EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – One day after the Giants began voluntary OTAs and less than one month after the NFL Draft, the Giants have signed all seven of their draft choices.
On Tuesday afternoon, they put pen to paper with their last remaining draft pick to sign, John Michael Schmitz, the University of Minnesota center selected in the second round.
The 6’4″ and 320-pound Schmitz was considered by many to be the top center in the draft class and surprisingly fell to the Giants with the 57th overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. The 24-year-old had spent six seasons with the Golden Gophers, including a redshirt year in 2017. In those five years on the field, Schmitz played in 57 games with 35 starts, including starting 31 games in his final three seasons.
“Schmitz is a great guy,” Giants general manager Joe Schoen said after selecting the center in the draft. “Smart, tough, dependable, played a lot of ball. Had a great Senior Bowl. He’s a good player and a great kid.”
In 2022, Schmitz started all 12 regular-season games at center for the Golden Gophers before opting out of the Pinstripe Bowl and accepting an invitation to the Senior Bowl.
He was selected AP and FWAA first-team All-America and voted first-team All-Big Ten by coaches and media after a season in which Minnesota rushed for 2,698 yards and 33 touchdowns and passed for 2,369 yards and 12 scores.
Despite the fact that it would appear Schmitz enters OTAs as the favorite to start at center, the rookie is not taking anything for granted.
“You’ve got to earn their trust and that’s by how hard you work,” he said in his post-draft press conference. “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.
Despite the Giants heading into the draft with 11 picks, they made seven selections over the course of the three-day draft thanks to multiple trades up to secure the players they wanted.
Along with Schmitz, the Giants’ draft class includes Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks (first round), Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt (third round), Oklahoma running back Eric Gray (fifth round), Old Dominion cornerback Tre Hawkins (sixth round), Oregon defensive tackle Jordon Riley (seventh round), and Houston safety Gervarrius Owens (seventh round).
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