Who Are The Giants 2023 Draft Class and How They Can Make An Impact

The New York Football Giants are coming off one of their best seasons in recent years. With first year head coach Brian Daboll leading them to the playoffs for the first time since 2016, Giants fans and the organization have a lot to be excited about when it comes to the future. 

Since the Giants saw more success than originally expected, it forced first year general manager Joe Scheon to get “cooking” in off season moves and study up on potential draft prospects.

Scheon, who had ten draft picks to work with, thanks to the Kadarius Toney and Darren Waller trade, certainly made the most of them. Scheon seemed to use the strategy of “give a little, get a little” when the Giants were on the clock.

As we know Scheon turned the initial ten draft picks into seven actual players, but for the staff in the meadowlands it was all about quality over quantity.

Draft experts such as Mel Kipper Jr. (A-), Vinnie Lyer (A), Charles McDonald (A), Chad Rueter (A-), Danny Kelly (A-) and Rob Maaddi (A-) all had high ratings for the Giants 2023 draft class. 

Without further ado, let's get to know big blues newest additions.

Who is Deonte Banks?

With the 24th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the New York Giants select… Deonte Banks, DB, Maryland. The 6’2, 205 lb Baltimore native shined in his senior year. Recording all career highs in tackles (38 total, 25 solo), pass breakups (eight), interceptions (one) and sacks (half sack).

Banks’ breakthrough season was capped off with earning 2022 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, a big accomplishment for Banks after suffering a season ending injury the previous year. 

Prior to college, Banks was a three star recruit (ESPN, 247 Sports) and the 12th ranked player in the state of Maryland (ESPN). Banks received offers to play in college from Buffalo, Delaware State, Kent State and Seton Hall, but didn’t have any serious interest from any Power Five schools except for Maryland. 

At the combine, Banks put up good numbers. Running a 4.35 40-yard dash, 1.49 10-yard split, with a 42” vertical and 11’4” broad jump. Thanks to his performance, NFL Next Gen Stats ranked Banks as the third best CB in the combine.

How can Banks make an impact?

The Giants have a lot of room to grow in their cornerback department, but luckily for them they have a lot of depth in both the left and right cornerback positions. On the left side they have a good experienced group in Adoree’ Jackson, Darnay Holmes, Nick McCloud and Amani Oruwariye. On the right side they have a bit of a weaker group in Cor’Dale Flott and Aaron Robinson. 

On the left side, Adoree’ Jackson has solidified that spot as his own after his great season last year with big blue (51 total tackles, one forced fumble and two fumbles recovered in 10 games). 

As for the right side, that is Banks' job to lose. Banks is a pure athlete with a great build in his size and length for a corner. Banks moves very well in his lower body and is very smooth transitioning from his pedal. 

Banks is known to communicate very clearly when passing off receivers in the zone, a skill that  Adoree’ will love to work with. 

Banks has a lot of experience in a wide variety of coverages, a knowledge that Giants Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale will love and definitely need on his aggressive defense. 

We can predict that Banks will start at the right cornerback position come week one, and that he will get a good amount of reps every game. His role on the team and the importance of his play will only grow as the season goes on. 

Who is John Michael Schmitz?

With the 57th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the New York Giants select… John Michael Schmitz, OL, Minnesota. The 6’4, 320 lb Illinois native had a fantastic senior year. He played and started all 12 regular season games at center and was a part of 767 offense snaps (465 run block snaps and 302 pass block snaps).

Schmitz received both conference and national recognition for his stellar season, including 2022 AP First Team All-America, FWAA First Team All-America, Walter Camp Second Team All-America, All Big Ten First Team (coaches and media poll) and Academic All Big Ten. Schmitz also made the roster for the 2023 Senior Bowl. 

Prior to college, Schmitz was an all around three star recruit (Scout, Rivals, 247 Sports and ESPN) and was ranked the No. 1 center in the Midwest, No. 8 center in the nation and the No. 96 recruit in the Midwest (Scout). On the other hand, ESPN listed him as the No.14 recruit in all of Illinois. 

Schmitz had college offers from Bowling Green, Buffalo, Ball State, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Louisville, Miami (OH), New Mexico, Western Michigan, Wyoming and of course Minnesota. 

At the combine, Schmitz boosted his draft score by running a 5.35 40-yard dash, 1.85 10-yard split, and 4.56 20 yard shuttle. He also had a vertical jump of 29.5” and a broad jump of 8’8”, to go with 26 reps on the bench press. His performance led to NFL Next Gen Stats ranking him as the second best center in the combine. 

