Apr 282023
Deonte Banks, Maryland Terrapins (October 22, 2022)

Deonte Banks – © USA TODAY Sports

With the 24th pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected cornerback Deonte Banks (University of Maryland). The Giants traded up one spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchanged for their 25th pick in the 1st round, the 160th overall selection in the 5th round, and the 240th overall selection in the 7th round. Banks is 6’0” and 197 pounds. He has run a 4.35 40-yard dash.

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on CB Deonte Banks: Senior entry. Three-year starter but two of those years summed to just five starts combined because of Covid-19 and a shoulder injury that kept him out of all but two games. Honorable Mention All-Big Ten in 2022. Banks is a bit of an unknown when because of the lack of experience over that two-year span. That said, he did start as a true freshman in 2019 and looked fantastic in 2022. The movement traits are nearly off the charts and his aggressive play style will be attractive to defensive schemes that want to use a lot of man coverage. His rapid-fire footwork allows him to stay stick and the long speed pairs with acceleration traits to stay on top of pro deep threats. There are not a lot of plays made on his tape and I’m not sold he completely understands what he is doing yet. Banks is a wildcard that could make a case to be the top corner in the draft because of talent and traits, but there are question marks in a few of the mental areas of the grade sheet.

*Banks tore it up at the Combine and this is a position that everyone wants to see traits at, then gamble. Banks’ movement ability shows up on tape, there is no denying his ability to play against NFL speed. The question will be how quickly he adapts mentally. He simply did not play a lot in college and he was not challenged often enough. Like a lot of these other corners in the group, this will be a big swing for the fence and his shortcoming centers around size/length.

Media Q&A with General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video):

Q. On the decision to trade up to pick 24.

JOE SCHOEN: The way it went down and the way the board fell, we were getting depleted.

So it was the right thing to do for us. We do a lot of research on team needs, and what people need behind us, and including the team that we traded with. So that was a scenario we put together early in the day if we got there, and we were worried about anybody else coming up to that position. We had something in place with Jacksonville and it worked out.

Q. As it was unfolding today, maybe until about pick No. 19, it looked like it was playing out well for you. Even if you were looking at receivers, how tense does that start to get once it got to like 20, 21, 22?

JOE SCHOEN: I would say it got pretty tense. We had a lot of irons in the fire, whether it’s moving up, moving back. We had a lot of opportunities to move out of 25 if we would have stayed there.

So trying to manage phone calls with teams in front of us while also keeping track of options if we decided to move back. Then the other option was staying, make the pick at 25.

Q. The TV shot that caught Wink (Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale), looked like he might tackle you. Can you speak to what that was all about?

JOE SCHOEN: You guys know Wink’s defense and what he likes, and Deonte fits that mold “to a T”. He was ecstatic.

Q. What is it about him specifically that attracted you to him?

JOE SCHOEN: He’s a prototype from a size standpoint. He’s athletic. He’s physical. He can run. He ran 4.32 at the Combine. He has arm length, big hands. He’s been a four-year starter. He was hurt a year ago but he has played a lot of ball there at Maryland and schematically, he’s a good fit. And we spent a lot of time with him. Met with him at the Combine. He’s a guy that, you know, we went down to the pro day, and we spent a good amount of time with him, and again we felt comfortable with him.

Q. Are you surprised, you mentioned you were worrying about teams jumping in front of you. Did you think Jacksonville, maybe they could take him?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, if you look a lot of the mocks and just like you guys track the 30 visits, we track the 30 visits, and the reality is, the last four or five teams in a line there, when things looked like they were lining up for us, he visited a lot of those places. So you take a lot of that into account, risk versus reward. Didn’t want to get greedy. Hey, this is a player we like, we covet, don’t get cute. Let’s just take him, and then we’ll move on to day two of the Draft.

Q. When the receivers started, they were done for a long time, and then bang, bang, bang. How much did that affect this pick here?

JOE SCHOEN: You mean that the receivers started to go?

Q. Like four in a row.

JOE SCHOEN: That was part of it. There’s some receivers that were going off the board and some corners, typically there’s a lot of corners that go, and once Gonzalez went, we were wondering what was going to happen next and Forbes went. Getting Banks is a guy that we liked, we spent a lot of time with and we’re ecstatic to get him.

Q. You talk a lot about the traditional value stuff and knowing premium spots. Were you locked into a couple different positions in that spot? Obviously wide receiver and corner. How important was that for you knowing in that spot that you wanted to take a premium pick rather than lean towards a perceived need in another area?

JOE SCHOEN: In an ideal world, that’s how that works out. You know, on the open market these players are getting at their position, and some of the positions continue to ascend up, and some have went the other way. But corner is one that’s going to continue to ascend. You take that into account.

But when you’re picking at 25, we had multiple, multiple positions and it may not be a popular first round position but best player available we were prepared in different situations, scenarios that we went through that we would take one of those players.

