Giants Had NFL’s Most Valuable Draft Class: Report

Eric Gray

Getty Images Fifth-round rookie RB Eric Gray was one of the Giants' many value picks in 2023.

How good was the New York Giants’ 2023 draft class?

The numbers say it was best in the league. 

No other team extracted more value out of its picks than Big Blue did in terms of draft capital over expectation (DCOE), a tool NFL analytics guru Warren Sharp uses to frame expected draft classes vs. the value teams actually received. 

Sharp tabulated DCOE for all 32 teams and found New York earned a -3.6 score, meaning general manager Joe Schoen’s six picks were taken a collected 3.6 rounds later than expected. 

It’ll be a few years before experts like Sharp know if expected draft value correlates to actual draft value. But in the immediate aftermath of the draft, there’s no denying Schoen’s class stood out.

Here are the best picks from a Giants rookie class that led the league in value:

Giants Found Early Value In John Michael Schmitz, Jalin Hyatt 

All six of Schoen’s picks were at or above expected value, according to Sharp. 

The Giants started strong in the first round by selecting cornerback Deonte Banks five slots later than his expected draft slot of 19 overall. 

But the real bargains began in Rounds 2 and 3, when Schoen found players many draft experts saw as potential first round selections. 

Second-round center John Michael Schmitz earned -18 DCOE when the Giants picked him at 57 overall. And in the third round, receiver Jalen Hyatt went 31 spots later than DCOE suggested he’d go.

The savings kept coming in New York’s later rounds, too. 

Fifth-round running back Eric Gray (-31), sixth-round safety Trey Hawkins III (-92), and seventh-round defensive tackle Jordon Riley (-163) all drove New York’s DCOE sky high. 

In short: Schoen aced it. But despite high marks from Sharp and draft experts like’s Chad Reuter, he’s not counting his prospects before they develop.

“You don’t win games in April,” Schoen told reporters after the draft. “…Do I like some of the guys we drafted? Yeah. But still, every year is different. The team has got to gel, and we have got to build chemistry. We have to stay healthy. There’s a lot that goes into it.”

There are more steps to take for a franchise on the upswing like New York. But if the numbers are right, Schoen and his staff took one big step in the right direction with this class.

Giants’ Rookie Gervarrius Owens Could Be A Sleeper

Schoen might’ve unearthed another draft gem in the seventh round, too.

Seventh-round defensive back Gervarrius Owens is a potential rookie sleeper in league circles, according to Heavy Sr. NFL reporter Matt Lombardo. 

The Houston product even has “starter ability” in the eyes of one anonymous AFC executive. 

Owens was yet another Schoen value pick. He could’ve been selected as high as the fourth round, according to draft analyst Lance Zierlein’s scouting report.

Here’s what Zierlein said about Owens before the Giants nabbed him with the 254th overall pick:

“Owens has the physical ingredients to play safety. The mistakes he put on tape should be a concern, though. His cornerback background shows with the way he matches route breaks from man coverage, but he lacks the field vision and instincts to become a consistent playmaker from man or zone. Owens is a willing and physical hitter, but he takes suspect angles to the football and has too many missed tackles after the catch and in run support. He has draftable traits, but the issues might be a difficult fix.”

Owens dropped to the seventh round for a reason. But leave executives and evaluators believe New York can coach out his concerns to find a real contributor. 

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