Going to assume, with only 3 million in CAP space left, for this mock that the Giants are done signing UFA’s until after the draft is over with. At which point, vet mins may be given out if they can not fill out the 90 with UDFA’s they are interested in seeing over the summer. However, those won’t touch the top 51 salaries on the roster so it won’t change the CAP.
2023 NFL Draft:
25. Traded to Cincinnati for WR Tee Higgins
After an offseason of telling everybody they wouldn’t trade Higgins, Cinci does that very thing on draft night. There may be some swapping of day 3 picks in 2024 to massage egos, but the meat and potatoes of the trade is #25 for Higgins. This will all depend on how the board falls, but Schoen and the Bengals will have an agreement on the parameters of a trade soon. If the player(s) Schoen is targeting gets scooped up while a player that Cinci wants remains available, the phone call will be made and the trade will then be finalized and sent to the league office. Schoen gets himself a potential #1 WR for Daniel Jones while Cincinnati takes WR Zay Flowers from Boston College at pick #25. 1 year of control vs. 5 years of cheap control is why Cincinnati makes the trade. Schoen wants size, and with Q.Johnson likely gone in the teens he will need to seek a trade to go get that. This deal likely comes with an a extension, but with such a low CAP hit in 2023 it will not effect the deal. 3 year/ 54 million (30 million guaranteed) sounds about right for Higgins and locks him up through 2026 season. Not quite the 20+ a year true #1’s are getting these days, but short enough that he will get another bite at the apple before he turns 30 (will be 28 during the 2027 offseason).
#57. OC Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan
Often thought of as a third round target for the Giants should they bypass the center position in the first two rounds where players like Steve Avila, Joe Tippmann, and John Michael-Schmitz are expected to go; Schoen and Co. instead take OO a round earlier than many expect him to go. They don’t care. They need a center, and he is the one they like so they don’t risk losing him hoping he will be available at #89.
#89. CB Cam Smith, South Carolina
If Kelee Ringo gets to #25 I want him to be a Giant in the worst way, and they have visited with him. Now, Charlie Campbell at Walterfootball seems to think even if available they would pass on him, but I don’t expect it to be an issue. I think he will be gone before pick #20 even rolls around. Cam Smith, on tape alone, is nearly as talented and as athletic as Ringo. Honestly, purely on talent, there are likely many scouts who would tell you I was smoking crack and that Smith is clearly the better CB prospect. So, how in the world is Schoen going to get him at #89? Reports are he was an atrocious interview. Either, those reports are true and he is going to slide or they are false and somebody wants to try and manufacture a slip. If true, depending on how bad an interview it really was, the third round is likely where his name will resurface. Again talent alone, this is a steal. Giants took him out to dinner before his pro day, so there is interest there.
#128. ILB DeMarvion Overshown, Texas
A little too similar to Okereke for my liking in that he is a good downhill run defender, but leaves a lot to be desired in the passing game. However, Overshown is an athlete that could certainly be used in blitz schemes in place of the traditional safety in Wink’s exotic blitz packages. At the very least, he should be a better run stuffing version of what Landon Collins was last year. Despite signing Okereke and drafting McFadden and Beavers last year, I don't think Schoen and Co. would hesitate to take another LB.
#160. S Jammie Robinson, Florida St.
The Giants have 2022 4th rounder Dane Belton, last year FA pick up Jason Pinnock and this year's UFA signee Bobby McCain on the roster, plus PS Trenton Thompson who they seem to like. All of them made them ok with letting Jordan Love sign elsewhere, but none of them prevent the Giants from taking another crack at finding a star safety. I would pick Chamarri Conner (if available) from Virginia Tech, but Schoen and co. have visited with Robinson this offseason so it is his name that gets called.
#172. QB Max Duggan, TCU
He has met with the Giants personally in the lead up to the draft, so if available and meetings went well, he is a QB to watch if he gets to #89. The fact that Schoen and Co. got to pass over him 3 separate times at picks #89, #128 and #160 and he is still there come #172; Joe doesn’t wait any longer and attacks the backup QB spot with his extra 5th round pick.
#209. OLB Andrew Farmer, Lane
Another player who has visited with the Giants leading up to the draft, getting the pattern? Farmer is a small school HBCU prospect who has some athleticism and decent size for a small school guy. Likely a backup / special teamer in the pros, but in the 6th round it’s worth a short.
