Facebook Pixel

    Who Is Joe Schoen? Get To Know the Giants GM in the Spotlight on ‘Hard Knocks’

    The Giants will soon become the latest "Hard Knocks" focus on HBO, with general manager Joe Schoen likely to be a central figure of the series.

    Fans of the critically acclaimed documentary series “Hard Knocks” will soon get an inside look at the New York Giants on July 2 with “Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants.”

    Many personalities will be featured from players to coaches, but the cameras will also be fixated on the man responsible for personnel moves for the Giants: GM Joe Schoen.

    Joe Schoen’s Background

    Shoen is a 44-year-old general manager from Elkhart, Ind.

    His first taste of the gridiron came while lining up behind center. Schoen started as a quarterback and even spent one season at the position for DePauw University.

    But in his final three seasons of collegiate eligibility, Schoen moved to wide receiver. He graduated from the school with a communications degree.

    DePauw is a liberal arts university located in Greencastle, Ind., and plays NCAA Division III football. Schoen also became a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

    When Did the New York Giants Hire Schoen?

    Schoen began his NFL career in 2001 as a young 21-year-old learning the business. More than two decades later, the Giants saw enough to offer him the general manager gig in Jan. 2022.

    Before the Giants hired him, the Carolina Panthers got him to cut his teeth into the NFL personnel world in 2001 as a scouting assistant, the final season with George Seifert as head coach. The team went 1-15 that season.

    But once John Fox was hired as head coach, Schoen moved to area scout for the 2002 season. He held the same position until 2007. As area scout, Schoen was among the guys who helped identify notable franchise game-changers like Julius Peppers, Jordan Gross, Thomas Davis Sr., and DeAngelo Williams.

    FREE: Subscribe to PFN’s NFL Newsletter

    Schoen then moved to national scout for the Miami Dolphins — spending 2008 to 2016 in South Beach. While in Miami, Schoen went on to earn elevated roles within the organization, from assistant director of scouting to director of player personnel.

    The Buffalo Bills were the ones who offered Schoen a chance to have “general manager” in his title, although in an assistant role. He spent 2017-2021 as assistant GM while working alongside Brandon Beane. Josh Allen became one of the big draft finds for Buffalo while Schoen was there.

    Now that he has full GM reins with the Giants, it’s time to look at some of his more notable decisions.

    Revisiting Schoen’s Biggest Moves

    Schoen was hired with no previous ties to the Giants. But right away, he’s made roster decisions that have energized Giants fans.

    Kayvon Thibodeaux emerged as Schoen’s first NFL Draft decision in 2022. The fifth-overall selection has since produced 15.5 career sacks — 11.5 coming in a breakthrough 2023 campaign.

    Thibodeaux wasn’t the only notable Schoen draft find. Evan Neal came from the same ’22 class for the Giants. Neal has since started in 20 games on the offensive line at tackle. Thibodeaux and Neal helped spearhead a Giants team in 2022 that advanced to the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs.

    Deonte Banks was the Giants’ first selection in the subsequent draft. Banks responded by snatching two interceptions and swatting 11 passes in 2023 — which tied for the team lead.

    But Schoen delivered his biggest free agent splash ahead of the ’24 draft. He helped orchestrate the move to land prized Pro Bowl EDGE Brian Burns away from the Panthers. That move involved two second-round selections for 2024 and 2025.

    KEEP READING: Revisiting the Giants’ Blockbuster Trade for Brian Burns

    While Schoen has made crucial draft moves, his handling of quarterback Daniel Jones has come into question. Jones went on to have his contract restructured after originally signing a $160 million deal. But with Jones now earning $40 million per year, the Giants and Schoen are still making a big risk by continuing to roll with the oft-injured passer.

    Schoen also witnessed prized running back Saquon Barkley drift away, except the former RB1 wound up signing with a hated rival in the Philadelphia Eagles. Through his decisions, Schoen comes in as the 25th-ranked NFL GM by PFN.

    Regardless, Schoen will soon be among the central focuses for the HBO cameras once “Hard Knocks: Offseason with the New York Giants” premieres. Fans will likely see how the Burns deal came to fruition and what Barkley’s final days with the Giants were like. Count on Schoen to be among the main characters for the widely popular NFL show.

    Related Articles