How can Schmitz make an impact?

The Giants have struggled building up their offensive line over the years. With multiple weak spots finally being filled it is only a matter of time before Giants Quarterback Daniel Jones has a solid front. 

The center position on the Giants offensive line is one that has been constantly rotated over the years, with no one specific person being their true center. The changes to that position have been so continuous that the Giants haven’t had the same center in back to back years since Weston Richburg (2015-2016). 

The hope from those in the Giants organization is that Schmitz can be the next long time center for the team. Schmitz provides several years experience in that specific position and has seen a good amount of success in it.

Schmitz has good lateral quickness for reaching blocks in the outside zone, is a consistent block finisher, maintains proper balance to pass and receive twists and has great teamwork inside his scheme. 

We can predict that Schmitz will be the Giants starting center come week one and will be in that position for the whole season. Schmitz’s play will only improve as the season goes on and we believe that he will be a strong piece of the offensive line. 

Who is Jalin Hyatt?

With the 73rd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the New York Giants select… Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee. The 6’0, 176 lb South Carolina native had an incredible junior season. Hyatt recorded 67 catches for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns. He averaged 18.9 yards per reception as well as 105.6 yards per game. 

Hyatt finished the season second in the FBS and first in the Power Five in receiving touchdowns, while finishing fifth in the FBS in receiving yards. Hyatt also led the SEC in receiving yards, touchdowns, receptions per game and receiving yards per game. 

Hyatt cemented his legacy at Tennessee in the single-season record books. Placing first in receiving touchdowns, second in receiving yards, seventh in receptions and tied sixth in 100-yard receiving games (5). 

Hyatt also put his name down in Tennessee single game record books. Placing first in receiving touchdowns (5 vs Alabama on 10/15/22), sixth in receiving yards (207 vs Alabama on 10/15/22),  tied fifth in receptions (11 vs Pitt on 9/10/22) and tied first in points scored (30 vs Alabama on 10/15/22). 

Jalian received lots of accolades for his one of a kind season, including 2022 Biletnikoff Award Winner (college football's most explosive playmaker), First Team All-America (Walter Camp, FWAA, Associated Press, Sporting News, AFCA, NCAA, The Athletic, CBS Sports and 247 Sports), Maxwell Award Semifinalist, Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalist, and First Team All SEC (Associated Press, Coaches, USA Today). 

Prior to college, Hyatt was a four star recruit and the nation's 33rd ranked wide receiver (247 Sports). He holds several all time records at Dutch Fork High School, including receiving yards (3,624), and receiving touchdowns (57). 

Hyatt had a ton of Power Five offers, including (but not limited to) Michigan, Penn State, Oregon, Florida, Virginia, Arkansas, Wake Forest, Miami and of course Tennessee. 

At the combine, Hyatt continued to show why he is one of top prospects in the wide receiver group. He ran a 4.4 40-yard dash and a 1.5 10-yard split. He also had a 40” vertical and an 11’3” broad jump. His numbers led to NFL Next Gen Stats ranking him the top receiver at the combine. 

How can Hyatt make an impact?

The Giants have always had good potential with their wide receiver corp, the problem is they are never healthy. With Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson, Richie James (got traded), Collin Johnson and Kenny Golladay all suffering either season ending or multiple game injuries, it limits the amount of production the group can put forth.

With Hyatt, he provides top end speed, known production, effective perimeter blocking, and draws attention of opposing defensive coordinators. All skills the Giants need in their wide receivers, on top of a healthy body. 

Hyatt’s speed will allow Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka to have more deep ball plays and his perimeter blocking abilities make him a dual threat on the field.  

The Giants as of right now have a lot of options at the receiving positions, including Isiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard (Questionable), Collin Johnson, Jamison Crowder, David Sills V (Questionable), Jeff Smith, Kalil Pimpleton, Makai Polk and of course Jalin Hyatt.

We can predict that Hyatt will start the season off in the second receiving group, but as the season goes on his production will only increase, leading to him potentially moving to that first group. Injuries with the receiving corp are unfortunately very realistic, so there will surely be more opportunities for Hyatt as the games are played out. 

Who is Eric Gray?

With the 172nd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the New York Giants select… Eric Gray, RB, Oklahoma. The 5’10, 210 lb Tennessee native provided success for Oklahoma on the ground and in the air. In Gray’s senior year he rushed for 1,366 yards over 213 carries and 11 touchdowns. Gray averaged 6.4 yards per carry and had a long of 54 yards. In the air Gray had 33 receiving catches for 229 yards. He averaged 8.4 yards per catch and had a long of 38 yards. 

