Giants could trade up to land top center in 2023 Draft

John Michael Schmitz, new york giants
Mar 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz, Jr. (OL39) during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants commenced the 2023 NFL draft on a robust note. Even though they held the 25th overall pick and the general consensus indicated a lack of first-round rated players in this class, Big Blue still managed to acquire one of the finest cornerback prospects on the board: Maryland’s Deonte Banks.

Banks, an exceptional athlete, boasts the highest athletic score among all cornerbacks at the 2023 NFL Combine and the fourth-highest for his position over the past decade. Clocking a 4.35 40-yard dash, Banks possesses remarkable speed and seamlessly fits into Wink Martindale’s defensive scheme.

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The Giants must now focus on the offense:

Having addressed a crucial need in the first round, the Giants can shift their attention to the offensive side on Day 2. Possessing the 57th overall pick, the Giants still require a wide receiver and interior offensive line support. However, with the Philadelphia Eagles securing two high-quality defensive assets, fortifying the trenches has become even more vital.

In fact, top center John Michael Schmitz remains available and is predicted to be an above-average starter within his first two NFL years. At the Combine, Michael Schmitz recorded the fifth-best athletic score and second-highest total score. Standing at 6’3″ and weighing 301 pounds, some may perceive him as slightly undersized, but his exceptional athleticism renders him a perfect fit for a zone scheme. His skills in the run game are particularly noteworthy, employing fundamentally sound footwork and angles to place himself in optimal blocking positions.

JMS is not only a smart player with a high football IQ but also possesses the athleticism to develop into an outstanding center, addressing a weak spot for the Giants. Most of his shortcomings are coachable habits, occasionally finding himself overextended and overaggressive in pass protection. Nevertheless, he would be an ideal addition to Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka’s offense, filling a role that Jon Feliciano held in 2022 and Billy Price in 2021.

However, Michael Schmitz could be a mid-second-round target, suggesting the Giants would need to trade up from the 57th overall pick to secure him. They do have other centers on their radar, notably Joe Tippmann and Ricky Stromberg from Arkansas.

Assuming JMS is selected by the 50th pick, the Giants would need to advance to acquire him. For instance, according to the draft value chart, the Giants would have to produce 70 value points to move up seven spots, relinquishing the 128th overall pick and likely a 2024 selection.

Having already parted with the 160th and 240th picks, they may be hesitant to expend more capital this year. They could delve into their 2024 allotment, but advancing seven spots is a realistic leap that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Nevertheless, the second-round board has unfolded favorably for the Giants, enabling them to exercise greater creativity and patience.