Q. Gray was saying he feels he has natural hands. How important is that for you for a running back, for your offense, that seems to project that he could potentially be a 3-down guy?

BRIAN DABOLL: We'll see. Again, I just go back to -- I think the question you asked, we always look to add and improve all the way through the season, from Tuesday when we have off. In terms of Gray, he's a very mature young player that's had some production. Does have good hands. How that sorts out, that will be up to him. The cool thing about it is after the rookie weekend, they come back, and we'll finally have an auditorium full of seats. Coaches will be standing on the side and finally have a full auditorium to start working with. 

Q. I wanted to ask you about your process in terms of the trades the first two days because I thought it was interesting. Sometimes you see GMs who might not have the trust of other teams, guys you talked to; you mentioned the deal you have with Trent Baalke. You guys obviously exchanged information. For you how important is that to build relationships where you're sharing some of your plans, some guys don't want to give away too much information and feel like it may come back and burn them, but do you feel like that has helped your process?

JOE SCHOEN: Trent and I were area scouts back in the day. We have a long relationship or some of the new GMs, Kwesi (Adofo-Mensah), in Minnesota, and we have become fast friends through this process. We were first-year GMs together. You always try to cultivate those relationships throughout the league because when you're thinking about, hey, I may trade Player X, my name comes to him first that they are going to call me, whatever it may be. You always want to be in the mix if a team trades a guy. It's always important to have relationships with the general managers and personnel staff of the other teams because it can lead to deals or maybe it's easier to get a trade done or whatever it may be.

Definitely in that group where we were picking in specifically Thursday night, I had a good relationship with a lot of those guys. They were easy conversations. We could shoot each other straight and luckily it worked out.

Q. Are you ever fearful of giving up too much information?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, you definitely have to be careful of that. But if a trade was contingent on you giving up the information, you might as well -- that's your only chance to get there. There's some risk involved if you do that.

Q. Looking back compared to maybe what you thought coming into the Draft, what would you have thought if I told you were going to get Banks, Schmitz, and Hyatt in the first two days of the Draft?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I would have liked to know how you're going to do that, probably. You never know how it's going to fall. We went through a million scenarios. We didn't know who was going to be there at 25 or we ended up trading up to 24, so you really don't know. Once you get into that second round, everybody sees things differently and has different flavors for the type of players they like. You may have a guy in the fifth round, he goes in the second; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As you go through the entire draft, usually the first round goes as planned, the group of players you think are going to go. But I'm thrilled with those guys, and I'm thrilled with some of the prospects we got today. We'll see. And the coaching staff is motivated to work with all the guys that we drafted, and they are going to come in and assimilate into our culture and work hard and see what happens. Everybody is going to compete for their spots. I'm happy with where we are and it's a good group of guys to work with and continue to build. 

Q. Don't know when the next time we'll talk to you will be, do you plan to reengage with negotiations with Saquon?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we'll have conversations with him. We have; we had conversations last week.

Q. Would you like -- going by the assumption Saquon is going to be here, to play this year, would you like to draft a running back and decrease his snaps? Do you find that sustainable for a running back to play eight plus percent of the snaps, is that part of the reason why you wanted to add to that position?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, I'd say it's probably a better question during the season. It's not April 17th, what is it, April what? 29th. So we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. 

Q. Was it important to you that you drafted a running back that could catch?

BRIAN DABOLL: Look, what I tell Joe and the scouts is find good players. You don't always necessarily agree, whether it's scout-to-scout, coach-to-scout, coach-to-coach. But you sit down, and you talk about these players. I'm excited about all these players. I think there were a lot of good discussions, and I think you just find good players. And then your job as a coaching staff, I'll say this until I'm done coaching is to get good players and find a way to use them. You have a playbook, but our playbook really isn't finished quite yet. We just added some players, and we have to do a good job as a staff of going out there on the practice field and trying different things, seeing how people respond, running different routes, or doing some different blocking schemes. Again, every playbook for me, I'd say the last five or six years has just been a little bit different and that's based on the players that you have. So as a coach, I tell Joe, find good players, man. These guys have been working their tails off since the start of the last draft at the end of it, and the coaches have been working hard to try to evaluate them. Again, you don't know what you're going to get until they are out there doing it, too. So that's why we're big on competition. We're excited about the players we have but we'll throw them in the mix and let them compete it out. 

