Key to New York Giants Season Is Their Day 2 Draft Picks

The New York Giants need to prove that last year's playoff run wasn't a fluke. The key to proving that came in Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft.

The New York Giants were somewhat of a surprise playoff team in 2022. Head coach Brian Daboll came over from Buffalo and quickly improved the team, which started with quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones went from a question mark to becoming one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the entire NFL.

Still, the Giants’ offense requires even more. New York lacked big-play ability from the wide receivers, and the offensive line needed reinforcements. With the commitment the team made to Jones, creating an optimal environment around him is paramount. A week removed from rookie minicamp, we can examine whether or not the Giants did enough with their draft picks to better optimize that environment.

Giants’ OL Reinforcement Came in Round 2

With their second-round selection, the Giants selected who many consider to be the best center in the NFL Draft, John Michael Schmitz. Schmitz is considered to be a perfect fit for Big Blue. Personality-wise, he’ll be a great fit with Daboll.

What’s interesting about this selection is that no one questions Schmitz’s ability to block or hold down the offensive line’s interior. The question is mostly about his shotgun snap, or whether or not he’ll need to adjust at the pro level.

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Schmitz practices what is called the “dead snap.” Typically, a shotgun snap gets fired back to the quarterback in a spiral. The dead snap goes back end over end. In his first rookie minicamp, he’s already addressing it. Schmitz used the dead snap during 7-on-7s but acknowledges he’ll do whatever Jones is most comfortable with receiving.

Jones will be most comfortable upright, and that part Schmitz is already league-ready for. Now it’s the mental part. Protections, blitz pickups, etc. Playing center is one of the most mentally demanding positions in football. If Schmitz can get that down, he’s likely to be the Day 1 starter and provide the Giants with much-needed reinforcement that they need.

New York Adds Speed on the Outside in Round 3

In the third round, the Giants drafted Jalin Hyatt, the wide receiver out of Tennessee. At one point, many scouts felt Hyatt could sneak into the back end of Round 1. Clearly, the Giants saw the value, trading up to ensure they could land Hyatt.

Hyatt will get to show off his skills early, but he’ll need to shed the label that he’s just a speed guy. Although, Hyatt does, in fact, have elite speed, he wants to be, and believes he can be, so much more. The truth is, however, speed is exactly what this Giants offense needed.

New York was dead last in the NFL in passing plays of 25 or more yards. With Hyatt’s speed on the outside, this should not only open up the deep ball but also provide spacing underneath, so more of the offense can flourish and even open things up for Saquon Barkley.

The Giants were the only 2022 playoff team to average less than .8 points per minute of possession time in scoring behavior rate. If they can improve upon that number, the offense can join the defense as elite units. If New York succeeds, they may be able to continue surprising folks with a deep playoff run.

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With these two selections, the Giants addressed compelling needs and perhaps found the answers they were looking for in order to keep building on their second-round playoff visit last year. They need to prove it wasn’t just a fluke. Drafting Schmitz and Hyatt shows they know what their flaws were and are ready to address them.

New York got these two selections right.

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