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NFC East draft reviews: New York Giants edition

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants are looking to take another big step after going 9-7-1 in 2022 and winning a Wild Card game. The team is young with some exciting players and great coaching. But more talent is needed before they can compete for the conference title. Their 2023 NFL Draft class offers some hope in the form of early impact players and a few players who can develop into role players.

Deonte Banks, Cornerback, Maryland

#32 Overall Player, #5 Overall Cornerback

This is a big swing by the Giants to hopefully turn a decent defense into a very good one. Deonte Banks is a tremendous athlete at the position, with size and speed to run with any NFL receiver. His physicality and confidence will be important early in his career as he works out the kinks with his technique and awareness.He should start early on and be an important piece of the defense by year’s end.

John Michael Schmitz, Center, Minnesota

#52 Overall Player, #5 Overall Interior Offensive Lineman

John Michael Schmitz should also start early in his career, probably from day one. He is a nasty, technically sound center that fits perfectly into what the New York Giants like to do on offense. John Michael Schmitz needs only to stay healthy and he should be a steady presence on the Giants offensive line for years to come.

Jalin Hyatt, Wide Receiver, Tennessee

#38 Overall Player, #6 Overall Wide Receiver

The Giants are overhauling their passing game this offseason. After running the football carried the G-Men to the playoffs last year, they’re no doubt looking for ways to add new dynamics to their offense. Jalin Hyatt is a great start.

Jalin Hyatt is the best pure deep threat in this class. His burst off the line, long speed and ball skills make him a dangerous player in any offense. He is a raw route runner and needs to put on a bit of size, but his presence on the field should create more space for Saquon Barkley early on. If he can develop his tools a bit more, Hyatt could be a very important part of New York’s passing game.

Eric Gray, Running Back, Oklahoma

#119 Overall Player, #12 Overall Running Back

The Giants are clearly looking for ways to take some pressure off Saquon Barkley in their offense. Eric Gray is a solid choice for a number two back in that offense. Gray is a shorter back, but packs a lot of muscle onto his frame. He is a good mover, and combines vision and hard running to pick up yardage in the rushing game. As a receiver, Gray can run good routes out of the backfield and has soft hands. He is a solid all around back who will contribute early in the Giants running game.

Tre Hawkins III, Cornerback, Old Dominion

The Giants continued to add youth and upside to their defensive backfield in this draft. Tre Hawkins stands out at 6’3” and almost 200 pounds and tested very well at Old Dominion’s pro day. Hawkins is a bit raw, and could play with a lot more confidence in coverage. However, as a sixth round pick it makes a ton of sense to draft a player with Hawkins’ physical profile and upside.

Jordan Riley, Defensive Tackle, Oregon

Jordan Riley stands tall at 6’6” and weighs nearly 340 pounds. He is a true nose tackle that eats up space in the middle of an offensive line. He is not an overly dynamic player, with little to offer in the form of pass rushing. It is his brute strength and high motor on run downs that make Riley an intriguing pick here for the Giants. They add a young role player to a defensive line that is young and loaded with talent.

Gervarrius Owens, Safety, Houston

With their last pick, the Giants added their third defensive back of the draft, clearly signaling where they think the most help is needed. Gervarrius Owens is far off from starting material at this point, with tweener traits in terms of size and athleticism. He has the build of a center fielding free safety but the playing style and athleticism of a strong safety. He is a dependable run defender and can cover well in the short area. How he does against bigger, faster players is to be seen but he could be a special teams contributor early on.

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