Q. Where does Gray's skill set lend the potential to be a passing down option early in his career?

BRIAN DABOLL: We'll see. Start looking at him in rookie minicamp. Again, I think they all have a good skill set and we have spent a lot of time watching tape and talking to some of these guys. But until they are out there doing things on the grass in front of you; you can tweak things. There are times when you thought you were getting something, one draft with a player, and then all of a sudden, you're like, man, this guy can do this a little better than I thought, so you start doing that more. They will all have a fair opportunity to go out there and prove what they can do to see if they can help us.

Q. Would you characterize your conversations with Saquon as negotiations or touching base?

JOE SCHOEN: Touching base again. We'll circle up after the draft. See if it makes sense or not, through dialogue.

Q: There was the contract that was offered originally, the contract was off the table. Would you plan on offering another revised extension to Saquon in the coming week?

JOE SCHOEN: We'll talk this coming week now that the draft is over. We'll reconvene and see if it makes sense or not through dialogue with his representative. 

Q. Salary-cap-wise, do you need to make a move? Are you good, just to get through, now that the Draft is over?

JOE SCHOEN: If we need to, we have moves that we can make to free up cap space. So yeah, we are working through some things over the next couple of weeks.

Q. Since we're on the topic of contracts, where do things stand with Dexter and those negotiations?

JOE SCHOEN: Same deal. Let's get through the draft. His representation had a lot of prospects in the draft, and we were focused on the draft in our meetings. Next week, things will calm down a little bit and we'll circle back up with everybody. 

Q. From your vantage point how unusual is what the Eagles are doing leaning so hard into one program? Can you think of any other time that a team has done this, drafting so many players and acquiring so many players from one team and does that come with risks?

JOE SCHOEN: Well, if you're going to do it, that's a good program to do it from. You have to ask them that. I'm not really sure. Sometimes your board just falls that way. They have a lot of Georgia players down the road. I don't know if they necessarily consciously are doing that, or again, I'm assuming their board fell that way. 

Q. Do you feel good about this draft?

JOE SCHOEN: I do. I do. Yeah, it's not just this draft. This is one piece of the off-season puzzle. I think you tie in free agency and you tie in the draft and I'm excited to go upstairs and see where we are on some undrafted free agents. And kind of how I started, it never stops. We are always looking to upgrade and add depth and competition. Where we are now, I feel good, but again, we still have to get these guys on the field. And all these guys are young. All these draft picks are young. They have come from various spots. Some of them have not been to New York City and some of them have. They are pros. There's a human element, too, as these guys develop. We are not going to put a lot of pressure on them to be plug-and-play. We'll let them develop and learn and continue to let them grow in our culture. But yeah, right now I feel good about where we are, and as a staff, we have continuity amongst the staff this off-season, which along with the roster building I think was very important.

Q. There was so much publicity with the draft, how do you feel about the "he killed it" narrative?

JOE SCHOEN: That lasts about two days. You don't win games in April. The social media rankings and everything like that, you know, it's about what we do this fall and how we go out there and compete when it matters and how we continue to build this off-season and get bigger, faster, stronger, through our strength program and then how we prepare and execute in August, I think there's a process. And do I like some of the guys we drafted? Yeah. But still, like Dabs said, you know, in this press conference, every year is different, and the team has got to gel, and we have got to build chemistry. We have to stay healthy. There's a lot that goes into it.