Grays on field production earned him First Team All Big 12 (PFF), Second Team All Big 12 (league and coaches) and First Team All Academic Big 12. 

Prior to college, Gray was a four star recruit (247 Sports, ESPN and Rivals) and rated the nation's No. 99 overall player (247 Sports)/ No. 263 (ESPN). Gray was listed as the No.2 all-purpose back by 247 Sports, but was listed as No.7 by Rivals. ESPN ranked Gray as the No. 19 running back in the country, along with being named the No. 8 player in Tennessee. 247 Sports ranked Gray as the No. 2 player in Tennessee while Rivals ranked him No. 13. 

Just like Hyatt, Gray also had a lot of Power Five offers. Some of the schools include Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Michigan, Penn State, Stanford and Tennessee. Gray ended up spending his first two collegiate seasons at Tennessee before transferring to Oklahoma.  

At the combine, Gray did not participate in many of the combine drills. He only competed in the vertical jump (37.5”) and the broad jump (9 '10”). However, at Oklahoma’s Pro Day Gray ran a 4.63 40-yard dash, 7.25 three cone drill and had 14 reps on the bench press. As a result NFL Next Gen Stats ranked Gray as the 15th best running back at the combine. 

How can Gray make an impact?

The running back group has been one of the skilled positions that the Giants haven't really had any problems with (except for 2020-21 when Saquon was hurt). They have their star back in Saquon Barkley who takes most of the reps, and solid back ups in Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell.

However, with all the contract negotiations going on with Saquon and no agreement being made between the team and him before the draft, the Giants decided to be proactive. 

Gray, who has above average elusiveness and spatial awareness inside, and is very decisive with instant acceleration will be a great addition to an already strong back group. 

Gray’s ability to jab and cut at sharp angles without losing speed will be extremely useful when shooting the gaps in the opposing teams defensive line.  

We can predict that Gray won’t get a ton of touches this season, but will be a solid third string back up behind Barkley and Breida. The only way he might see more reps is if injuries come into play or he has a really good training camp. 

Who is Tre Hawkins III?

With the 209th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the New York Giants select… Tre Hawkins III, CB, Old Dominion. The 6’3, 195 lb Texas native was solid for the monarchs in his senior season. Hawkins finished the year with 57 tackles, two interceptions, six pass breakups, three fumbles recovered, and forced two blocked kicks. Hawkins did not receive any accolades for his performance.

Prior to college, Hawkins attended Temple High School where he recorded 60 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions his senior year. Along with his football talents, Hawkins was also a standout member on the track team. Hawkins was not a ranked recruit in high school and was one of those under the radar players.

Before his time at Old Dominion, Hawkins spent two years playing at Trinity Valley Community College where he recorded 44 total tackles (24 tackles, 20 assisted tackles), 2.6 tackles per game, 3.5 tackles for loss and five broken up passes.

At Old Dominion’s Pro Day, Hawkins ran a 4.40 40-yard dash, 1.52 10-yard split, 4.22 shuttle and 6.74 three cone. Hawkins also had a 37.5” vertical jump, 10’9” broad jump and 17 reps on the bench press. His results led to him being ranked the 39th best cornerback in the draft by NFL Next Gen Stats.  

How can Hawkins make an impact?

As mentioned in Banks’ section, the Giants have a lot of  depth in the cornerback position on both the left and the right side. For a rookie like Hawkins it isn’t likely he will be seeing the field much his first year.

However, if he does see the field this year or in years to come his size, length and long speed will be a benefit for New York. Hawkins accurate active hands with the press punch will be useful on contested throws and his ability to attack and shed blocks quickly will help him be more active and involved in plays. 

We can predict that as the season goes on Hawkins will get good experience watching fellow teammates. The longer he practices with the team the more knowledge he will gain of Wink’s defense. Hawkins may not get reps on the field this year since he should be in a third string spot on the right side, but he could see the field in the years to come. 

Who is Jordan Riley?

With the 243rd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the New York Giants select… Jordan Riley, DL, Oregon. The 6 '5, 325 lb North Carolina native had a decent season with the Ducks. Finishing the year with 21 total tackles (seven solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, one pass breakup and half a sack. Riley played 331 snaps on defense and 70 on special teams. Riley did not receive any accolades for his performance.

Prior to college, Riley attended Riverside High School where he was a three star recruit (247 Sports). Riley was listed as the No. 2 player in North Carolina, the No. 51 defensive tackle in the country and No. 16th in the South ( By ESPN Riley was rated the No. 11 player in North Carolina and No. 39 defensive tackle in the country. At Riverside Riley played multiple positions in the defensive line. 

