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NFL Draft grades: Giants get high marks for 2023 draft class

GM Joe Schoen widely applauded for moves in first three rounds

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The 2023 NFL Draft is over, which means it is time for way-too-early 2023 NFL Draft grades. How to analysts think the New York Giants did? Let’s find out.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper gave the Giants an A-.

I mentioned this Friday night, but the Giants landed three of my top 45 prospects in the first two days of the draft. That’s impressive stuff from general manager Joe Schoen. Cornerback Deonte Banks (24) was consistently impressive when I watched his 2022 tape, and he stuck to receivers in man coverage. He is both experienced (he started eight games as a freshman) and toolsy (42-inch vertical leap at the combine). We can slot him in as a starter on the other side of Adoree’ Jackson.

John Michael Schmitz (57) is my top-ranked center, and he fills a huge hole. He’s going to start as a rookie. Coach Brian Daboll helped make a trade up for wideout Jalin Hyatt (73), whom I had rated as the No. 44 player in this class. You might remember Hyatt from his five touchdown catches against Alabama, and he can fly out of the slot. I was surprised he was still available in Round 3.

I like running back Eric Gray (172) as a potential steal on Day 3; he isn’t a burner, but he can be a one-cut back behind Saquon Barkley. Safety Gervarrius Owens is an intriguing flier in Round 7.

This class is lifted up by those first three picks, which all fit positions of need. Nice job by Schoen and Daboll.

Chad Reuter of gave the Giants an A-.

Banks is a fluid athlete outside with the potential to justify the trade up if his game matures. Schmitz quenches the Giants’ thirst for a very good starter in the pivot to help Daniel Jones continue his ascension. Hyatt is a late bloomer who is the exact vertical threat Jones and the offense needed.

Gray is a tough runner with receiving ability who will step up to spell Saquon Barkley and Matt Breida. Hawkins joins Banks as another needed athlete at cornerback, and Owens’ ability to cover ground and tackle were worthy of a top-150 pick at safety.

Pro Football Focus gave the Giants an A+.

PFF said “nobody would have really batted an eye” if the Giants had selected center John Michael Schmitz in Round 1. PFF said wide receiver Jalin Hyatt is “a burner on the outside that needs some refinement but has all the athletic ability necessary to excel at the next level.”

The Sporting News gave the Giants an A:

The Giants were methodical about their needs, getting a big need at corner right away with an ace outside cover man in Banks. Schmitz, Hyatt and Gray were necessary boosts around Daniel Jones, including a sound interior blocker and big-play threat. They also got a key change-of-pace skilled receiving back as a contingency for Saquon Barkley.

DraftKings gave the Giants an A-.

Giants fans can rejoice as the dark days of Dave Gettleman being GM are quickly behind them. Joe Schoen hit the ball out of the park as Maryland CB Deonte Banks fits perfectly into Wink Martindale’s press man coverage scheme. On day two, the Giants snagged John Michael-Schmitz who was a 2022 AP All-American Center at Minnesota and 16 picks later, Fred Biletnkoff Award winner Jalin Hyatt was selected by New York. Hyatt is a high wire speedster who can get open often. To round out the picks, Eric Gray was a two-year starter at Oklahoma who can support Saquon Barkley in the backfield, Tre Hawkins is yet another athletic cornerback, Jordan Riley is a physical tackle from Oregon, and Gervarrius Owens is a nice piece for the secondary.

USA Today proves that you can’t please everyone, giving the Giants a C-.

Athletic first-round CB Deonte Banks and C John Michael Schmitz are probably upgrades at their respective positions. But as nice a player as Jalin Hyatt (Round 3) is, puzzling that GM Joe Schoen opted for another Smurf-ish receiver rather than finding QB Daniel Jones a rebounder.

The Associated Press gave the Giants an A-.

CB Deonte Banks (24) and OL John Michael Schmitz fill needs. Stole WR Jalin Hyatt in the third round.