Q. You said you met with him at the Combine; what do you remember about the meeting?

JOE SCHOEN: Just personality. He’s a personable individual. Football intellect was good. Very good understanding of their defense. You know, made a good first impression at the Combine, and I’ll give our scouts the credit, you know he was hurt in 2021 and one of our guys was in there in August, and he wasn’t really on our radar because he didn’t play a lot in 2021 and so our scouts were on him early.

So he is somebody that we were able to get out and see and we had several looks throughout the fall, live looks, whether it was at the school, games or at practice. So you know, we had very good coverage on him.

Q. How much last year as the whole season went on did you get a sense that you — cornerback, you had some guys hurt, Adoree’ (Jackson) got hurt a little bit; that that was a position that you had to manufacture things there?

BRIAN DABOLL: You can never have enough good corners. This is a passing league. We have a tough division and Te, he’s a tall, lengthy, press, man-to-man corner who we had graded high, and happy we have him.

Q. Joe, you were talking about how the variables were a lot different than last year and you knew a handful of guys. Was this, like, something you expected he’d be there? Were you surprised? Did you think about moving up sooner when you saw him maybe falling further than your projection?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we had a group of players that ended up being in the same range. Again, all the mocks, if it’s a player you covet, you naturally think everybody else may, too. So a lot of mock drafts guys are gone and we went through different scenarios, and it played out pretty darn close to some of the scenarios that we went through. We weren’t sure he’d be there, and we also were surprised maybe a couple other place were still available as the Draft went on. Yeah, you try to go through as many of those scenarios as you can, and you know, you make the phone calls with the other general managers throughout the league and you have good dialogue and conversations, where if you get on the clock and there’s an opportunity. Again, I had talked to Trent Baalke down in Jacksonville earlier today and said, ‘hey, I don’t know if there may be a scenario where I’m worried about somebody coming behind us to this position, would you be open to it, these would be the parameters,’ and we stayed in communication throughout the Draft.

Q. Is this guy a cover corner or is he a press guy or what?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, he’s played a lot of press man-to-man. Again, we play a variety of defenses with our system but he’s played a heavy amount of man-to-man coverage and press and he’s strong. He’s got good length. He’s got good quickness, good speed. And now we’ll just throw him in the mix with our guys and good to have him.

Q. The knock that people seem to have on him was the lack of interceptions. What do you guys make of that, if anything?

BRIAN DABOLL: Look, he was around the ball quite a bit. There was a lot of pass breakups. He can match receivers. Again, it’s new for all these young guys coming in, but I think he’s a good player. I’m glad we got him.

Q. Do you think he’s ready to come in and be a year one starter?

BRIAN DABOLL: We got a lot of work to do, so you know, with us, everybody has got to earn their role. Come in, throw him in the mix. Again we think he’s a good player. Obviously we drafted him in the first round, but everybody here has to earn their role and come in there and compete.

Q. Not too long ago in this league it was the idea of rookie corners weren’t able to come in and make that impact unless they were really that elite guy. Did what happened last year in the league with guys coming in like Sauce (Jets CB Sauce Gardner) and some other guys change maybe the way you think corners can transition maybe a little quicker than they have in the past?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, that’s one of the hardest positions in football. You’re moving backwards, away from the ball, trying to cover elite athlete. So it’s one of the most difficult positions, I think, in the NFL.

Like Dab said, everybody is going to come and compete. Nobody is going to be given anything. So he’s going to have to come in and earn his stripes and he’s got a lot to learn in terms of scheme and our defense. So looking forward to getting here and get to go work.

Q. Does trading the picks make you less likely, or your want to of maybe trading up in, like the second or third round, because now you do have a little less draft capital?

JOE SCHOEN: No. I’d still go up. No, it’s not going to effect. We’ll still move. We still have, like, our premium, second, third, fourth. We are in good shape from that standpoint if we want to move around.

Media Q&A with Deonte Banks:

Q. Can you describe what your interactions were like with the Giants leading up to the Draft, when you met with them and what those meetings were like?

DEONTE BANKS: I met with them a bunch of times. They took me out to dinner when I went out for a visit. I met with all the coaches when I was there and I also met with the db coach (Jerome Henderson) a week after that, he came to me, and we went out to eat. We also met in the meeting room.

Q. What’s your confidence level that you can come in and not only be a Week 1 starter, but do something special, maybe like Sauce Gardner did last year?

DEONTE BANKS: It’s really high. I’m just ready to get to work.

Q. What did you think of the Giants coaching staff, the new guys you’ll be working with when you had those dinners?

DEONTE BANKS: I like them. They cool. They have a unique kind of character. I loved them. It was a great meeting.

Q. How did they pitch you on your fit for the Giants?

DEONTE BANKS: When I came out here, it felt like it was my home. I felt like that. Everybody was cool. It just felt like my home. It felt like family.

Q. When you’re watching all the wide receivers go before you, did you think the Giants were going to be the team, baud they had had some interest in wide receivers, too. Did you think it was a good chance it was going to be the Giants?

