INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It honestly feels like things are going 100 mph here at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. I’m just now — on Wednesday afternoon — fully getting to digest the press conferences held by New York Giants GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll on Tuesday afternoon.
We have touched on a couple of things. First, Schoen talking about being “open for business” and willing to “listen to everything” in an effort to make the team better. Second, Daboll saying that 2021 first-round Kadarius Toney has a “clean slate” after a less-than-ideal rookie season.
Let’s catch up with some other takeaways from Schoen’s Combine media availability. I promise I will get to Daboll’s ... eventually.
Joe Schoen on what he owes Bills GM Brandon Beane
“We could be here all day talking about what I’ve taken from (Bills General Manager) Brandon (Beane), whether it’s how to treat people around the building, how to build through the draft, free agency, throughout the entire football organization, training room, strength staff, you name it. Again, I’m fortunate that he put me in his pocket and allowed me to go along for the ride during my five years in Buffalo. I can’t thank him enough for that opportunity.
“I told people before, I came up on the personnel side, the traditional scouting path as you will. There’s a lot more to the job than just sitting in your office and watching film for 12 hours a day, so Brandon came up the football operations side and he can evaluate and he can scout and when he became a GM, really dove into the personnel side. His exposure to the football operation and his background in that area is really what I wasn’t exposed to, so those five years were invaluable in terms of how to manage and lead an entire football operation.”
Daniel Jones’ future
“I know he’s got all the physical tools and he’s a great kid,” Schoen said of the Giants’ fourth-year quarterback. “Whatever ceiling he has he’s going to reach it if he can stay healthy because he’s got the work ethic, he’s a smart kid and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Schoen was not ready to commit one way or the other on Jones’ fifth-year option.
“We’re still trying to work through both options. We’ve just gotta get around him. That’s a $22 million dollar decision so we’re gonna take our time,” Schoen said.
“We’re still working through all that. We’re fortunate with Dabs (Head Coach Brian Daboll) being a new head coach, we’re going to be able to have a mandatory minicamp before the draft. We’re going to get to be around the entire team, the guys that are under contract leading up to the draft. We have until May 2nd to make that decision, so we’re going to be patient and go through the process.”
Rebuilding the offensive line
Obviously, improving the caliber of the Giants’ offensive line is a priority for the Giants. So, what is Schoen looking for?
“It’s a unique position. I think some of it’s the make-up of the guys. If you talk about a unit in terms of five offensive linemen, they’ve got to be working together and in sync. I look at the type of guys, we talk about smart, tough and dependable. We’ve talked about that in our press conferences,” Schoen said. “I think you start there and then you move to the talent aspect. Do they have athleticism? Do they have strength? Do they have power? What type of run scheme are we going to be in? What are we going to ask them to do? I think it’s an intangible position just as well as a physical position.”
The Giants have two picks in the top 10 of the 2022 NFL Draft. Schoen indicated that you can build an offensive line without using those premium draft resources.
“I think you can find offensive linemen throughout the draft,” Schoen said. “I don’t think you can look at the offensive line and say you have to draft one in the first round. You can find offensive linemen throughout the draft.”
Schoen on moving around the draft board
“We’re open to moving back, moving up, staying as well. Find seven players you like in the draft and again, I can sleep good at night because two of those guys will be there, one at five and one at seven. We haven’t been around them yet, so it’s important to meet the kids and make sure they’re our type of guys. Once we do that, if we come up with seven that we like, I’m happy staying. If there’s a guy we fall in love with, I’m not afraid of moving up and I’m not afraid to move back.”
What’s the plan in free agency?
Schoen said the Giants would have to be “very calculated” in signing veteran free agents.
“That’s kind of my initial comment in terms of we’ve got to have contingency plans and kind of the if then scenarios. We went through a lot of those. If we don’t get to where we have money that we can do something in free agency then it’s going to be hard,” Schoen said. “Again, back to my introductory press conference, we want to be competitive today and also build for tomorrow. I think if we’re able to do this the right way, I think there’s a real possibility that we’re going to be able to do that.”
Brandon Brown’s role
The Giants hired Brandon Brown away from the Philadelphia Eagles to be Schoen’s assistant general manager. Schoen said Brown would be involved in all phases of the team’s operation and that “Brandon Beane prepared me for this job, and I would like to do the same thing for Brandon Brown.”
“Brandon [Beane] used to say hey if I get hit by a car tomorrow you’ve gotta be able to take over. Brandon Brown’s going to be in the same boat. If I get hit by a bus crossing the street Brandon Brown’s gotta be able to take over. He’s going to be part of the negotiations. Pro department, college department, anything we do across the whole operation.”
Why was Brown, 33, the right fit to be Schoen’s No. 2?
“He’s got a tremendous relationship around the league. I interviewed him in 2014 in Miami for a scouting assistant job. I’ve followed him for a long time. Very smart, one of my dear friends worked with him, Max Gruder (assistant director of pro scouting/Philly). Spoke very highly of him, and then the fact that he’s done pro and college and I’ve observed him on the road in film rooms, I’ve seen him at games and he’s got an impeccable reputation around the league,” Schoen said.
“He’s done a phenomenal job for me since he’s been here and been a really good resource for me.”
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