New York Giants NFL Draft grades: Taking a look at the first 3 picks

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen vastly improved the roster with his first three picks of the NFL Draft by taking three players that were considered to be among the top at their respective positions in cornerback Deonte Banks, center John Michael Schmitz and wide receiver Jalin Hyatt.

There were some mock drafts that had all three being taken in the first round of the draft. To be able to acquire first-round value with your first three picks makes you one of the winners of the draft.

A case could be made after Day 2 of the draft, no team has done a better job addressing their most pressing needs than the Giants.

Time will tell how these draft picks pan out as it usually takes two or three years to properly assess a draft class. But for right now, here’s our grades for each of the New York Giants first three picks of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Related: Live Sportsnaut NFL Draft tracker

Round 1, 24th overall: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

new york giants draft: deonte banks

New York Giants draft grade: A-

For weeks leading up to the draft, it was rumored that Deonte Banks was high on the New York Giants’ draft board. Those rumors were proven to be true. To make sure he got his guy, Schoen traded away a fifth-round pick (160th overall) and a seventh-round pick (240th overall) to the Jacksonville Jaguars to move up one spot to take Banks.

“The way it went down and the way the board fell, we were getting depleted,” Schoen said shortly after drafting the corner from Maryland.

“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.”

New York desperately needed to upgrade a thin cornerback position because the division is filled with talented wideouts.

Banks is a perfect fit for Wink Martindale’s defense because of his speed, length, and physicality. He also has a ton of experience playing press man-to-man. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound corner is poised to be the starter opposite Adoree’ Jackson in Week 1. Banks was asked what he can learn from playing with Jackson.

“ I feel like he can teach me a lot of things. First, I have to get my foot in the door first. I’m coming here to work,” Banks told reporters.

Look for the Giants defense to be even more aggressive next season thanks to their newest corner.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft, Day 3 edition

Round 2, 57th overall: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota

NFL: Combine

New York Giants draft grade: A

Schmitz was viewed as an option for New York in the first round. So, to be able to get what many considered to be one of the best centers in the draft in Round 2 is an excellent value pick.

The team had heavily scouted Schmitz. New York’s offensive line coach Bobby Johnson attended his Pro Day. Shortly after being drafted, Schmitz was asked what his experience was like with coach Johnson.

“I love Coach Johnson. Spent a lot of time with him, obviously with the pro day and a dinner before that. It was amazing to connect with him,” Schmitz said. “He’s a good coach and just what he’s doing with that offensive line, I’m so excited to be a part of it.”

The interior offensive line was a major area of concern heading into the draft especially with the team losing Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates in free agency. Then with the Eagles drafting Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith, it was imperative New York come away with one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL Draft. They did just that. Expect Schmitz to be penciled in as the starting center on day one of training camp.

Round 3, 73rd overall: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

NFL: Combine

New York Giants grade: A

It goes without saying if you get a player in the third round that some had projected to go two rounds earlier, you have an excellent value pick. The Giants were able to achieve this by once again trading up in the draft. This time, they traded the 89th and 128th overall picks to the Los Angeles Rams to move up to 73 and grab Jalin Hyatt.

Hyatt was the 2022 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner after catching 67 passes for 1,267 yards and a school record 15 touchdowns.  He’ll be the deep threat that has been sorely missing from New York’s passing game for several years. He will need to work on his route running, but he’ll help open up the offense as opposing defenses have to be mindful of his speed.

After being drafted, Hyatt was asked how dangerous of a deep threat is he.

“Yeah, I feel like I’m probably the best deep threat receiver in the draft. I really do believe that, and Giants they really got a playmaker, they got a dynamic playmaker, an explosive playmaker – and that’s what I want to bring and add to the team,” Hyatt said.

The future is certainly bright for Big Blue after these three latest additions to the roster. Don’t be surprised if Schoen makes another trade on Day 3 of the draft as he continues to build a contender.

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