The New York Giants have had incredibly inconsistent drafts the past decade, especially during the first two years of Dave Gettleman’s tenure with the team.
The last two draft classes have far more potential, as former head coach Joe Judge did a much better job evaluating talent and extracting value from early selections. For example, the Giants traded back this past year, collecting the Chicago Bears’ first-round pick, giving new general manager Joe Schoen even more ammo to work with.
However, one of the Giants’ biggest issues has been the mid-rounds, where Gettleman has been gathering a graveyard of players who have either departed from the team or simply haven’t developed into solid contributors.
During Schoen’s time with the Buffalo Bills, they hit on multiple mid-round selections that ended up being quality players on both sides of the ball. That is a type of success the team needs to enjoy moving forward, especially with their salary cap in total disarray after Gettleman tried to solve issues with big-money signings.
Giants.com sat down with their new general manager on Friday and discussed strategy, where he dropped several gems regarding the importance of drafting:
“I would prefer to build through the draft. Those players are mostly cost-controlled for the first four or five years. They’re cheaper than what you’re going to be able to get on the street in free agency. You get to do the most research on them. You get to go to the schools, you get to see them play live in a game, you get to talk to their coaches, you get to work them out, you get to do a medical on them. So, I think you have a better feeling for the college guys when you turn in the card, who they are as players, medically what you’re getting, where in free agency a lot of times you’re paying a lot of money and you don’t necessarily always know what you’re getting, you don’t know the injury history, necessarily. You don’t know their practice habits. You don’t know what type of workers they are, what they’re like off the field. I’d prefer to build through the draft, develop those players and retain our own.”
Building through the draft is essential, as it keeps costs down and allows your coaching staff to mold players.
The Giants, over the past decade or so, have spent big money to solve positional needs, ignoring value-based selections and torching their cap in the process.
Well, those days are coming to an end as the Giants evolve to the modern era and begin cementing a strategy.
The upcoming draft gifts Schoen plenty of flexibility and opportunity to capitalize. With the 5th and 7th overall selections, the team can trade back or sit still and take the best player available, but Schoen will test every avenue and look for the greatest return.
“We’ll set it up as if we’re going to stay at five and seven, but I’m always open to doing what’s best for the organization. If we have a trade partner and it’s too good to pass up, then I’m willing to move back. If there’s a guy that falls that we love, let’s go up and get him. I’m all about, I call them ‘sleep good at night’ picks. You’re going to sleep good at night. You’re happy you got a good player and you’re going to sleep good at night. I’m open to moving. I’ll always be open to trading. I’ll listen if anybody calls or wants to make any moves or inquire on our players. We’ll be active calling other teams to make potential moves, too. We’ve got to look at every avenue to upgrade this roster, whether that’s getting more draft picks, staying where we are, trading. We’ll explore everything.”
It is quite clear that Schoen understands the roster must be upgraded, so potential trades could be in the near future. With the salary cap a mess, expect plenty of roster movement during the off-season. The new general manager has plenty of work left to do, but his mind seems to be in the right place as the rebuild commences.