DEONTE BANKS: I already knew if I made it to 25, it was going to be the Giants. I already knew.

Q. How likely did you think you were going to go before 25 entering today?

DEONTE BANKS: I wasn’t high on it, but I had a chance to.

Q. How would you describe your game and who are some of the guys that you modelled your game after through the years?

DEONTE BANKS: I like Jalen Ramsey and Marshon Lattimore. I love how they play.

Q. And how would you describe your game and what you bring to the table?

DEONTE BANKS: It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be real fun.

Q. Where are you now and who is with you?

DEONTE BANKS: I’m in Baltimore. I’m in a suite with my family.

Q. How familiar are you with Wink Martindale’s defense?

DEONTE BANKS: I’m very familiar, actually. They talk to me when I was down there for the meeting, so I kind of got a feel for that, and I like it. I love it, actually.

Q. Being from Baltimore, did you watch a lot of the Ravens when Wink was the DC down there?


Q. Did you ever meet Wink while you were at Maryland?


Q. What do you think of the cornerback room now with Adoree’ (Jackson) and what you can do?

DEONTE BANKS: It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be tough but we’re going to compete.

Q. Do you think your battles last year when you went up against Ohio State against (Marvin) Harrison (Jr.), it seemed like that opened some eyes for people with you coming back from your injury?

DEONTE BANKS: I think it opened a lot. I played really well against it.

Q. What does today mean for you to get drafted, or tonight, I should say?

DEONTE BANKS: I couldn’t even tell you. Like, I don’t know, it means so much to me. I couldn’t even tell you how much it means to me. That’s how much it means to me. I can’t even express how good this feels.

Q. The Giants general manager mentioned that you had that year with injuries, so you weren’t necessarily high on the radar at that point.


Q. How much do you feel like this year, you had a lot to prove to the NFL and to prove to these teams that, you know, you were that top prospect?

DEONTE BANKS: I played against Ohio State. It was a good game to watch from a scouting perspective, and it was a real good year for me personally. I played well and I just got hurt. The injury, it shouldn’t be any problem, you know what I’m saying.

Apr 242023
A'Shawn Robinson, Los Angeles Rams (December 13, 2021)

A’Shawn Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson (Los Angeles Rams). The deal is reportedly a 1-year, $4 million contract that could reach $8 million with incentives.

The 28-year old, 6’4”, 330-pound Robinson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. After spending four seasons with the Lions, Robinson signed a free agent contract with the Rams in 2020. In seven NFL seasons, Robinson has played in 93 regular-season games with 61 starts, accruing 293 tackles, seven sacks, 17 pass defenses, one interception, five forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He started all 10 games he played in for the Rams in 2022 before missing the rest of the season with a torn meniscus in his knee. Robinson is a good run defender.

For a listing of the team’s free agents, see the New York Giants 2023 Free Agency Scorecard.

Apr 202023
Joe Schoen, New York Giants (December 4, 2023)

Joe Schoen – © USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants General Manager Joe Schoen held the team’s annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. The following is the transcript from the event (the VIDEO is also available courtesy of Giants.com):

JOE SCHOEN: Go ahead and fire away. I’ll let you know if there’s anything new.

Q. Just tell us who you’re drafting, and we’ll leave.

JOE SCHOEN: I wish I knew. I’m trying to figure out. 25 it’s a little bit harder than 5 and 7 to come up with names.

Q. What position group?

JOE SCHOEN: That’s a good question. I mean, there’s depth at different parts throughout the draft at all positions, so it’s hard to pinpoint one.

Again, based on where you’re picking, like if you’re at a certain part of the draft, there may be a run on four or five players in that draft. So, the top of the draft at a certain position, then it’s gone, and now there’s no longer depth at that position. I think there’s position and value across all positions throughout the draft just depending on where you’re picking, but I’m not going to identify one being stronger than the other. Just where the value matches up with where you have them on the board.

Q. What do you think about the idea that especially — in the first round and you don’t have an exorbitant number of first rounders compared to the past?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, again, I don’t know where everybody else has people on their board. I know we’re going through the process now of who may or may not be there, and we’re pretty confident that there will be a player there that we like.

Q. Do you have 25 first round grades?

JOE SCHOEN: I’m not going to get into how many first-round grades that we have. We have guys in the first round that we like, and we are pretty confident that there will be somebody there when we pick at 25 that we’ll be happy with.

Q. Looking at COVID, an extra year of eligibility, does that help or hurt this draft, given some of these guys are now older prospects?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, there are more players when we were going through it that are 24, 25 years old that we don’t usually see. You see it sometimes at certain schools. But there are more of those players. We look at each individual case-by-case basis, and if there’s an injury history or they are a smaller school or whatever it may be on the player and does that affect their age or their position. We look at them on an individual basis. Rarely does that come into play and deter us from drafting somebody.

Q. Where do things stand with Saquon (Barkley)? are you still negotiating?

JOE SCHOEN: No, nothing has changed since we talked, whatever that was, three weeks ago, four weeks ago. Nothing has changed since we talked at the owner’s meetings.