Q. You're in this for a long time. When do you think you'll be able to look at the sheet and look back and say, yeah, I think we killed it?

BRIAN DABOLL: The minute after of that? Are you talking about the minute after the draft? 

Q. When would you think you would be able to look back at a sheet?

JOE SCHOEN: I think it's three or four years when you look back, you look at the play time. But you're never -- you can't get complacent in this business, ever. You'll have a lot of trouble if you do that. So again, we are always looking to get better regardless of where it is. We'll never be complacent. We'll always strive and there will be a standard of excellence and we'll continue to strive for that. 

Q. You think back to last year --

BRIAN DABOLL: Pick 25 and not five, didn't want it to carry the magnets around -- begged the owners for a new draft room. 

Q. Setting it up, you obviously wanted things a certain way and you had ideas last year, I'm curious now after this Draft, one of the things I noticed was it looked like you guys had FaceTime's with the entire room on screens with your prospects, was that part of it you wanted to make it more of a team thing for everyone in that room?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah it's a really neat feature and we could use that pre-Draft because you could Zoom with a prospect, so if there was ever a scenario where Dabs, myself, Wink, Jerome wanted to get in there, hey, let's Zoom with this prospect and talk ball, and we could all be in there and have those type of meetings; and it's a universal room that we can use for free agency draft, medical meetings, Zooming prospects.

So just trying to upgrade the technology the best we could and make it multi-faceted in terms of how we could utilize it. We did that, and one of the cool things we wanted to do was FaceTime the prospects afterward in the draft room and congratulate them one or time oncoming to the team. Just a cool feature. Nice touch for the players.

Q. Just a couple of you guys that would get a chance to interact with the prospect, scouts, and ownership, is that important to you to make sure that this entire aspect of it is the full team?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, absolutely. Like Dabs was just saying, the scouts are away from their family a lot during the year, a lot of miles on the road, a lot of hotel points and All-Star games and then being here for weeks at a time away from their family. A lot of hard work that goes into it from the medical staff and all the guys that they look at the combine, the calls they make for us, go on and on about it's really all hands on deck in a true team effort to put this together.

Q. I assume in the next 48 to 72 hours, you get the free agents signed. When do you guys decompress?

JOE SCHOEN: When you come in in the morning and there's like nothing going on, you've got to take advantage of it, because sure enough, something comes through the door at some point, and the day you thought you were going to have all this free time turns into three or four things you've got to deal with.

I think now that I've actually thought about this, hopefully, next week at some point I can. But it's a different process for me. I've kind of been full circle now, because when I got here, I had already seen 500 prospects, I had a really good feel for the Draft. This year, I had not been through a season as a general manager and trying to watch film and see prospects and all that stuff. Now that I've been through the whole thing full circle, I think next week would be a good opportunity for me, I think I'll be able to decompress a little bit.

Q. Like you said, this year you had other things to worry about. Do you find yourself relying on others on your staff more heavily?

JOE SCHOEN: Oh, absolutely, yeah, you have to be able to delegate in this position and get the right people in the right chairs and let them do their jobs. We have got a good group throughout the building in a lot of seats.

Offensive Lineman John Michael Schmitz

Q. What have the last 24 hours been like for you?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yeah, kind of just taking it all in. Everyone's been telling me, 'You only get drafted once,' so just celebrating it with my family and with friends and the people that got me there. I've got a great support system. I'm very blessed and honored to be a part of this organization.

Q. Looking back a year ago, I think you were projected as a Top-100 prospect, why did you go back for the sixth year, do you think that benefitted you?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: The main reason I went back was for my team. Came in with a lot of those guys that were staying that extra year and I just wanted to go back to give it one last shot of winning a Big 10 Championship and leaving it all on the table.

