Why Giants felt the need to trade up for Banks and why they might trade up again

Schoen Daboll Giants
Giants general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. (AMNY)

As the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft crept towards pick 20, it seemed like the board was shaping up as good as the New York Giants could have hoped for. But just four picks later, the Giants found themselves in a position where they felt the need to move up one spot to ensure they got the player they wanted, Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks. 

“The way it went down and the way the board fell, we were getting depleted,” said Giants general manager Joe Schoen. “So it was the right thing to do for us.”

While the trade was, on one hand, a reaction to the way the board was falling, it was also the result of a day-long discussion between Schoen and Jacksonville Jaguars’ general manager Trent Baalke.

“You try to go through as many of those scenarios as you can,” explained Schoen about how draft day shook out. “You make the phone calls with the other general managers throughout the league and you have good dialogue and conversations, where if you get on the clock and there’s an opportunity. I had talked to Trent Baalke down in Jacksonville earlier today and said, ‘Hey, I don’t know if there may be a scenario where I’m worried about somebody coming behind us to this position, would you be open to it, these would be the parameters,’ and we stayed in communication throughout the Draft.”

Schoen also pointed out that the Giants try to make sure they play out every possible scenario before the draft begins, so they know exactly which teams could have the desire to leapfrog them if a specific player were to fall. 

“We do a lot of research on team needs, and what people need behind us [need],” explained Schoen. “Just like you guys track the 30 visits, we track the 30 visits, and the reality is, the last four or five teams in a line there, when things looked like they were lining up for us, [Banks] visited a lot of those places.”

The Giants decided not to mess around and risk losing a player they truly felt could impact their team. 

“[We] didn’t want to get greedy,” explained Schoen about why they didn’t want to just wand wait any longer. “Hey, this is a player we like, we covet, don’t get cute. Let’s just take him, and then we’ll move on to day two of the Draft.”

Giants first round pick Deonte Banks
Maryland football vs. Purdue on Oct. 8, 2022. (Riley Sims/The Diamondback).

As it turned out, part of the reason that the Giants were worried that somebody was going to come up and take Deonte Banks was that Schoen had apparently received a phone call from his old boss Brandon Beane, the general manager for the Buffalo Bills, asking if the Giants would be willing to move down so Buffalo could move up. 

The other reason the Giants began to worry was that wide receivers were flying off of the board, starting with Jaxson Smith-Njigba going to Seattle at 20, then Quentin Johnston to the Chargers at 21, Zay Flowers to the Ravens at pick 22, and Jordan Addison to Minnesota at pick 23.

“That was part of it,” admitted Schoen. “There’s some receivers that were going off the board and some corners, typically there’s a lot of corners that go, and once [Christian] Gonzalez went [to New England at pick 17], we were wondering what was going to happen next and [Emmanuel] Forbes went [at pick 16 to Washington].”

While the Giants weren’t locked in on one player but “had a group of players that ended up being in the same range,” they saw a large section of that group start to get selected and decided it was time to ensure they didn’t miss out completely. 

It’s a strategy that Schoen could utilize again, even though the Giants had to give up a 5th and 7th-round pick to move up and select Banks. Since New York came into the draft with 10 picks, they still have more than enough remaining to be aggressive and get a player they like. 

“I’d still go up,” said Schoen, confidently. “We’ll still move. We still have our premium, second, third, and fourth [round picks]. We are in good shape from that standpoint if we want to move around.” 

Could that mean trading up for a wide receiver like Jalin Hyatt or Marvin Mims? Might it mean ensuring they can get the draft’s top center in John Michael Schmitz? 

While the answer to those questions remains unclear, what is clear is that the Giants still have a big role to play in the rest of the 2023 NFL Draft. 

For more on the Giants, visit AMNY.com/sports

Deonte Banks Giants