Q. How about with Dexter (Lawrence II)?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, after I talked to Dexter’s representatives this week, dialogue’s good there. So yeah, I’ve talked to him. Again, it’s hard this time of year. We’re deep into the draft and the draft prep so — but yeah, we have had good conversations with Dexter’s representatives, and we’ll see where that stands moving forward.

Q. With Saquon, do you have a next contract offer in your head?

JOE SCHOEN: I’m just going to get through the draft right now. Again, my focus right now is totally on that. So, there’s no rush right now. I just want to get through the draft and step back after that and see what the roster looks like, and then go from there.

Q. Knowing that you’ve said on the record that you want to get something done and you’re negotiating, is it disappointing at all that Dexter chose not to come here, or are you fine with that and that you would rather not be here when you’re going through this?

JOE SCHOEN: What was the quote, “it’s April 17th”? I’m not going to give you that. It’s voluntary. If Dexter chooses not to be there, that’s his decision. Dexter knows how we feel about him, and he knows he’s an important part of the organization, and there’s a business side to it, too. But him showing up for the off-season program is voluntary.

Q. You guys have obviously discussions with Saquon previously and there have been numbers widely reported, and free agency seems to have changed the running back market dramatically. Does that then alter your approach in terms of how much you may or may not be willing to devote to that position in terms of finances?

JOE SCHOEN: When we had the conversations with Saquon, it was known that we were going to get to a certain point, and then we were going to move on and regroup at some other time. So it was before free agency started, so no, that has not really affected anything we talked about.

Q. The tag is obviously a one-year deal — does that impact how you approach running backs in the draft?

JOE SCHOEN: No. There are players at all positions that are in the mix at 25, and I’m not going to rule any position out.

Q. Can you add realistically, add ten more, at least, rookies to your roster or would you like to package some of those to move up, so you have less than ten picks or trade a pick for a veteran player rather than have ten more young guys on an already young roster?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, that’s a good question, and we’ll see how the draft plays out. I mean, right now we have ten. So, we have go through it, and if there’s somebody we want to move up for we have some extra draft capital to do that. If we want to move back and collect some, we can do that, too. Again, you have to look at the roster, not just today but 2024, 2025, who is coming up. Again, financially there are players making a pretty good chunk of money on our team and some contracts on the horizon potentially. So yeah, those young cost-controlled players for four years that can be contributors, whether that’s a role on offense or defense, four core special teams guys. I think it’s important to continue to build depth and competition, and that’s what we’ll try to do with those picks.

Q. Will you try to trade for a veteran guy like you did with (Darren) Waller?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we’ll always pursue any type of opportunity to better the roster, whether it’s trade, draft, late-round, college, free agency, whatever it is, definitely.

Q. How important is it when you look at the roster and the draft, when you look at roster duplication, where you think, for example: We have a smaller slot receiver, we don’t need to get another one; we have this kind of a slot cornerback, we don’t need to get another one; or do you say, no, no, we are just going to get the guys in and we’ll figure it out?

JOE SCHOEN: There’s a little bit of that on offense. I think Dabs, that’s one of his strengths and Mike Kafka, taking the pieces that you have and trying to accentuate what they do best. We have had a really good dialogue with the coaches all week. We’re still doing it. We did it all morning. Certain players, and just going through what their role and utilization will be on the roster, first-down, second-down, third, what’s their fourth-down value. If there’s any discrepancies or questions from our part on what their role will be, we try to clear the air now on that. So come Draft day, we’ve had all these conversations, and again, it’ there’s a certain value, how they will be utilized. They come in different size, shapes, speeds, but we are going through all those conversations right now.

Q. As far as like receivers and things like that, there’s a big group of them — is that somewhere where you say, look, let’s bring them all in and we’ll figure it out?

JOE SCHOEN: Yes, the offense has a very defined plan on how they are going to utilize certain positions, and it makes it easy to go scout players for them. Again, we are going through all those players that you’re talking about regardless of position, regardless of what they look like physically, and trying to figure out what their fit would be with the team and what their role would be.

Q. Knowing that you had the coaches going out and actually getting the pro days, whereas a lot of the last year, Brian was getting the staff together and they weren’t able to get out as much?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, the coaches have done a tremendous job. They are a big help and big part of the process. I think it’s important to consensus-build throughout the building and again when you draft a player, if the coaches don’t want him, the chances of success a lot of times are slim.

So we like to do our due diligence in all the prospects, and the more you can be around them, I think it puts you at ease when you turn in the card for those prospects that you’ve been around them a lot and you know exactly what you’re getting with your investment.

Q. What about your staff? Again, you were just coming in and getting everything together and making changes, how much more comfortable are you with the changes that you’ve made and are they that much different than what you did last year?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, it’s great, more time on task. Going through more situations with these — some of the personnel, whether it’s Brandon Brown (Assistant GM), Tim McDonnell (Director of Player Personnel), Dennis Hickey (Assistant director of player personnel); Chris Rossetti, our pro (scouting) director came in from Miami. So going through kind of a cycle, a personnel cycle whether it was draft, free agency or whatever it may be, you kind of get to know strengths and weaknesses of your scouts. So yeah, again, after going through it for a year, I definitely feel more comfortable this year going into it than a year ago.