Q. Could you describe your relationship with (University of Minnesota Head Coach) P.J. (Fleck), just what that was like and what he's like?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yeah, I mean, from the start, I committed to Coach Fleck at Western Michigan, and two weeks before National Signing Day, I got a call that he was coming to the University of Minnesota so without even stepping a foot on campus and stepping a foot in the state of Minnesota, I committed right on the spot just because I believed in him, and I was all in and bought into his culture and was ready to go to battle for him.

Q. How much has this been your dream to be an NFL player and when did you think that this was realistic and that you would be sitting here right now?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I have been playing football since I was five years old, and I just remember this memory I have of me and my brother playing next to each other on the offensive line and my dad, coaching us up and we have a great picture. Just from the start, there was always a dream to be in my position. I'm just very honored and blessed, be a part of this organization.

Q. You were a wrestler, right?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yes, I did wrestle when I was little and wrestled in high school as well.

Q. Does that help you on the football or did it help you?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yeah, understanding as an offensive lineman, understanding your weight positioning, your body movement, your force, where you need to be, your hand placement, the grappling technique. That's all important stuff to have, and it's definitely benefitted me. I still talk to my wrestling coach today and he's a great guy.

Q. Strange question to ask to someone you just met. But how much do you weigh and what do you want to play at?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Right now, I'm around – I stay between 307 and 310, and I've been playing at that weight probably the last four years. Whatever the team needs me to play at I'll be at.

Q. What is it about center that you think you're good at that appeals to you? Obviously, nothing happens until -- you're the first one that touches the ball every play, so what is it about that specific position?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I would just say you're the first one that gets to the ball, it's got to be your mindset that you've got to set tone. It's your leadership, it's how you communicate down the line and making sure everyone is on the same page, you've got to be controlled especially in a crazy atmosphere, if we're on a road game. Just making sure everyone gets the calls, you're working with the quarterback, you're working with the right and left side.

Q. What's it like to come to a team that has a need at your position where you conceivably could step right in and maybe man that position for a long time?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Right now, I'm really just focused on getting in the building and being around this team and getting ready to go to work.

Q. So many players have a wrestling background and they are grateful to have it. How much do you like the idea that one-on-one is how wrestling is, and there is, at least to me, it seems some translation to the football field there?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Yeah, you definitely have that one-on-one battle, especially (from) an offensive line perspective. At the end of the day, you have to win your battle and that goes across the board – offense, defense, no matter what position you are.

Q. How challenging is it if you're a younger center playing with more veteran linemen across the line, how challenging is it to be the leader of that group and earn the respect when you have less experience?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: You've got to earn their trust and that's by how hard you work. When you come in every day with a mindset that you're going to get better and at the end of the day, trust is earned over time – with time, consistency and proof. Those three things don't happen overnight, so it's going to -- obviously hard work on the field and in your playbook, with your body, taking care of yourself and just honestly being a part of that team and getting close with one another.

Q. Different offenses demand different things from a center, what's your interpretation of what they are looking from for you from the center position?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I would just say, to be that voice, to connect that group, and to set the tone. Like I said before, set the tone from the start and be that tough offensive line that we want to be.

Q. Were you able to find your voice early in your career or was it a process to be able to get to that position to take command?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I definitely over time developed. I feel like I had a voice early on, but you always keep changing. You always keep getting better. You always keep growing each and every day.

Q. Most of the time the centers make the line calls. How much film work is involved in that and getting ready for each game?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: It's a lot of work that goes into the process leading up to game day. You're working (and) coming in with the whole offensive line extra, you're working with my offensive line coach at the time, (Minnesota Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line) Coach Callahan, coming in extra, seeing what needs to be done to get everyone on the same page. I'm watching film with our quarterbacks, our running backs, different position groups. Making sure we are on the same page and that when we go out and play we are ready to go.

Q. Did you talk to (Linebacker) Carter Coughlin at all?? What did he tell you about the Giants?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: He's very excited to have me here. He was just very excited and kind of just welcomed me in to his family and offered me a lot of advice, whatever I need. He said he was going to be there for me and that's just amazing.

