The Ohio State pro day in advance of the 2023 NFL Draft will be held on Wednesday, and the New York Giants will be there.
That was, frankly, a given. The OSU pro day is one of the “must see” events on the Pro Day circuit, as the Buckeyes consistently put talented players into the NFL. And it can be easy to read a bit too much into Pro Day attendance — by and large, every team is interested in every player and they’re looking for as much data as they can get in order to set their big boards.
But the Giants’ contingent isn’t just area and regional scouts and a couple coaches. The Giants are descending on Columbus in force, with Albert Breer reporting their contingent consisting of:
- General manager Joe Schoen
- Assistant GM Brandon Brown
- Head coach Brian Daboll
- Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka
- Quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney
- Offensive line coach Bobby Johnson
Way back when, in the days of Jerry Reese’s tenure, we used GM visits to pro days as a barometer of the teams’ interest in a prospect. Just based purely on the amount of brass present, the Giants are clearly very interested in the Ohio State prospects — and we can also make some educated guesses in whom the Giants are interested.
It’s notable that no defensive coaches are present on the list, so we can probably assume that the Giants don’t have an overwhelming interest in any of OSU’s defensive prospects.
Most of the eyes in Columbus will be trained on quarterback C.J. Stroud, but it would be a stunning development if the Giants had real interest in him.
The more likely candidates are WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba and C Luke Wypler.
The Giants had dinner with Smith-Njigba Tuesday.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba dining with Giants HC Brian Daboll and GM Joe Schoen the night before @OhioStateFB pro day— Andrew Groover (@APGroover) March 22, 2023
Smith-Njigba is a big question mark at the top of the receiver depth chart after his 2022 season was derailed by injury. Giants wide receivers coach Mike Groh reportedly got an “up close” look at the receiver at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. Smith-Njigba has been widely mocked to the Giants in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, but there are questions about him. Most of his production came with Offensive Rookie Of The Year Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave (who finished fourth in OROY voting) on the field, and teams will need to be sure about his health and long-term prognosis.
The Giants also have some pretty significant questions at the center position after letting Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates depart via free agency. This year’s center class is one of the strongest in recent memory, and Wypler is both a good athlete position and a sound technician.
Offensive tackles Paris Johnson and Dawand Jones could also be of interest, though the Giants hope to be set at left and right tackle for the foreseeable future.
None of this means that the Giants will be drafting any of these players, but we should definitely be taking note.