Q. Going back to Buffalo for a second, in 2020 when you drafted Gabe Davis what traits did you prioritize and how did you protect a fourth-round receiver to be a starter in the league?

JOE SCHOEN: With Gabe it started with his makeup. He was off the charts with the way he learned, the ability to move him around, his work ethic, checked all those boxes, and he was a very productive receiver at Central Florida. Again, that was the COVID draft. I remember I was in my basement when that happened. It’s not always what you can see on film, and I think that’s why we go and spend so much time with these kids is to try to figure out what’s the makeup. Because when you get to this level everybody’s good; what’s going to give you the competitive advantage. Why is a fourth- or fifth-round player going to make it: Is it their work ethic; is their tireless pursuit of being great, whatever it may be, you try to identify those traits through this process, whether it’s bringing them in on 30 visits, going and seeing them. We talked to a bunch of coaches this week around the country, whether head coaches, position coaches or coordinators and getting as much information as you can on why this kid can be successful, and Gabe was one of those players.

Q. What have you learned about the top of this wide receiver class throughout this process and those interactions?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, it’s a good group of receivers draft the top of the draft, depending how you have them ranked. Everybody’s got different strengths and weaknesses, and again I think there’s a lot of talented players in the draft. And it goes back to what I was just saying with Pat’s question is identify what’s going to separate those guys from the pack and what makes them great. Again, every year I think there’s 20-plus receivers that are drafted, and how many truly go on to have success, you know, that’s what we’re trying to figure out.

Q. How do you determine who you bring in for Top 30 visits and what’s the value of that to you?

JOE SCHOEN: Some of its elimination. Maybe we need to confirm there’s some uneasiness with a player and confirm they are not a fit, or how will they pick up our system; our offense is very complicated. Or sometimes it can be medical; if they are non-combine to get the medical. There are varying reasons for why we bring players in. But again, it’s a great opportunity not to just to get them around myself and Daboll and the coaches, but the rest of our support staff, training staff, strength staff, nutrition, whatever it may be. It’s just good to be around these players as much as you can.

Q. You talk a lot about the alignment for a full year with the coaches and scouts and the division. How different is your board this year because of that alignment than maybe a year ago where you didn’t have that hundred percent alignment? Do you think about that and how much does that shape where you guys are going forward?

JOE SCHOEN: I wouldn’t say we weren’t aligned a year ago. It was just trying to get a grasp on how the players were going to be utilized in Wink’s system. So, I wouldn’t say we weren’t aligned. We ended up, there’s consensus building, but there’s definitely after going through a full season and a training camp and seeing it applied, how he’s going to utilize players. There’s a better comfort level, not just myself but even Dabs. Dabs had never worked with Wink, either; as we’re going through it, how he’s going to utilize players first down, second down, third down. So yeah, there’s definitely a better comfort level this year, but I wouldn’t say we weren’t necessarily aligned last year.

Q. I didn’t mean that necessarily. You’ve talked about Wink and knowing what Wink and just knowing what Wink wants and how that changes maybe the way you scout players.

JOE SCHOEN: Absolutely.

Q. So for you as a scout at heart, how does that change what you’re looking for you may look at a certain guy because you — have what you may think overall?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we’ve had to retrain a little bit how we look at different positions or the value we put on them based off Wink’s system, and I think that’s what’s most important is what is the value for the Giants and how do we see them and how they are going to be utilized, which we are still having those conversations. We definitely had to retrain how we think about some things at different positions and what the value of those traits are that we covet and where those align in the draft. But definitely feel better going into it this year in terms of what exactly he’s looking for.

Q. Where in this process have you spoken directly with Saquon?

JOE SCHOEN: Nothing’s changed since we talked at the owner’s meetings. There’s nothing new. I haven’t talked to him.

Q. When you draft at the back of the draft, where you are this time, how do you define what a successful draft pick, five years from now when you look at a player, how would you define success?

JOE SCHOEN: We like to look at the play time over three years. Usually, it’s over three years what their play time is, their contribution, whether they developed into a starter, that’s obviously a hit; if they turn into a good starter, that’s good. That’s what you strive for. But there’s also role players and there’s really good special teams players that you value.

So again, it’s their role. It’s their fit on the team, their contribution over that four-year period, but usually after three years you know if they are a contributor or not and there’s going to be different types of contributions.

Q. You mentioned changing positions — what position have you personally changed your outlook the most on the way you evaluate?

JOE SCHOEN: It’s really the front seven. It’s just a different defense than I’ve been in. It’s really the front seven.