Q. How did you adopt the dead ball snap technique and does that change anything for the quarterback in your experience?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: It didn't really change anything, just something that Coach Callahan talked about that we were going to do and experiment and ended up being what we were going to do, had a lot more control of the ball and more accuracy.

Q. You're obviously going to be working very closely with (Quarterback) Daniel Jones, what do you know about him, if anything?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: He had a hell of a season last year. I mean, he led that group. He's grown a lot at his quarterback position. He reached out last night, sent me a text. I'm very excited to work with him. Very excited to work with this offense and get things rolling.

Q. What do you know about (Running Back) Saquon Barkley?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I mean, honestly, I think he's one of the best backs in the National Football League. He's a great player. He's explosive and he's tough. He runs the ball tough.

Q. This time of year, we see highlights of guys and it's always fun to see the highlights of the offensive linemen, which ones they choose for you, do you have a favorite highlight of yours that if you walked into a meeting and someone said, show us your favorite highlight of you blocking someone, is there something that jumps to the front?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: I wouldn't -- no, I wouldn't say there's (anything) in particular I would say that's a big highlight.

Q. Looking at your highlights it looks like everything was shotgun? Did you do any under center?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: Definitely this last season we did a lot under center. Had to change it up for defenses. I'm comfortable going under center or in the shotgun.

Q. (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby Johnson likes to give his linemen colorful nicknames. Have you gotten yours yet?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: (Laughs) I have not, no. I have not.

Q. What's your interaction with him been like?

JOHN MICHAEL SCHMITZ: It's been great. He's a tremendous coach and I met him right before pro day. He came out and worked me out and we had dinner. Just a tremendous guy and very excited to work with him and develop a bond -- he's amazing.

Wide Receiver Jalin Hyatt

Q. What is it about you that makes you such a big play threat?

JALIN HYATT: I feel like I'm just dynamic, explosive, I feel like I get open 24/7. I think that's what you want in a receiver, and I feel like really with those three attributes, I think that's what separates myself from everybody else.

Q. Have you done anything during the pre-draft process to specifically try to fine-tune or round out your route tree? Everyone talks about how good of a deep threat you are but to add more to your game?

JALIN HYATT: Really throughout the whole process of combine, pro day, that's really what I was working on, just come from different system, just getting used to more complex routes and I'm very capable of doing what I have to do. I'm very confident in what I've done in my training and just can't wait to get to work.

Q. What are your thoughts on becoming a Giant?

JALIN HYATT: Life changing. Life changing. It was a dream to play here. I had a feeling I was going to come here, too. I had that feeling. I don't know why. But man, I'm just blessed to be here. Blessed to be in this position and I just can't wait to make the most of it. 

Q. Where do you think you slotted in terms of the wide receivers in this draft?

JALIN HYATT: There are a lot of good receivers in this draft, a lot of good friends I've made over time, just combine prep and pro day prep but I'm very confident in myself and where my game is. I really believe I'm the best receiver in the draft. It doesn't matter where I was slotted at but now, I'm here, I'm here in New York and it's time to get to work.

Q. What do you think about playing in New York in this kind of media market?

JALIN HYATT: As far as being here today, I've never been to New York -- just as like visiting or coming with family, it's definitely something different and being here with my family and just experiencing New York and seeing everybody, seeing the coaches and meeting some players here, man, it already feels like a family just already being here. Just like I said, just blessed for the opportunity. Blessed to show what I can do and what I'm capable of. 

Q. You ran a lot of routes. What do you think your position, X or Z?

JALIN HYATT: Really anywhere. I'm not going to come in here and say I only play slot, or I only want to play outside. That's why I said I'm dynamic and explosive. I want to play everywhere. Wherever Coach wants me at, that's where I'm going to play at and I'm going to do what I have to do.

Q. You were talking last night about putting on weight. How did you come to that, if you're trying to put on weight during college or something if you go to the NFL, you need to get bigger?

