Already deemed to be ahead of schedule after a surprising run to the NFC Divisional Round, the Giants carried that momentum into the 2023 NFL Draft by putting together one of the strong showings across the league.
General manager Joe Schoen, now in his second year at the helm, continues to provide vast improvements for a roster that still had its fair share of holes to address this offseason despite their first playoff appearance since January of 2017.
Needless to say, he’s receiving high marks for his selections down in Kansas City this weekend.
Best Pick: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
Schmitz was widely considered the best center available at the draft and very well could have been a first-round selection for a team in need of help in the trenches. Yet Schmitz fell into the Giants’ laps in the second round at No. 57 overall, providing a bona fide option at the position after Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates departed in free agency. He’s a tough, gritty talent that will further bolster a Giants offensive line that needed refining for both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.
Worst Pick: Tre Hawkins, CB, Old Dominion
There’s no question that the Giants need to bolster their secondary, that’s why they went with Deonte Banks with their first-round pick. Hawkins is obviously a bit of an unknown coming out of Old Dominion being a sixth-round pick (209th overall), but there were other options on the table that were rated higher than Hawkins — who currently has a ceiling of starting out as a special-teams player. Of course, there’s an abundance of time to prove otherwise.
Sleeper Pick: Jaylin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
There are size concerns with Hyatt, but this was a potential first-round talent that fell to the Giants in the third round. He has deceptive speed that should provide Jones with a legitimate outside option — something he has missed over the majority of his first four seasons in the NFL. He’s receiving pro comparisons to DeSean Jackson, whom Giants fans are all too familiar with when he would burn them down during his days in Philadelphia. And that’s something Big Blue could certainly use.
Overreaction Pick: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
There were some eyebrows raised when the Giants traded up one slot to take the Maryland corner with the 25th overall selection of the draft. That being said, he was the best overall option available for a team that needs another shutdown option alongside Adoree’ Jackson after the wide receiver run saw four pass catchers go from picks 20-24 which took the top options off the board for Schoen. Let Banks cook, he’ll do just fine in the Meadowlands.
Overall Grade: A
One couldn’t ask much more from Schoen at the draft here. He picked up legitimate contributors for some of their greatest areas of need over the seven rounds, already improving the Giants’ roster significantly from last year. Can’t ask for much more than that.