Before his time at Oregon, Riley Spent two seasons at UNC where he played in five games as a true freshman and used a redshirt his second season. Riley then transferred to Garden City Community College where he finished the season with 26 tackles, two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. 

After his one year stint at GCCC, Riley transferred to Nebraska where he spent two seasons with the Cornhuskers. During those two years Riley recorded eight tackles and one tackle for loss. After his short period in Nebraska, Riley finally found his final destination at Oregon. 

At Oregon’s Pro Day, Riley ran a 5.28 40-yard dash and 1.89 10 yard split. Riley also recorded a 25” vertical jump and a 8’6” broad jump. His numbers led to him being ranked the 20th best defensive tackle in the draft by NFL Next Gen Stats

How can Riley make an impact?

For the Giants, their defensive line is one of their strongest positional groups on the whole team. Led by Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams and rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux, the defensive line is only getting stronger as the years go on. 

With the addition of Bobby Okereke and Rakeem Nunez-Roches in the offseason, the Giants defense is looking to be smart and quick when it comes to their pressure. Wink has a lot of options when it comes to what pressures he wants to put out and what players he wants to be a part of.

For Riley, he will most likely not see any action on the field since he is predicted to play the nose tackle position for big blue. A position that is currently filled by Dexter Lawrence, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Vernon Butler.

Playing time will be almost impossible to come by, but for the rookie it is all about development in practice. Down the line the Giants will hope to use Rileys tall, wide and proportional frame in both the pass rush and regular coverage. 

We can predict that this season and most likely next season will be all about learning and growing for Riley. Without more development from him it is unlikely he will see the field during his time in New York. 

Who is Gervarrius Owens?

With the 254th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the New York Giants select… Gervarrius Owens, DB, Houston. The 6’0, 200 lb Oklahoma native had a solid season for the Cougars. Owens finished his senior year with 74 tackles, eight pass breakups, 54 solo stops, two forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble recovery. 

Owens played 584 defensive snaps at free safety and registered eight plus tackles on six occasions. Owens was named a team captain for the Cougars program, demonstrating his leadership on and off the field. 

Gervarrius received several accolades for his performance, including Second Team All-American Athletic Conference and Pro Football Focus All Athletic Conference. 

Prior to college, Owens attended Southmoore High School where he was a four year letterwinner and a three star recruit (247 Sports). Along with football, Owens took part in the school's track and wrestling team. 

Before Gervarrius’ time at Houston, he spent one season at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. At A&M Owens recorded 51 tackles, three interceptions and three pass breakups. Owen’s performance earned him the title of JUCO All-America First Team. 

At Houston’s Pro Day, Owens ran a 4.52 40 yard-dash, 4.08 20-yard shuttle and 6.75 three cone drill. Owen’s also recorded a 37.5” vertical, 10.42’ broad jump and 15 reps on the bench press. Owen’s numbers led to him being ranked 12th among all safeties in the draft by NFL Next Gen Stats

How can Owens make an impact?

With the injury to Xavier McKinney last year and the recent departure of Julian Love the safety group is not as strong as the Giants organization was predicting heading into the offseason. Thankfully McKinney is fully recovered from his hand injury and is looking to lead this less experienced group.

With only having Bobby McCain, Dane Belton, and Jason Pinnock to back up McKinney the Giants were in need of adding some depth to the position group. 

Owens, who steps downhill quickly to attack the line of scrimmage and is a vigorous hitter when playing in the box can be a great back up to the other safeties. 

Owens, like most rookies, just needs more time to study up the defense and really use any opportunity in practice to get coached up by Wink and fellow players.

We can predict that Owens will not see the field at all this season or next season, unless injuries to this group happen like they did last year. Without Owens executing more efficiently and getting better field recognition and awareness, he will not see the field during his time in New York.

Rookie Free Agent Pickups

Post draft the Giants decided to sign a few rookies that did not get selected during the draft. The players picked up so far are as follows:

  • Habakkuk Baldonado - DE, Pittsburgh
  • Troy Brown - LB, Mississippi
  • Alex Cook - DB, Washington
  • Tommy DeVito - QB, Illinois
  • Bryce Ford-Wheaton - WR, West Virginia
  • Gemon Green - DB, Michigan
  • Dyontae Johnson, LB, Toledo
  • Ryan Jones - TE, East Carolina
  • Cameron Lyons - LS, North Carolina-Charlotte

About The Author