JALIN HYATT: Just something where I want to feel confidential at. When I play this season, I want to be at 190 and I'm right there at it. I'm very proud of what I've done in my prep as far as getting here and as far as my weight gain. But it just a comfortable thing for me, just want to be at that 190 spot when I come into the season.

Q. How have you done that?

JALIN HYATT: For me, it's just consistency. Making sure you're eating the right things. Making sure you have good eating habits and making sure you're just consistent with your meal preps and I think that's the biggest thing for me. 

Q. What do you think you can do better at that weight than a lighter weight?

JALIN HYATT: It definitely adds more confidence. Easier to catch the ball in contested areas. People can't knock you off of routes and can't knock you off of releases. A lot of things that can help you and especially playing in the NFL is a little different. Knowing some players that are already in the league and getting some of their advice and just trying to learn from the people that are here or wherever they are at and just try to build on that.

Q. What's the best advice you've gotten from somebody so far?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, I would say one of my closest friends, Velus Jones, plays for the Bears, just told me make sure you're consistent in your meal prep because he was here when I was playing at Tennessee. We are very close friends. Trey Smith, O-linemen with the Chiefs. Guys that have production in the league that have done something and just learning from them.

Q. How has playing at 188 now, how do you feel playing at that weight than 189?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, you know, the crazy thing, I feel more explosive. I feel more explosive. Definitely feel stronger for sure. When I added more weight, just for me, it builds more confidence for me, so I would say probably those things, those three things for me.

Q. Do you ever study the slender receivers that have had a lot of success like DeSean Jackson and DeVonta Smith, have you ever studied guys like that and how do you think you can be successful?

JALIN HYATT: Yeah, for sure. You know, I was very big on DeVonta Smith with the Eagles. I think he has a lot of capabilities that I have. Slim build, long arms, explosive, dynamic, gets open 24/7. He's consistent in how he catches the ball. He's a consistent receiver and a guy that makes plays, and that's what I want to do. That's what I want to be when I come here. 

Q. What's the feeling like, everybody knows you're fast but what's it like when they know you're fast and they line up and you still get them? What's that feeling like?

JALIN HYATT: That's the best feeling in the world. That's the best feeling in the world when you go out there and knowing nobody can stop you and that's kind of how I felt this season. Just building on from this next season and learning from my mistakes this season and being ready for the big leagues.

Q. As a vertical threat, which is what people call you, how can you see how that helps the whole offense? This is a team with Saquon Barkley and somebody on the other end, when you line up outside or even in slot, the defense knows, this guy might be able to run by?

JALIN HYATT: Exactly. When you have Barkley in the backfield, and you know, a lot of guys that we have on this team that's very, very, very good, they can't really load the box. They can't go down there and just blitz the whole game. They are going to have respect -- they are going to have to respect us and that's what I'll bring and add to the table. 

Q. Did you ever worry about losing speed?

JALIN HYATT: No, it's going to stay with me. It's going to stay with me. I was born with it.

Q. When you look back and have an opportunity to think about what that Alabama did for you, Joe Schoen was standing sideline and played a big part of you being here, what do you look back at that game and take from it in retrospect?

JALIN HYATT: I just say my hard work. Just say my hard work from the off-season. Just really, for me, I really grinded my off-season going into my junior campaign, and really, after the 'Bama game, for me, that's what's expected. Like I was expected to do that in my eyes. When I have those opportunities, when Coach trusts you and you want to be a wide receiver one, those are the plays you have to make. That's the standard. After the game it was really expectation, but it was definitely something different. It probably changed my life. But you know at the same time, though, that's what football can do to you. That's what it can bring and that's why I take this sport so serious. This is my life and I love the sport and I love the game. I feel like loving the game or mistakes I make or whatever, if I'm doing good or doing bad, just learning from it and getting better the next day. I think that's the biggest thing that I learned and just want to build on when I get here.

