The 2023 NFL draft is just one day away and the New York Giants, who hold the 25th overall pick, could go in many directions this year.
Joe Schoen has absolutely killed it since taking over as general manager 14 months ago. He has reshaped the roster, straighten out an impossible salary cap dilemma, hired a top coach in Brian Daboll, and turned the Giants from hopeless losers to an ascending team.
And he’s far from done.
What can we expect this year at the draft from Schoen? Here are five things to think about over the next few days.
Everyone thinks they are smarter than Schoen. Everyone is wrong. Schoen has repeatedly said that he doesn’t believe a team needs a “No. 1” wideout to win. He has been proven right as the Kansas City Chiefs just one the Super Bowl with a wide receiver room filled with rookies and rejects.
That is why Schoen has been re-signing and signing veteran wideouts this offseason to provide depth and talent.
Yes, the Giants have been wining and dining all the top wideouts in this draft, but Schoen has said he would only take a wide receiver if the right one came along.
Translation: If a player such as Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba falls to No. 25, they’ll be tempted. If not, they could wait and take one of the ‘lesser’ options on Days 2 and 3.
The Giants’ blowout loss to the rival Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional round of the playoffs last year exposed them as a scheme team — especially on defense. They need to upgrade on all three levels.
Schoen has made some significant moves to fortify the run defense with the additions of linebacker Bobby Okereke and linemen A’Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches but they are vulnerable through the air.
Their secondary is largely unproven and they could use another playmaking linebacker. Schoen could be looking at some solid options in the first three rounds to choose from at both corner and off-ball ‘backer.
Giant fans have been begging for a franchise center for years and have yet to have that wish fulfilled. Schoen was aware that he had to add a center with some NFL experience to the roster before the draft and he did with J.C. Hassenauer, but could be looking to do more at the position by adding one of the many talented centers in this draft.
Keep an eye on Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz and Joe Tippmann of Wisconsin, who will go early in the draft but they could wait until the middle to late rounds to grab one. Penn State’s Juice Scruggs was also mentioned as a player they like.
The Giants just signed Daniel Jones to a four-year, $160 million deal, so there’s no urgent need to seek out a franchise guy at the moment. Backup Tyrod Taylor is signed through this season and that could be it for him here in New York.
The Giants met with Anthony Richardson of Florida, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, Penn State’s Sean Clifford, Tommy DeVito of Illinois, Fresno State’s Jake Haener and Clayton Tune of Houston.
Richardson and Hooker will be early picks but the others could be late-round or UDFA options.
The Saquon Barkley situation is being overdramatized but it’s still something for Giant fans to think about. There is a good possibility they choose to move on from him rather than commit long-term.
If that happens, they’ll be looking to go the ‘committee’ route with an assortment of young backs and strategically placed veterans on one-year deals.
The Giants will likely take a back in this draft and have met with a few in the pre-draft process: Bijan Robinson of Texas, Auburn’s Tank Bigsby, Kendre Miller of TCU, Tyjae Spears of Tulane, Syracuse’s Sean Tucker, and Monmouth’s Owen Wright.