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Giants 2023 NFL Draft grades: What BBV writers liked, didn’t like, about the Giants draft

BBV staff offers their opinions, grades on Joe Schoen’s draft work

NFL: APR 28 2023 Draft Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After each New York Giants pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, we polled Big Blue View readers to get their grades . Chris Pflum offered his pick-by-pick grades. We compiled grades from national analysts. Now, let’s survey the entire BBV writing staff for what they liked, what they didn’t like, and their overall grades.

Nick Falato

What I liked: Joe Schoen’s aggressiveness in finding difference-making players with his top three selections. Schoen traded up one slot in the first round to secure Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks, who fits Wink Martindale’s press-man defense like a perfectly tailored suit. He then packaged picks No. 89 and 128 to jump up to pick No. 73 to secure Tennessee wide receiver - and 2022 Biletnikoff Award winner - Jalin Hyatt.

This draft class was, by many accounts, not the best or deepest. In 2022, Schoen traded back multiple times for more assets to round out a barren roster, but did the opposite in 2023; he secured value at positions of need and found three possible starters for the 2023 season. Schoen also displayed some patience by waiting for Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz at pick No. 57.

The Giants received three players who, at one point or another, were rumored to be their selection at pick No. 25 - that’s just great value. I also appreciate the late-round selections. Eric Gray could help form a committee if Saquon Barkley leaves after 2023. Gray will also have a role in year one; I love his vision, short-area-athleticism, and his receiving upside.

Schoen bet on traits with Tre Hawkins III and Jordon Riley. The former is a long physical cornerback who spent two years at Old Dominion, and the latter is a massive defensive lineman who played within four different college football programs. He was most recently with Oregon.

I can see the idea of both their roles in year one, but they have to earn their roster spot, which is not a certainty. Riley will likely be competing with 2022 fifth-round pick, D.J. Davidson. Houston safety Gervarrius Owens has range, is explosive, and had 22 passes defended in college. He needs to fix his tackling if he wants to see the field. Overall, the Giants found at least three solid players who will contribute in year one at positions of need.

What I didn’t like: The Eagles, that’s what I didn’t like. Adding four more Bulldogs in IDL Jalen Carter, edge defender Nolan Smith, CB Keele Ringo, and RB D’Andre Swift in a trade with the Lions just bolstered their already Super Bowl-contending roster now, and for the future. Winning the NFC East is typically the first step to achieving sustained success, which helps teams reach their ultimate goal of winning it all. The NFC East currently goes through Philadelphia.

However, there hasn’t been a back-to-back winner in the NFC East since 2005, so we know this is a feisty division, and Brian Daboll will have his team prepared. Also, due to the trades-up, which I support, the Giants weren’t able to round out some positions that need depth (edge and linebacker, specifically). However, that’s what free agency is for.

Grade: A

Chris Pflum

What I liked: The Giants got better. Joe Schoen was praised for the value he got in this draft, largely because of the first three picks. He made a pair of trades to secure the Deonte Banks and Jalin Hyatt, but they were pretty strong outliers on the Big Board when they were taken. The Giants got our (according to the Big Blue View Big Board) CB 3, iOL 2, WR 6, and RB 11, as the fourth CB taken, fourth iOL taken, 10th WR taken, and 11th RB taken. All in all, those are solid values. The other thing that stands out to me is that the high floor of the players selected. John Michael Schmitz and Eric Gray are going to be solid players, even if they’re never spectacular. Banks and Hyatt have the ability to produce right away, and even if they ride the rookie rollercoaster, they’ll be assets on average while they learn the finer points of their positions.

What I didn’t like: The Giants still seem like they lack depth, at least on paper in April, and more picks would have helped fill out the roster.

This is the opportunity cost of those trades up — particularly when compared to a trade down. Schoen wasn’t able to add an edge defender or a linebacker in the draft, nor were they able to add a long-term safety. They also only have two quarterbacks on the roster, both of whom have dealt with injuries throughout their careers and Tyrod Taylor will be a free agent after this season. Even if the Giants didn’t trade back, there were good players going off the board in the 100 selections between their third and fifth-round picks. Every selection is a lottery ticket, and generally more tickets results in more wins.

Joe Schoen approached the draft as though the Giants are already deep (a la the Chiefs and Eagles). We’ll see if that strategy pays off, or if the lack of depth haunts them.