Q. So that grinding, what was better than previous years?

JALIN HYATT: I got serious with it. I started realizing that this right here is for me. I had dreams of coming to the NFL. I had dreams of playing here when I was a little kid, playing basketball, football or running track, I had a dream to play football. I knew it was going to come. Being here at this moment and seeing all of y'all and seeing my parents here, it's a dream come true. This is something that I've been dreaming of for a while.

Q. Have the last 18 hours felt like a blur to you? Have you gotten any sleep?

JALIN HYATT: You know, not really. It's been a roller coaster. You know, when I got drafted here to the Giants, man, I was so happy. I was so happy. My parents were happy. My family was happy who are with me. It was a dream come true and now everything is aside, combine is done, for me draft is done, pro day is done. Now it's time to put in the work. Now it's time to actually get down and grind and do what I have to do, and draft, the Giants traded up to get me and that's something I'll always remember, and I can't wait to go out and show up for them.

Q. You told us last night, that four-word text you got from Daniel Jones, did that alone pick you up?

JALIN HYATT: Definitely, especially when you have QB 1 texting you saying, "Are you ready?" I'm ready. I've been ready my whole life. Like I said I'm going to be asset for him. That's what I want to be. I want to be a player where he can trust, somebody who is going to be a professional and going to get open for him consistently and that's what I'm going to do for him. 

Q. Some guys take it personal when they slip down farther. Did you take it that way? And were you in contract with Cedric (Tillman) at all during the whole thing?

JALIN HYATT: You never know with draft. For me I'm just blessed for the opportunity to be here. I think that's the biggest thing. I wasn't worried about if I was sliding up or down or whatever. I just know for me, whatever team drafted me, you know, I knew what I was going to do. I knew what I was going to do. And Giants took me, traded up to get me and that's something I'll never forget and now it's time to put in the work. Now it's time to do what I have to do and make my name here.

With Ced, one of my closest friends, I didn't text him during the draft, but I texted him after when he got picked up and just proud of him, proud of what he has done and the success that he had at Tennessee and just can't wait to see what his future is like.

Q. Is Daniel trying to get you out on the field like today or tomorrow?

JALIN HYATT: We going to get on the field soon, I can tell you that. I can tell that you. I need to get the playbook down and -- send me the playbook so we can go ahead and get things rolling. I can't wait. I can't wait. Like I said, Daniel Jones, a great quarterback, we all know that, proven himself and now it's time for me to prove myself to him and I can't wait for it.

Running Back Eric Gray

Q. How much do you know about (Head Coach) Brian Daboll and the Giants' offense and what do you think you can bring as?

ERIC GRAY: I just bring -- I'm just going to bring a lot to the offense and be able to run in between the tackles, run outside zone, inside zone, being able to catch the ball out of the backfield. I think I just bring another threat to the offense.

Q. How much contact did you have with them during the pre-draft process?

ERIC GRAY: A pretty good amount. I had a workout with (Running Backs) Coach Nixon, the running backs coach, going into the draft. Early on in the process I had a workout with him, so I would say a pretty good amount of contact with them.

Q. What do you think it's going to be like to soon be a teammate of (Running Back) Saquon Barkley?

ERIC GRAY: I've watched a lot of Saquon, me playing, I've watched a lot of his games, so just being able to learn from him, things that he did as a rookie being successful in the league, that's going to be very important.

Q. Did you play with (Wide Receiver) Jalin Hyatt at Tennessee?

ERIC GRAY: I did. He was a freshman when I was a sophomore.

Q. What can you tell us about him?

ERIC GRAY: Just a great, fast receiver. Very productive. You see what he did this past year bursting on to the scene. Great receiver. 

Q. What does it take to be a good receiver out of the backfield? What qualities do you think that you have that make you accomplished in that area?

