Sunday, April 30, 2023

New York Giants 2023 NFL Draft Grades Roundup

The 2023 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror, and we have compiled a consensus ranking using NFL draft grades from a variety of sites.

What draft grades have the media given to the New York Giants? What are they saying about the Giants' 2023 draft haul?

MORE: 2023 NFL Strength of Schedule - Grade: A-

Banks is a fluid athlete outside with the potential to justify the trade up if his game matures. Schmitz quenches the Giants' thirst for a very good starter in the pivot to help Daniel Jones continue his ascension. Hyatt is a late bloomer who is the exact vertical threat Jones and the offense needed.

Gray is a tough runner with receiving ability who will step up to spell Saquon Barkley and Matt Breida. Hawkins joins Banks as another needed athlete at cornerback, and Owens' ability to cover ground and tackle were worthy of a top-150 pick at safety.

ESPN - Grade: A-

I mentioned this Friday night, but the Giants landed three of my top 45 prospects in the first two days of the draft. That's impressive stuff from general manager Joe Schoen. Cornerback Deonte Banks (24) was consistently impressive when I watched his 2022 tape, and he stuck to receivers in man coverage. He is both experienced (he started eight games as a freshman) and toolsy (42-inch vertical leap at the combine). We can slot him in as a starter on the other side of Adoree' Jackson.

John Michael Schmitz (57) is my top-ranked center, and he fills a huge hole. He's going to start as a rookie. Coach Brian Daboll helped make a trade up for wideout Jalin Hyatt (73), whom I had rated as the No. 44 player in this class. You might remember Hyatt from his five touchdown catches against Alabama, and he can fly out of the slot. I was surprised he was still available in Round 3.

I like running back Eric Gray (172) as a potential steal on Day 3; he isn't a burner, but he can be a one-cut back behind Saquon Barkley. Safety Gervarrius Owens is an intriguing flier in Round 7.

This class is lifted up by those first three picks, which all fit positions of need. Nice job by Schoen and Daboll.

SI - Grade: B+

The Giants pounced on Banks, a lengthy and athletic cornerback, and might have gotten a steal by adding Hyatt in the third round. Banks could form a solid cornerback duo with Adoree' Jackson. Suddenly, quarterback Daniel Jones has an abundance of downfield threats with Hyatt, Darius Slayton and Parris Campbell. Jones also benefited with the addition of Schmitz, a powerful blocker who excels in the running game.

PFF - Grade: A+

Day 1: The third-best cornerback on the PFF big board, Banks can fly and clocked a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. An elite athlete, he has proven that he can mirror wide receivers in college and has the size teams look for at the position. He produced a 72.0 PFF grade in his final season at Maryland, the best of his college career.

Day 2: If the Giants had made this pick in the first round, nobody would have really batted an eye. He led all centers with a 92.3 PFF grade in 2022 and had graded well both on zone and gap plays. He's a big guy but can really move and was a four-year starter at Minnesota. Simply put, he is one of the best run blockers at the position to enter the draft in recent years.

Hyatt won the Biletnikoff Award as the top wide receiver in college football, averaging 18.9 yards per reception and scoring 15 touchdowns. He is a burner on the outside that needs some refinement but has all the athletic ability necessary to excel at the next level. Hyatt's 40-yard dash, vertical and broad jump were all above the 85th percentile. The Giants add a much-needed outside weapon for QB Daniel Jones.

Gray was really impressive in his final season of college, producing an elite 90.6 PFF grade in 2022. He graded well on both zone and gap plays, and while he's a little on the small size, he moves really well, posting a 96.2 elusive rating that was one of the best marks in this running back class.

Another likely special teamer, Hawkins produced PFF run-defense grades of 82.9 and 90.1 in each of the past two seasons. He wasn't great in coverage, but that strength against the run should give him a route to the field on special teams as a rookie.

Riley is a huge inside presence at 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds but has never graded above a 65.7 in his college career.

Owens produced an 87.6 PFF coverage grade in his most productive season this past year. He did, however, miss 17.8% of the tackles he attempted.

Fox Sports - Grade: A-

GM Joe Schoen came into the draft needing a starter at cornerback, center and wide receiver, and he picked them all off in the first three rounds. He even got aggressive, trading up a spot for first-round CB Deonte Banks and up 16 spots in Round 3 for Tennessee's game-breaking WR, Jalin Hyatt. Adding Hyatt and C John Michael Schmitz helped complete the offseason transformation of the offense that had been a problem for years. And he got some future insurance for Saquon Barkley in fifth-round RB Eric Gray, too.

USA Today - Grade: C-

Athletic first-round CB Deonte Banks and C John Michael Schmitz are upgrades at their respective positions. But as nice a player as Jalin Hyatt (Round 3) is, puzzling that GM Joe Schoen opted for another Smurf-ish receiver rather than finding QB Daniel Jones a rebounder.

The Ringer - Grade: A-

The Giants added impact players with their first three picks, grabbing a high-energy cover corner in Maryland's Deonte Banks, a day-one starting center in John Michael Schmitz, and a field-stretching big-play receiver in Jalin Hyatt. They also picked a solid backup running back in Eric Gray on day two. It's not going to be a headline-grabbing group, necessarily, but New York got better over the weekend.

Sporting News - Grade: A

The Giants were methodical about their needs, getting a big need at corner right away with an ace outside cover man in Banks. Schmitz, Hyatt and Gray were necessary boosts around Daniel Jones, including a sound interior blocker and big-play threat. They also got a key change-of-pace skilled receiving back as a contingency for Saquon Barkley.

Touchdown Wire - Grade: A

The first four picks of this draft alone should have fans of Big Blue doing handsprings and huzzahs. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale dials up as much aggressive press coverage as anyone in the NFL, and Deonte Banks is absolutely the best press cornerback in this class. There are few better immediate fits between player and scheme in this entire class. John Michael Schmitz is a 10-year, plug-and-play starter in the middle of the offensive line; he's a power blocker who reminds me of Alex Mack.

And how happy is Daniel Jones right now? He got his big contract, the Giants added Darren Waller and Parris Campbell in the offseason, and now, he's got Jalin Hyatt to throw to, as well. Hyatt is a pure speed guy who can leverage defenders upfield even as he fills out his route palette. And Eric Gray is one of the more underrated backs in this class.

There was a lot to like about the Giants in Brian Daboll's first season as head coach. Based on this draft, there should be even more in 2023.

More: 2023 NFL Draft Grade Roundups

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