#240. RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota
Not a player they have met with as far as tracking is concerned, but the Giants have been active in scouting day 3 RB’s this offseason. Plus, at least Bobby Johnson was in attendance for Minnesota as he put John Michael-Schmitz through a workout. I’m assuming he wasn’t the only representative/coach of the Giants there that day, so I expect Mohamed to a potential day 3 guy.
#243. TE Payne Durham, Purdue
He was able to use his size at Purdue to produce numbers, but after running slower than some linemen he may no longer be a draftable prospect on many boards. With a name like Payne and size, should be able to block some though, right? If not he will be a PS candidate early on you hope to develop into something. Another player to have met with the Giants that could be a priority UDFA given that 40 time. However, the highest priority UDFA’s are your 7th round choices. You draft them so they can’t sign elsewhere on you.
#254. WR Trey Palmer, Nebraska
Started out his career at LSU before transferring to Nebraska last year. He had himself a year as a Husker so he may go as early as the 5th round thanks to it, but he does not particularly stand out as a prospect either. Average build, average speed, average hands. So, has a chance to end up being a priority UDFA too. However, I think he winds up going somewhere on day 3, just a matter of when and where. Has met with the Giants. Starts his career on the practice squad. In fact, better chance that none of the 7th rounders make it than all of them do.
Now that we have the picks out of the way, how are Schoen and Co. going to pay for them? As stated, currently the Giants only have 3.3 million in space available. Well about 1 million after trading for Higgins and absorbing his 2.3 million salary immediately instead of later on like a normal first round pick.
Post June 1st Day Trade:
DT Leonard Williams sent to Buffalo for DT Ed Oliver
Purely on talent alone, Leonard Williams for Ed Oliver is a loss for the Giants. What helps even out the balance sheet is the financial implications. Right now, Leonard Williams counts 32 million against the CAP; which Schoen has stated he will work around. I don’t make this trade trying to make him look like a liar. I fully believe Joe when he says he will work other avenues to gain financial flexibility. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t touch Williams deal or trade Leo for a deal he feels is worth it. Yes, purely on what they have done Oliver is inferior. However, Schoen was with Buffalo when they made Ed the 9th selection in the 2018 draft. Plus, with this trade Joe can get younger at the position and save roughly 8 million* in CAP space. 14 million would be dead money for Williams on the Giants books, so they would be trading 18 million non-guaranteed money owed to Williams for 10 million guaranteed money for Oliver. Buffalo could then cut Williams in a salary dump, but likely would restructure his deal and keep him around.
CAP- 9 million
QB Tyrod Taylor traded to Indianapolis for a 2024 7th round pick
After taking Duggan in the 5th round and needing the cap space, Schoen trades Tyrod back to Indy who needs a capable veteran backup for their new rookie QB. Saves 5 million against the cap.
CAP- 14 million
OG Mark Glowinski- Converts 4 million of base salary into bonus that now counts against next year instead of this year. This would almost all but assure Glowinski’s 3rd year in NY given that cutting him would come with little to no savings, so if he doesn’t retire why not just keep him as a backup at the very least. However, Schoen is likely fine with that because he didn’t sign Mark hoping to have to cut him. He wants to bridge him to a potential replacement he drafts or UDFA steal he finds.
CAP- 18 million; which after the picks are signed and the CAP goes from top 51 to full 53, PS and IR I am guesstimating leaves around 6 or so million for in season moves.
QB: Daniel Jones, Max Duggan
RB: Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell, Mohamed Ibrahim
WR: Tee Higgins, Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, Jamison Crowder, Jeffrey Smith
TE: Darren Waller, Daniel Bellinger, Payne Durham
OT: Andrew Thomas, Evan Neal, Matt Peart
OG: Mark Glowinski, Josh Ezeudu, Shane Lemieux, Jack Anderson
OC: Ben Bredeson, Olusegun Oluwatimi
NT: Dexter Lawrence, Vernon Butler
DE: Rakeem Nunes-Roches, Ed Hill, Ryder Anderson, DJ Davidson
OLB: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Tomon Fox, Jihad Ward, Andrew Farmer
ILB: Bobby Okereke, Darrin Beavers, DeMarion Overshown, Micah McFadden, Cam Brown
CB: Adoree Jackson, Cor'Dale Flott, Darnay Holmes, Nick McCloud, Cam Smith
S: Xavier McKinney, Bobby McCain, Jason Pinnock, Dane Belton, Jammie Robinson
K: Graham Gano
P: Jamie Gillan
LS: Casey Kreiter
WR Wan’Dale Robinson
WR Sterling Shepard