ERIC GRAY: Being able to, one, just having those natural hands to be able to catch and being able to route run. Me personally, I have a good feel for knowing coverages coming out of the backfield, knowing if it's man or zone or if I need to break it this way, setting crisp routes, getting to my depth. I would say I've been blessed to be a pretty good route runner out of the backfield. 

Q. I saw you did some punt returns. Did they talk to you about that?

ERIC GRAY: Yes, I did, I did do some of that in my college years. I did, so that's just adding more value for myself. 

Q. What would you think about early in your career being like a third down, passing down running back?

ERIC GRAY: I'll do what it takes for the team. I'm a 'we guy' not a 'me guy' – I'll do what it takes for the team.

Q. What Giants have you heard from already?

ERIC GRAY: I haven't gotten a chance to talk to any Giants yet. I'm sure (Wide Receiver) Sterling (Shepard) will call me soon, just him being in Oklahoma, but I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him yet.

Q. What's your relationship with him?

ERIC GRAY: I have never talked to Sterling, but somebody just sent me his number -- would be a good chance to talk to him.

Q. What does today mean to you to hear your name called and end up in New York?

ERIC GRAY: It's a dream come true. It's a dream come true. I've been waiting for this day for a long time, and for it to be the Giants, it just means a lot to me, being able to, like I said, to learn from the guys that are already in the room, I've got a good feel for the coach when he had the private workout, Coach Daboll, I just love the Giants offense. I'm stoked about it. I can't wait to get to New York.

Q. When you say you got a good feel in that private work out what did you learn from him or why do you think you would mesh really well with Nixon?

ERIC GRAY: Just his mentality in the running back room. He wants guys that are good for the room, that are good fits for the room. He wants guys that are going to work hard and that are going to come in there and give 100 percent every day and not take a day off, and that's the kind of guy that I am. I'm going to go in there every single day and do as much as I can to help the team win. 

Q. Where did you watch the Draft and where did you spend the day? When you got the call from the Giants, can you tell us about the reaction? Seemed like they have been videoing guys, doing FaceTimes. When you have experience with that?

ERIC GRAY: I'm in Nashville with my family. Me and my friends actually went for a drive when I got the call. Trying to just get out of the house for a minute, me and my friends went for a drive, and I got the call. We rushed home, everybody ran out of the house yelling. I got a chance to talk with the entire organization over FaceTime. Just a great FaceTime, for me just an unbelievable moment. 

Q. What have the last few days been like for you? What did you think the likelihood that maybe you could get picked in the day two range yesterday and take us through your emotions of this whole thing.

ERIC GRAY: Definitely tried to stay level-headed though, but it was definitely a little roller coaster, thinking I could go – like you said – in day two, but ended up going today. But it's all a blessing. Now it's time to get on the field and work.

Q. I was looking at your stats. Did you carry like 549 times and never fumble?

ERIC GRAY: Yes, sir. 

Q. What do you attribute that to? What is that about you that you think you have such good ball security?

ERIC GRAY: Just having awareness of the ball, knowing when you get in traffic, put two hands on it, having awareness of the defenders, where the defenders are, knowing that when you're running, defenders are trying to knock it out. Just having that awareness. 

Q. Going to test your memory. When was your last fumble, do you remember?

ERIC GRAY: My last fumble, I don't know that one.

Q. Will you come with a chip on your shoulder given that you slipped to the third day?

ERIC GRAY: 100 percent. 100 percent going to come with a chip on my shoulder. I feel like I have to go prove it and be the player that I want to be in the league. 

Q. Are you going to tell Daniel you know how to throw passes, too?

ERIC GRAY: (Laughs) I'm going to let him throw passes. I'm just going to take my hand offs and catch for him.

Q. What happened on your pass this year?

ERIC GRAY: (inaudible) throw my first touchdown, the route kind of got bumped off if I threw it, but at least I would have made the tackle.

View photos of the New York Giants' seven-member draft class.


2023 Season Tickets Now Available

Related Content