‘Things I think’ after Giants first-round draft: Joe Schoen got it right, and so much more

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen worked the first round of his first NFL Draft like a chess grandmaster on Thursday night.

No one has had to divulge the Giants’ intentions. Anyone who pays attention to such things knew the Giants NEEDED to get out of the first round, where they had the fifth and seventh overall picks, with a good tackle. They also knew the Giants, if they weren’t trading, wanted a top cornerback or defenseman.

Schoen walked away with an impressive set of advantage from Kayvon Thibodeaux and tackle Evan Neal, transforming both the Giants’ defensive front seven and offensive line in minutes.

“It worked really well,” Schoen said. “We are happy with the two players we were able to sign tonight.”

As impressive as the loot Schoen got away with was the way he did it.

Giants fans are used to seeing drafts get missed.

  • In 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Giants did not draft an offensive lineman until the fourth round despite calls from offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride to do so.
  • In 2012, they saw the Giants select David Wilson. Rueben Randle and Jayron Hosley with their top three picks.
  • In 2015, they saw the Giants reach offensive tackle Ereck Flowers for 9th overall, a decision that proved disastrous.
  • In 2016, they watched the Giants stand helpless as the Tennessee Titans (offensive tackle Jack Conklin) and Chicago Bears (linebacker Leonard Floyd) traded in front of New York to take the players they were aiming for. The Giants took cornerback Eli Apple, and it didn’t work out so well.
  • In 2018, Dave Gettleman even refused to take phone calls for the No. 2 overall pick, ignored positional value and modern thinking, and selected Saquon Barkley with his top pick as GM.
  • In 2019, the Giants ignored red flags about his attitude and work ethic and arranged a trade for cornerback DeAndre Baker.

These are just a few examples of how the Giants have mishandled the draft in previous years. At this time, we don’t know if Thibodeaux and Neal will live up to expectations and live up to being selected in the top 10 in the draft. What we do know is that Schoen and the Giants certainly handled the first round as well as they could. No mess here.

The way the draft board went, the Giants found themselves in an interesting position at No. 5. The top three offensive tackles remained on the board, but the top two cornerbacks – Derek Stingley Jr. and Sauce Gardner – were gone.

Knowing he would always be able to choose between two of the three offensive tackles at No. 7, Schoen took the player he thought was the best passing thrower on the board. And got Neal at No. 7.

“We’ve been through these scenarios a million times,” Schoen said. “We had seven or eight cards, and we kept swapping them out based on different scenarios, and that’s a scenario that we went through. And if there were tackles on board and the rusher pass, we were going to pass the rusher pass knowing that we could get a tackle at 7. We were thrilled when that scenario presented itself.

Head coach Brian Daboll praised Schoen’s preparation.

“I told you he was ready. There wasn’t a lot of talk (when the Giants were on the clock). It was calm, composed,” Daboll said. “And I think you can be that way when you’re ready, when you put in the time and have the conversations before they happen.

“Again, I can’t tell you how many different scenarios we went through in the last week, so we felt that it was going to play out, that, you know, we would be ready for whatever decisions we had to make.”

The work paid off. Within moments, two moves suddenly improved the Giants offensive line and seventh defensive front.

Oh, and the Giants suddenly look like they’re being run by someone who knows what they’re doing.

I think that was really cool

These are the reactions from the Giants draft party at MetLife Stadium when the picks of Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal were announced. And, yes, it’s been a while since we’ve seen that kind of jubilation from Giants fans.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York a perfect match?

I had been thinking about it for a while. Then I saw the interview below and really started thinking about it. The way his face lit up and as excited as he seemed at the thought I couldn’t help but think Thibodeaux would be truly inspired playing in the New York-New Jersey market.

When asked Thursday night why New York was the right place for him, Thibodeaux replied:

“Because I’m hungry. I’m really competitive and hungry and I feel like New York is the pinnacle of a dog-eating dog world.

He also talked about how Michael Strahan, whose post-NFL success Thibodeaux apparently strives to emulate, has become someone he relies on.

“He is literally one of my mentors and he spoke to me throughout this process. He actually came to visit me when I was visiting with the team so to see him there was really great because he gave me wisdom and he even got to speak on my behalf because we built a relationship over the year,” Thibodeaux said. “It’s really great because he literally walked in my footsteps and can show me the ropes on and off the pitch.”

To me, Thibodeaux looks like a young man who wants to be a star – in and out of football. Being a star on the court can help him get away from it, and the combination of Strahan and the bright lights of New York could help him get there.


The closer we got to the draft, the more we heard of the Giants’ love for Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross. There were so many, in fact, that yours truly took a liking to the idea of ​​the Giants picking Cross over Neal, even though logically Neal seemed like the more natural fit.

I think it’s just another lesson to remember

Fifth year options

I think the Giants got it right with their two fifth-year option decisions, declining to pick the option for quarterback Daniel Jones while exercising the option for defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence.

There was no good reason for the Giants to choose Jones’ fifth-year option. They seem determined to give Jones the 2022 season, the last of his rookie contract, to convince new general manager Joe Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll that he’s the quarterback the franchise should go with. the front.

Jones’ fifth-year option would have been worth $22.384 million. Schoen was right not to commit that kind of money when he’s not sure Jones will be the team’s quarterback next season. If they want to move on, it turns into a $23 million mistake.

If the Giants want to keep Jones in 2023, they can either negotiate a long-term deal or use the franchise tag at an estimated cost of $31.497 million over one year, per Over The Cap. Yes, that’s $9 million more than the option. The Giants would pay it to a player they decided they wanted, rather than shelling out over $22.384 million for a player they didn’t want.

As for Lawrence, the Giants are spending $10.753 million to ensure the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is with them in 2023. That’s a good thing. Lawrence hasn’t become a star, but he’s a good player who still has an edge on a team that needs more players who fit that description.

I told you

I told you the first round of the repechage was going to be unpredictable and you’d end up wondering what happened when it ended. Well, I think I was right.

  • Honestly, I lost track of how many trades there were in the first round. But there were many. After the Giants picks I was writing and when I watched a whole bunch of teams were picking, or had picked, in places they weren’t supposed to pick. My head hurts trying to figure it all out.

[Chris here: By my count there were 27 total trades dating back to the Giants’ trade with the Bears last year. I think I think the NFL went to Vegas and was really feeling the venue.]

  • Kenny Picket (20th, Pittsburgh Steelers) was the only quarterback selected. Malik Willis, who some believe could become No. 6 in the Carolina Pantherswill wait until Friday evening to hear his name.
  • Somehow the Baltimore Ravens ended up with our Lady safety Kyle Hamilton at No. 14 and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum at No. 25.
  • Quai Walker (22nd, Green Bay Packers) was the first linebacker to leave the board.
  • Edge Jermaine Johnson, seen by many as a player who wouldn’t make it out of the top 10, went to No. 26 at the New York Jets.
  • Tennessee-Chattanooga center Cole Strange, considered a mid-range value, was selected No. 29 by the New England Patriots.

Go figure.

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