The New York Giants are in the middle of a front office rebuild led by new general manager Joe Schoen. As the search for a new head coach continues, Schoen has begun implementing his style and cultural philosophy within the building. Of course, ownership still has a say and hand in a lot of decisions, but Schoen undoubtedly has authority in hiring the next head coach after the departure of Joe Judge.
Some of the exciting new ideologies that Schoen brings from the Buffalo Bills revolve around the NFL draft. He spoke about those factors with former Giant center Shaun O’Hara.
Schoen mentioned that one of the most important variables that impact sustained success is signing your own players to extensions. When you bring the majority of your talent from outside the organization, you don’t always know their habits, contributions, and work ethic. Schoen loves that he can identify young draft prospects and mold them to their norm, paying them for consistency and reliability.
“Ultimately, I think building through the draft — I believe in that. Drafting, developing and signing your own. I think that’s very important if you want to sustain success,” Schoen said. “I believe in supplementing the roster with free agency and going outside the building, but don’t really like getting into signing the biggest fish out there and spending a lot of money.
Spending in free agency is a necessity, but overspending can be malpractice, as we’ve seen in recent years with Jerry Reese at the end of his tenure and Dave Gettleman throughout his. You can supplement positions through the open market, but drafting well is the foundation of a successful football team.
“I won’t say we’ll never do that, but I prefer to draft, develop and sign our own. I just think the margin for error is much smaller because you know exactly what you’re paying for. You know how the guys work on a daily basis and you know how they fit your culture. So, that’s kind of how I foresee us doing it here with the Giants.”
Buffalo has had tremendous success building their roster through the draft, finding a quarterback with elite attributes to develop and defensive pieces, which have helped build one of the best units in football this past regular season.
Look no further than fourth-round pick from 2020 Gabriel Davis out of UCF, who recorded over 200 yards and an NFL record for touchdown receptions in a single playoff game against Kansas City. The Bills have managed to get an exorbitant amount of value from mid-round picks, a graveyard for the Giants on the other end of the spectrum.
Focusing on effective drafting is essential, and Schoen has been working diligently with Buffalo this season to identify new prospects who will undoubtedly be on his shortlist. The Giants have been hyper-focused on the Senior Bowl in recent years, but Schoen may bring a more analytical and cultural approach toward his drafting, brewing a bit of excitement moving forward for an organization in desperate need of competency.