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Giants GM Joe Schoen admits trying to trade up in Round 1 ‘probably as early as Seattle’

Does that mean Schoen was targeting one of the wide receivers who came off the board beginning with the Seahawks?

NFL: Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen was on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Wednesday. He spoke about the recent draft, the salary cap and more. Here are some of the takeaways.

Draft day trades

Schoen admitted that he started making calls in an effort to move up from No. 25 “probably as early as Seattle,” which had the 20th pick. The Seahawks initiated a first-round run of four straight wide receivers there, and Schoen’s admission can only be taken as an indication that one of those wide receivers (perhaps Zay Flowers?) was a primary target.

“If the price made sense for the player that we were going after we would have pulled the trigger,” Schoen said. “We were patient and got to 24 and then you have to worry about teams behind you coming up.”

Thus the Giants made the move up one spot for cornerback Deonte Banks.

Schoen, of course, ended up trading up twice in the first three rounds — securing Banks at 24, John Michael Schmitz at 57 and Jalin Hyatt (via trade up) at 73.

“Three positions that were needs and we thought the value of where we were able to get the players matched up with where we had ‘em on our board,” Schoen said. “We were a little bit aggressive to trade up a couple times but there were players that we coveted and wanted to make sure that we were able to get. We were still able to do that and have seven picks.”

Why Banks?

Schoen said there was consensus that Banks was the right player for the Giants.

“Three corners had already went and that’s a premium position these days. It’s hard to find good corners in the league and those guys in free agency are making a lot of money,” Schoen said. “Positional value plus a need ... we were excited to get Deonte Banks there. He’s a player we liked, he fit the system, our coach is really on him and our scouts were high on him so there’s consensus in the building.”

John Michael Schmitz and Jalin Hyatt

Something we have come to learn about Schoen is that he favors players he has seen plat in person. He saw both Schmitz and Hyatt play this season.

On Schmitz ...

“John Michael’s a guy I saw play live this season. Took a liking to him then and he had an outstanding Senior Bowl. He’s smart, tough and dependable, those things that we covet. Got some nasty to his game, got really good quickness and leadership qualities about him.”

On Hyatt ...

“Explosive athlete that can run. There’s timed speed and there’s play speed. He’s a 4.38 timed speed and sometimes you think he plays a little bit faster than that.

“I think he’ll be a valuable part of our receiving corps this year.”

Maybe size does matter

Schoen said way back at the Combine that body type really didn’t matter to the Giants at the wide receiver position, separation ability did. Still, when asked about spending comparatively big dollars in undrafted free agency to bring in wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton after the draft, Schoen admitted his size had a lot to do with it.

“His body type was something we don’t necessarily have. He’s a big kid, 6-3, 221 pounds, he ran 4.4. Height/weight/speed product that’s had some production. We like him, he was in the mix, he was on our draft board, he was a draftable player so to be able to get him after the draft we were ecstatic about that,” Schoen said. Just add a big body, an ‘X’ body type that we were looking for in the offseason. You’re trying to build your receiver group and they all come in different sizes and shapes and we didn’t really have anybody that looked like him and ran as fast as he did. We’re excited to see what he can do.”

Clearing some cap space

As of Thursday, Over the Cap shows the Giants $149,549 over the cap. That, obviously, has to change. Quickly.

“We have a couple plans in place,” Schoen said.

One of those was obviously getting a long-term deal done with defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, which happened Thursday afternoon when the sides reportedly agreed to a four-year, $90 million deal.