The New York Giants had two of their picks ranked among ESPN’s top-100 selections from the 2023 NFL draft.
In reality, Big Blue had two picks ranked within the top 15 of the list — the first was John Michael Schmitz (10th-best pick), who had a pre-draft ranking of 38th by ESPN’s Matt Miller.
It’s hard to imagine a center in the top 10 best picks, but Schmitz will start from Day 1 and give the Giants a much-needed anchor in the middle of the line — both in pass protection and as an interior boost to the run game. It also helps that Schmitz’s mobility and toughness are perfect for Brian Daboll’s offense.
New York landed JMS at the end of the second round with the 57th pick. Schmitz was ranked as a premier center in the class and was the second-best-rated interior offensive lineman by Pro Football Focus.
The Golden Gophers product will likely be a Day 1 starter for the Giants and is a scheme fit for what Brian Daboll is trying to do in New York.
To build around Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, New York needs to invest in their offensive line and they will now have at least three starters on rookie contracts.
The Giants’ second-best pick was Jaylin Hyatt (ranked 15th-best pick overall), who had a pre-draft ranking of 26th by Matt Miller.
The Giants’ offensive system is a mixture of Buffalo and Kansas City, and both Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka have had success with smaller, speedy receivers. Hyatt can become the Giants’ go-to target early in his career with his vertical stretch ability and the tools to become a much better route runner once exposed to more concepts and coaching. And New York got great value here.
The Giants were able to snag Hyatt (who many considered a top-5 receiver in the draft class) in the middle of the third round with the 73rd pick. This is, again, investing in Jones and the offense by getting a guy that can truly take the top off defenses.
Hyatt was a problem at Tennessee and the Giants think this can continue in the NFL.