Q. Is there a danger to that? You’re building a team for the next three, four, five, six, seven years. Wink may not be here; he almost went this off-season. Is there a danger to drafting for a coach?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, it’s actually something that Coach Parcells told me a long time ago. He told me, “Coaches come and go. You need to draft good football players.” Yeah, you don’t want to get too pigeonholed into scheme-specific, because then, you’re right, if Wink gets a head job a year from now and you bring somebody else in that runs a totally different defense, you a scheme-specific player. Part of our job is to balance that. Like is this guy, again, add value. Like, he’s only going to fit this one scheme. And yeah, Wink’s got a really good chance to get a head coaching job. If he moves on and we change things up, then yeah, you definitely have to balance that and be aware of that.

Q. You obviously have your starting quarterback locked up but are you somebody who would like to have a young developmental quarterback on the team and also, I say that because there seems to be a thought around the league that Brock Purdy has changed, maybe reemphasized the idea that teams — you pick day three quarterback and see what happens going forward?

JOE SCHOEN: I would just say right now we are happy with Tyrod. Tyrod is the backup. I think we are in good shape right there.

Q. You don’t have a third quarterback, right?

JOE SCHOEN: We had Davis Webb last year. We’ll continue to look whether it’s a veteran free agent or somebody in the draft or post-draft, whoever it may be. Yeah, we’ll have three quarterbacks in camp.

Q. Where do you see your O-Line? Are you comfortable where that is right now?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think we have 14 offensive linemen under contract right now. So no different than the owner’s meetings, what I told you guys.

Q. Do you remain optimistic that Saquon will be on the field for you at the start of the season? From the outside looking in, it doesn’t seem like an obvious resolution.

JOE SCHOEN: You have to ask him. I’m not sure. I don’t know what his plan is. I haven’t talked to him in probably three weeks.

Q. From your experience before you got here, talking about Buffalo, you were on the road a lot there, scouting prospects, and I know when you go to pro days and stuff, you’re not just looking at guys who are in that current draft. Curious, now, in this process, are there guys, do you go back to your notes from two years ago where guys may have stood out to you when you were on campus, someone may have said something to you, and has that factored into your evaluation of guys that are now available to be drafted?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, for sure. I actually went through some of my books. There are some guys in this draft that I know I wrote in Buffalo. I meant to call Brandon and get some of those. I can’t find them. Yeah, definitely, I was on the road a lot more. Probably see 50 schools a year when I was in Buffalo. When players do go back to school that are now in this draft it is helpful because you have a previous exposure to the player if I wasn’t able to get out and see them this year. There were definitely some definite benefits to the amount of work that I was able to do in Buffalo. It’s still paying off.

Q. On Dexter, when a position’s market keeps resetting in the off-season, how do you balance as a GM not letting that dictate what you pay but also trying to properly pay the player?

JOE SCHOEN: We have a formula that we have in place in terms of coming up with the value of players based on various factors. So, you know we stay true to that when we are coming up with value, whether that’s free agency, contract extensions, whatever it may be. We have a formula that we like to stick to.

Q. Enter that equation —

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, same deal. Any time you’re paying a player, whether it’s inside the building or outside the building, we come up with a value of what we think is fair. You create a case on why you see the value is where it is. Again, takes two to get a deal done.

Q. Is Bijan Robinson the best back in this class, and how do you feel about running backs in the first round?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think there are several good backs in the draft. And again, if it’s a good player and a team decides to take them, and they have success for their system, then I don’t think you can go wrong with taking good football players. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into saying I would never take a certain position in the first round. It’s a good running back class. It’s got some depth to it, and Bijan is a good player.

Q. When you’re constructing your roster, how much of your decision-making is impacted by your own system but combating what division rivals and competitors do well?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think you always have to look at that because that’s the ultimate goal is to win the division. When you are building your team, you obviously want to give the coaches what they want in order to run their schemes and execute their schemes at a high level. But you also have to look at the division, I reflect on when I was in Miami, and they had Gronk all those years. You’re looking for some sort of linebacker that can match up and cover Gronk, and it was just impossible to find somebody that could do that. So, if there are players or schemes, or whatever it may be throughout the division, you’re always looking at that and studying and seeing how you can maybe counter one of their strengths.

Q. One of your traits is you’re able to separate emotion from team building, but when you have a player that’s been a good Giant but maybe financially or when team building resources, it doesn’t make sense, do you find you’re good at separating those two things, and if so, where did you learn that trait?

JOE SCHOEN: Not really. No, it’s tough. Again, these guys are around, they work hard, and we had a heck of a season last year and you become close with them, and it’s hard. But there is — you have to separate it. I’m not going to say I’m good at it there’s a human element on both sides, for them and myself. But there is a business side to it. And yeah, again, in a perfect world there’s no salary cap, and you can make everybody happy and pay everybody. But you know, that’s something I haven’t been through before. Last year, we didn’t extend anybody from our roster. It was signing some people outside the building. After going through a season with the players, and then this next step of the process whether it’s extending or players leaving the organization, yeah, the human element, that part stinks because you do like all these guys, and you know they put in a lot of work for you, and you know, again starting this time last year. So it’s tough to separate the business end and the human element. The way Dabs and I are around the building and getting to know the players, maybe we do that more than most. But you do become attached for sure.

