The New York Giants had a shockingly good second day in Kansas City.
Even their general manager couldn’t believe it.
Big Blue selected Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz and Tennessee receiver Jalin Hyatt in the second and third rounds of the 2023 NFL draft. That two-player haul was a pleasant surprise for Giants fans — and for GM Joe Schoen, too.
“(I) told the guys (in the front office) to start making calls,” Schoen told reporters during his post-Day 2 draft press conference. “We were ecstatic to be able to get (them).”
Schoen’s calls could pay off immediately for Big Blue.
Schmitz, the 48th-best player on NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s 2023 board, was there when New York picked in the second round.
Schoen wasn’t as patient for Hyatt, though.
He surrendered New York’s fourth-round pick (No. 128 overall) to the Rams, moving up in the third round for the speedy Tennessee wideout.
Schoen said he didn’t really expect both players to be available for Big Blue. But now Schmitz and Hyatt join his earlier pick — first-round Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks — in a rookie class that could pay instant on-field dividends.
Brian Daboll: John Michael Schmitz Will ‘Fit in Right Away’
Now, the Minnesota native joins a team looking to stack that kind of postseason success. And head coach Brian Daboll thinks Schmitz has what it takes to help his Giants offense operate.
“You have all the traits we look for,” Daboll told Schmitz on his draft-night phone call. “You’re smart, you’re tough, you’re dependable. You’ll fit right in here.”
Schmitz might need to fit in right away for Daboll and Big Blue.
Both centers from that 2022 playoff run — Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates — went elsewhere in free agency earlier this year. The only center listed on Ourlads’ projected Giants depth chart is free-agent pickup J.C. Hassenauer, a career backup.
Schmitz wasn’t picked this high to ride the bench. He’ll be expected to anchor a Giants line that has bookends at tackle in Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal, according to experts like SNY NFL reporter Connor Hughes.
“This is a player who is absolutely a starting-caliber player,” Hughes said. “He’s somebody who should actually fill in from day one and take over as the starter for the Giants’ offensive line.”
Giants Pivoted to Jalin Hyatt for Much-Needed Speed
Schoen had the inside track on Hyatt all along.
The wideout was under heavy consideration for New York’s 57th overall pick, according to NJ.com’s Art Stapleton. The team passed on Hyatt for Schmitz — but Schoen immediately focused on ways to “get ’em both.”
Daboll helped play dealmaker here, too. The Giants coach received a trade-feeler text from Rams coach Sean McVay to gauge New York’s interest, per Stapleton.
Moments later, the Giants had a deal — and a new receiver with 4.40 speed.
“(Hyatt) was a good player that we liked that was sticking out on our board,” Schoen told reporters. “He can roll.”