Giants Joe Schoen looking at ‘makeup’ of players when selecting at NFL Draft

Giants general manager Joe Schoen.

Giants general manager Joe Schoen has been plenty busy in the lead-up to the 2023 NFL Draft this week as he works to improve upon the surprising year the team completed back in January. 

With 10 picks in this year’s draft, there remains a good chance that Schoen deals some of those selections, but when it comes to the players he does select, what will be the defining factors for those choices? The Giants brought in 15 players on “Top 30” visits and met multiple times with three of them. 

The Giants’ needs this offseason are somewhat clear. They need wide receiver help and assistance in the secondary. A center could come in handy as well with some uncertainty at that position and the free agent pool somewhat limited.  

Among the names linked to visits to the Giants are three were wideouts (Zay Flowers, Jordan Addison, Marvin Mims) and six were secondary members (safety Brian Branch and cornerbacks Deonte Banks, Tre Hawkins, Jartavius ‘Quan’ Martin, Joey Porter Jr. and Cam Smith), according to a list compiled by WalterFootball.com. 

So what’s to make of, if anything, from these visits? 

“Maybe we need to confirm there’s some uneasiness with a player and confirm they are not a fit, or how will they pick up our system; our offense is very complicated,” Schoen said on his thought process of who comes in for official visits. “Or sometimes it can be medical; if they are non-combine to get the medical. There are varying reasons for why we bring players in. But again, it’s a great opportunity not just to get them around myself and Daboll and the coaches, but the rest of our support staff, training staff, strength staff, nutrition, whatever it may be. It’s just good to be around these players as much as you can.”

Schoen has had a good track record for making sound selections in the mid-rounds. Several picks in Buffalo have gone on to make major impacts for the franchise in the years since, including Gabe Davis.

Perhaps the Davis selection provided the best insight into the particulars that Schoen looks for in a draft pick. In the case of Davis, Schoen described his “makeup” noting his work ethic and ability to move him around. 

“It’s not always what you can see on film, and I think that’s why we go and spend so much time with these kids is to try to figure out what’s the makeup,” Schoen said. “Because when you get to this level everybody’s good; what’s going to give you the competitive advantage. Why is a fourth- or fifth-round player going to make it: Is it their work ethic; is their tireless pursuit of being great, whatever it may be, you try to identify those traits through this process, whether it’s bringing them in on 30 visits, going and seeing them.

“We talked to a bunch of coaches this week around the country, whether head coaches, position coaches, or coordinators, and getting as much information as you can on why this kid can be successful, and Gabe was one of those players.”

Schoen will hope that the proverbial lightning can strike twice and the Giants can hit on a difference-maker or two joining their ranks from college in 2023. The draft begins on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN).

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