Q. Your philosophy on trading up, curious what your philosophy on that is? Would you be hesitant to dip into next year’s draft class?

JOE SCHOEN: I’d be open to any of that. I’m never going to rule it out. If it’s the right player and the value aligns, I’d move up. If it was a future pick, I would do that, too. Last year, just where we were financially, we needed as many depth pieces as we can. So, moving back a couple times last year just made sense. It got us some more bodies that — so that was a little bit of the thought process that went into that.

Q. How much has the big play receiver changed in the sense that when I was younger, it was a big guy who could run fast and catch a 40-yard pass. Now is it somebody who can attach 15-yard pass and make it a 40-yard pass?

JOE SCHOEN: That can be part of it. I think both of your comments are correct. If you have got a guy that can take the top off and throw the ball down the field and goes up and gets it like a Randy Moss, then you’d love to have that; or if it’s Steve Smith in Carolina, you throw a slant, and he can take it 80. Any time you can generate yards after a catch, I think that helps you. You don’t have to do the 15, 16-play drives. Maybe now it’s six because a guy had a 50-yarder in there. I think all those things are important when you’re looking at the receiver.

Q. The center better position in this draft — you don’t have anybody on your roster that has extensive experience as a starter. How important is it for you to add to that position in the draft whether, whatever portion of the draft and what do you think of that group in particular?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, I think there’s some depth in the draft, but I don’t think we have to. Again, we have these meetings. As soon as the Eagles game was over, that week, we had meetings and we went into the off-season: If we can’t get Nick (Gates) back; if we didn’t get (Jon) Feliciano back, what does it look like. You know, talking with the coaching staff and the personnel staff, there’s people in house third page are available candidates for that: You know, Ben Bredeson, Jack (Anderson), Shane Lemieux, JC Hassenauer we just signed a week ago. So there’s guys that there that have played center, have played games, and you know, it will be good competition.

Apr 172023
Brian Daboll, New York Giants (October 10, 2022)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants offseason program began on Monday. The 9-week program provides players with training, instruction, and physical strength and conditioning. Due to their respective contract situations, running back Saquon Barkley and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence are not in attendance.

“We’ve had a great turnout,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll. “We’ve had a few meetings here today. I think the guys that are here are excited to be back. We got off to a good start. Again, phase one is really about, you know, the physical part of it, getting quicker, faster, stronger and then there’s a few little meetings here or there based on scheme. I’ve talked to both of those players, both Saquon and Dex, and I’ll leave those conversations as I always do, private… Saquon is not (allowed to be here) until he signs his (franchise) tender, but Dexter certainly is. Again, each case, whether it’s Dexter, Saquon, another player, they are all a little bit different. Again, they are voluntary. It’s April 17th. We’ve got a long way to go here so we’ll just take it day-by-day.”

Per the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), teams are only allowed to hold voluntary offseason activities over the course of a 9-week period in three phases:

Phase One: Activities during this 2-week period are limited to to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two: On-field workouts during this 3-week period may include may include individual or group instruction and drills, as well as “perfect-play drills,” and drills and plays with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players, conducted at a walk-through pace. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three: Activities during this 4-week period include 10 days of organized team practice activity (OTAs) and a mandatory veteran mini-camp. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted. Teams may also hold one mandatory mini-camp.

Key dates:

  • April 17: New York Giants offseason programs begins.
  • May 22-23: New York Giants OTAs #1 and #2.
  • May 25: New York Giants OTA #3 (media access).
  • May 30-31: New York Giants OTAs #4 and #5 (media access).
  • June 2: New York Giants OTA #6.
  • June 5-6: New York Giants OTAs #7 and #8.
  • June 8-9: New York Giants OTAs #9 (media access) and #10.
  • June 13-15: New York Giants mandatory mini-camp.

The Giants will also hold a rookie mini-camp on May 5-6.

New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss the start of the team’s voluntary offseason program. The transcript is available in The Corner Forum, while the video is available on YouTube.

Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (Video)
  • S Xavier McKinney (Video)
Apr 072023
Richie James, New York Giants (January 1, 2023)

Richie James – © USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Daniel Jones has organized a voluntary, informal passing camp in Scottsdale, Arizona for his teammates. According to press reports, the workouts include quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor; running back Saquon Barkley; tight ends Darren Waller, Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager, Tommy Sweeney, and Dre Miller; and wide receivers Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, Isaiah Hodgins, Collin Johnson, Jeff Smith, David Sills, Makai Polk, and Kalil Pimpleton. There may be others as well.