Grade: A-

Tony Del Genio

What I liked: To me Days 1 and 2 of the draft were as good as could be given the circumstances the Giants faced. They managed to fill three of their biggest holes with potential impact players. I love the selection of Deonte Banks, and if the Giants felt strongly enough about him over Joey Porter Jr. to give up two low picks then I’m comfortable with them doing that to ensure it. If Banks becomes a shutdown cornerback, the effect on Wink Martindale’s defense will be well worth it. Waiting for John Michael Schmitz to come to them in Round 2 after Joe Tippmann went 14 picks earlier was a gamble that worked and is a big step towards a solid O-line. Getting him at No. 57 is good value. The trade-up in Round 3 was pretty even in what they paid for what they got back in draft position. To do so for an explosive if raw wide receiver in Jalin Hyatt, who was ranked much higher in big boards, is excellent. To top it off, the selection of Eric Gray in Round 5 was very good value - elusive, explodes through holes to the second level, and good enough speed to create chunk plays. He returns punts, too.

What I didn’t like: I was disappointed that the Giants did not draft an edge defender or a linebacker with one of their three remaining picks, but that’s the price that had to be paid (giving up mid-round picks) to get Banks and Hyatt. It does look as if the Giants are signing UDFAs at both positions. There are also still free agents out there.

Grade: A

Rivka Boord

What I liked: The Giants’ first three picks knocked it out of the park. Deonte Banks was considered one of the top four corners who would be off the board before the Giants picked. Nabbing him at No. 24, even though they had to trade up to do so, was worthy of the bear hug that Wink Martindale gave Joe Schoen. Cornerback has a steeper learning curve than some other positions, but Banks should be an immediate upgrade over the revolving door the Giants had at the position last season. Getting John Michael Schmitz at No. 57 was a home run. He will make life a lot easier for Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. As Brian Daboll said, the team loves his grit. Jalin Hyatt isn’t a perfect receiver and has plenty of work to do, but his deep-play ability will open up space for the Giants’ other targets. Getting him in the third round was a steal. I also loved the Eric Gray pick; I think he will allow Barkley to take more breathers and balance the chunk plays with grinding out the tough yards.

What I didn’t like: I don’t think there was too much I didn’t like about the Giants’ draft. The only thing I wish they had done was getting a higher-ceiling player somewhere along the defensive line. Jordon Riley is a big body, but he doesn’t seem to do too much well. The stopgap measures Schoen put in place for the defensive line will leave the team in dire need next offseason.

Grade: A

Jeremy Portnoy

What I liked: Value. While I’ve come around to Dave Gettleman’s overall track record in the draft, it’s still refreshing to believe in the moment that the Giants got good value out of each of their top selections. It was unreasonable to expect any of New York’s first three picks in this draft to fall any further than they did. I was also impressed by the emphasis on high-floor prospects, as the roster is still in need of foundational pieces. Deonte Banks’ issues are more with play style than anything unchangeable, and I trust the Giants’ coaching staff to sort those out. And John Michael Schmitz and others in the class are safe bets to be at least solid contributors.

What I didn’t like: It’s tough to find much to gripe about in this draft. Once the Jets took center Joe Tippmann, I desperately wanted the Giants to trade up a bit for John Michael Schmitz to ensure they walked away with a top center. Obviously that’s not a real criticism, since Joe Schoen was rewarded for sitting tight at No. 57. But in the moment as the picks wiled away, I didn’t feel it was a risk worth taking. I’m not as enamored with the Jalin Hyatt selection as most are — he wasn’t drafted to be a true No. 1 receiver, and it’s possible New York was better off investing draft capital into another position until they find someone who is — but I can’t deny the value of taking him in the third round.

Grade: A-

Valentine’s View

What I liked: It’s easy to laud the first three selections — Deonte Banks, John Michael Schmitz, Jalin Hyatt. Those picks are drawing praise almost universally. I love how Joe Schoen got more value over expected draft slot than any other GM with the players he picked.

What I really loved, though, was Schoen’s aggression. His approach. His planning. In two drafts, Schoen has shown a willingness to move back (2022) when he felt a thin roster needed more bodies and, in 2023, a willingness to use extra draft assets to go get players he had targeted, players who might turn into difference-makers. Those types of players, incidentally, are something the Giants need badly if they are ever going to catch the Eagles in the NFC East. Yes, it is generally better to trade down than up. Picking late, though, with extra picks and a need for difference-making players made this a spot where trading up was — for me — an acceptable risk.

I love the fact that what Schoen did over the weekend, over the entirety of the offseason, should increase the confidence of Giants fans that they have a general manager who knows what he’s doing.

What I didn’t like: Anything I say here is really just a quibble, not a real complaint. It would have been nice to add something at the tight end, edge and off-ball linebacker spots. Still, from Rounds 5-7 you are talking about players who may not ever contribute regularly beyond special teams, anyway.

Grade: A