The New York Giants emerged with exceptional value from Days 1-2 of the 2023 NFL Draft. By securing three selections with first-round grades, the Giants enhanced multiple positions with high-end potential and immediate-impact talent.
Big Blue entered the draft needing reinforcement at cornerback, receiver, and interior offensive line. They managed to address all three of those positions with some of the best players available, resulting in an absolute masterclass draft.
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Grading the Giants’ first three picks:
24th Overall: Deonte Banks, CB
Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks is an ideal fit for Wink Martindale’s defensive scheme. His athletic profile aligns well, boasting the best overall score among CBs in this year’s draft class. In fact, Banks has the fourth-highest athletic score at his position in the past decade.
With a man-coverage frame and aggressive style, Banks should contribute immediately alongside Adoree Jackson in the secondary. The expectation is that he will continue his development and eventually assume the CB1 role in the future after Jackson’s contract expires in 2024.
57th Overall: John Michael Schmitz: C
The Giants acquiring John Michael Schmitz with the 57th overall pick is a dream come true. Most analysts projected JMS to go at the tail end of the first round, and some even believed the Giants would select him with their 25th overall pick. The fact that he slid to the back end of the second round is astonishing, and the Giants secured a long-term solution at the center position after years of subpar play.
JMS provides immediate value as an above-average run blocker with potential as a pass protector. His incredibly high football IQ and ability to manage the offensive line effortlessly make him an instant starter. General manager Joe Schoen is still working to resolve both guard positions, but in the meantime, the Giants have several promising developmental pieces to build upon.
73rd Overall: Jalin Hyatt: WR
Some predicted the Giants would select Jalin Hyatt in the first round due to his speed and explosive style. However, nobody anticipated he would slide all the way to the third round, where the Giants ultimately traded up to the 73rd overall pick from 89, striking a deal with the Los Angeles Rams.
Hyatt is an incredibly productive collegiate talent from Tennessee, amassing 1,267 receiving yards with 15 scores. In fact, Hyatt recorded eight touchdowns via vertical route concepts, averaging 50.6 yards per score. His 18.9 yards per reception is remarkable and should extend the field for the Giants opposite Darius Slayton on the boundary.
One thing is certain: Big Blue invested heavily in speed this off-season, retaining Slayton, drafting Hyatt, and adding Parris Campbell and Darren Waller to the roster.
There were a few other receivers on the board the Giants could have prioritized, but Hyatt has boom-or-bust potential. With a phenomenal coaching staff to support him, he could become a lethal weapon for Daniel Jones and the offense.