The Kansas City Chiefs have signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Richie James of the Giants. The Giants Richie James as an unrestricted free agent from the San Francisco 49ers in March 2022. He became a bigger factor in the passing game than anticipated, replacing the injured Wan’Dale Robinson as the team’s slot receiver. James played in all 17 regular-season games with four starts, finishing with team-leading 57 catches for 569 yards (10 yards per catch) and four touchdowns. He also served as the team’s primary punt returner, averaging 7.2 yards per return, but also fumbling three times.

James was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the 49ers. In his first three years in San Francisco, James played in 40 regular-season games with 10 starts, catching 38 passes for 689 yards and three touchdowns. James missed all of the 2021 season with a knee injury.

For a listing of the team’s free agents, see the New York Giants 2023 Free Agency Scorecard.

Apr 062023
J.C. Hassenauer, Pittsburgh Steelers (January 16, 2022)

J.C. Hassenauer – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have reportedly signed center J. C. Hassenauer, who was not tendered as a potential restricted free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.

The 27-year old, 6’2”, 295-pound Hassenauer was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2018 NFL Draft. He was cut before the season started in 2018 and signed with the Steelers in April 2019, cut in August, and then re-signed in November. From 2020-2022, Hassenauer played in 45 regular-season games for the Steelers with seven starts, five at center and two at left guard. He also started one playoff game at center. Hassenauer is viewed mainly as a steady, reliable back-up.

For a listing of the team’s free agents, see the New York Giants 2023 Free Agency Scorecard.

Mar 282023
Joe Schoen, New York Giants (February 28, 2023)

Joe Schoen – © USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants President/CEO John Mara, General Manager Joe Schoen, and Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media at the NFL Annual Meeting on Tuesday:

  • President/CEO John Mara (Video)
  • General Manager Joe Schoen (Video)
  • Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video)

Safety Bobby McCain, who the Giants signed as a free agent after he was cut by the Washington Commanders, addressed the media last Thursday. The transcript of this press conference is available in The Corner Forum, while the video is available on YouTube.

Mar 232023
Amani Oruwariye

Amani Oruwariye – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agents cornerback Amani Oruwariye (Detroit Lions) and tight end Tommy Sweeney (Buffalo Bills). Oruwariye reportedly signed a 1-year contract.

The 27-year old, 6’2”, 202-pound Oruwariye was drafted in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Lions. In four seasons in Detroit, Oruwariye played in 53 regular-season games with 36 starts, accruing 173 tackles, 24 pass defenses, nine interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. His best seasons were in 2020 and 2021, when he started 29 games. Oruwariye struggled in 2022 and was benched in late October after he had started five games.

The 27-year old, 6’5”, 251-pound Sweeney was drafted in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Bills. In four seasons in Buffalo, Sweeney played in 24 regular-season games with four starts, catching just 18 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown. He missed all of 2020 with foot, COVID, and myocarditis issues. Sweeney is a good blocker.

For a listing of the team’s free agents, see the New York Giants 2023 Free Agency Scorecard.


Mar 232023
Jamison Crowder, Buffalo Bills (September 19, 2022)

Jamison Crowder – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Jamison Crowder (Buffalo Bills) to a reported 1-year contact.

The 29-year old, 5’9”, 177-pound Crowder was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with Washington (2015-2018), New York Jets (2019-2021), and Buffalo Bills (2022). In eight NFL seasons, Crowder has played in 100 regular-season games with 51 starts, catching 415 passes for 4,667 yards and 28 touchdowns. He only played in four games in 2022 due to a broken ankle that he suffered in Week 4. Crowder lacks ideal size, but he has been a productive slot receiver. Crowder also has experience returning punts.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux away from the New York Giants. Mondeaux was not tendered by the Giants as a potential restricted free agent, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.

The Giants signed Mondeaux to the Practice Squad in September 2022 and the 53-man roster in November 2022. He ended up playing in 11 regular-season games with four starts, being credited with 16 tackles. Mondeaux played 33 percent of defensive snaps in games that he appeared. The 6’5”, 280-pound Mondeaux was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New Orleans Saints after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Saints (2018), Kansas City Chiefs (2019), and Pittsburgh Steelers (2019-2022). The Steelers waived him in late August 2022. Mondeaux has played in 37 NFL games with six starts, accruing just 37 tackles and two sacks. He is mainly a run defender who lacks the athletic ability to make flashy plays.

For a listing of the team’s free agents, see the New York Giants 2023 Free Agency Scorecard.

Mar 212023
Bobby McCain, Washington Football Team (January 9, 2022)

Bobby McCain – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have signed free agent safety Bobby McCain, who was cut by the Washington Commanders in late February in a salary-cap move. The deal is reportedly a 1-year contract.

The 29-year old, 5’11”, 192-pound McCain was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. After six seasons and 55 regular-season starts, the Dolphins cut him in May 2021 and McCain spent the next two seasons with the Commanders. McCain has started 32 of 34 regular-season games in Washington in 2021 and 2022. Last season, he finished with 54 tackles, five pass defenses, and one forced fumble. McCain has 11 career interceptions, four of which came in 2021.

For a listing of the team’s free agents, see the New York Giants 2023 Free Agency Scorecard.