Advertisement

What can we expect from Giants' 2023 draft picks in year two?

Last season, we kept tabs on the Giants’ rookies, most of whom had a minor impact. Let’s look at the outlook for each player heading into year two and assess whether they could play an expanded role.

CB Deonte Banks

Banks will head into his second season as the Giants’ unquestioned No. 1 cornerback, after a solid rookie season that saw him start 15 games. He only intercepted two passes in 2023, but Banks will be looking to build on that in 2024, having been tied for the team lead with 11 pass breakups.

Another thing Banks will be looking to improve upon is his on-field discipline. He was flagged eight times in 844 defensive snaps. However, he did a good job of limiting big plays as he only gave up one 40-yard pass all season.

C John Michael Schmitz

Schmitz stepped right into the starting lineup under difficult circumstances, as the Giants were forced to deal with a series of personnel changes due to injuries. While he had plenty of positive moments, it was a learning experience for Schmitz who gave up five sacks in 13 starts.

Pro Football Focus had Schmitz ranked last out of the 37 NFL centers who played over 20 percent of the snaps in 2023, so he will need to improve his consistency. The Giants are definitely planning for him to start at center again, and the hope is that he’ll fare better with more continuity and stability from the players alongside him.

WR Jalin Hyatt

Hyatt brought some excitement last season as he averaged over 16 yards per catch and made several downfield catches. However, his production was extremely sporadic as he had 25 yards or fewer in 14 of 17 games and ended up with just 23 receptions.

The fact that the Giants used their top draft pick in 2024 on Malik Nabers is a clear sign they don’t believe Hyatt can be a No. 1 option.

Nevertheless, he still has the talent to make an impact in 2024 and beyond, as he showed when he recorded his first 100-yard game against the Commanders in November. Hyatt’s primary goal should be to display enough consistency that he can become a starter and to keep refining his route-running skills so that he is getting open on a regular basis.

Nov 26, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Jalin Hyatt (13) hauls in a 3rd quarter first down catch as New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (29) defends at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

RB Eric Gray

Gray was a disappointment in 2023, both as a running back and a return man. He averaged fewer than three yards per carry, lost a few fumbles and was overmatched in pass protection.

With Saquon Barkley gone, that could translate to more opportunities for Gray, and running back is one position where players often display growth between their first and second seasons. He’ll still start off behind Devin Singletary on the depth chart, though, and rookie Tyrone Tracy will no doubt push him for playing time.

DB Tre Hawkins

The Giants were initially high on Hawkins, who started three games and saw plenty of playing time last season. However, he barely played down the stretch as New York favored other options instead. He ended up with just one pass defensed and gave up a passer rating of over 150 when targeted.

There figures to be an open competition for the other starting cornerback role along with Banks, but Cor'Dale Flott is the current favorite to win that role -- with Hawkins viewed as a long shot.

DT Jordon Riley

After an impressive preseason against the run, Riley didn’t contribute much during the regular season. He was active just eight times in a reserve role and recorded eight tackles.

He should be a reserve again this year, but the Giants will hope he can be active more often and make bigger contributions.

S Gervarrius Owens

Owens made the roster last year but was a healthy scratch for most of the season and only played on special teams in his three appearances. He looks to be a long shot to make the team in 2024, but could be a good bet to make the practice squad.

Undrafted Rookie Recap

Tommy DeVito made a surprising impact last season, starting six games and at one stage winning three in a row. He posted solid passing numbers as a starter and made an impact with his legs, but teams soon figured out how to exploit his inexperience, as he was sacked 37 times.

The Giants brought Tyrod Taylor back into the starting lineup towards the end of the season and signed Drew Lock in the offseason, which seems to indicate they don’t view DeVito as ready to be a viable number two option behind the returning Daniel Jones.

The other undrafted rookie who looked set to make an impact was wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton, who was likely to make the roster after a strong preseason, only to suffer a season-ending injury. Ford-Wheaton will have his work cut out for him to make the team this year, as there are several players ahead of him.