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Giants feel they’re in a ‘good spot’ after draft

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Joe Schoen often says the Giants’ roster is an evolving entity. But the heavy lifting is mostly finished regarding the construction of the 2024 team. This offseason, the Giants have signed 14 veteran free agents, traded for two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Brian Burns, and this weekend, drafted six players. They will add several undrafted free agents, particularly before the rookie minicamp in two weeks.

Work remains to be done, but the current roster is likely similar to what it will be when the Giants begin playing games in September.

Coach Brian Daboll and Schoen are fine with that.

“I like some of the pieces we have,” Schoen said this afternoon, after the Giants made their final selection in the NFL Draft. “I like some of the upgrades. Again, you can throw Brian Burns in the draft, as well, that pick 39, to bring on a 25-year-old, two-time Pro Bowler as a pass rusher as part of this draft class. I like some of the moves that we made in the off-season. We still have work to do and I just think it’s year three and we are just going to continue to build the roster and the team. I think where we are with some of the contract status, like I talked about last night; that you can keep a core group together over a two- to three-year window, and you have another off-season and another draft, and then you look up and there’s some really good pieces on the table.”

The Giants concluded their 2024 draft with six players, three each on offense and defense. They chose three players Saturday on the draft’s final day.

In the fourth round, No. 107 overall, the Giants selected Penn State tight end Theo Johnson. Their fifth-round selection, No. 166, was running back Tyrone Tracy, Jr. of Purdue. The Giants’ final selection, a sixth rounder that was No. 183 overall, was UCLA middle linebacker Darius Muasau.

Johnson, Tracy and Muasau joined the three players the Giants added in the first two days of the draft: LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers in the first round, Minnesota safety Tyler Nubin in the second round, and Kentucky cornerback Andru Phillips in the third.

“We always have room to grow and always have room to improve. I say it all the time, we don’t play until September. So, there’s still time between now and September where we can acquire players, the final cutdown, whatever it may be.

“I like the group that we have right now,” Schoen said. “Excited to get the rookies in here, assimilate them into our culture, get on the grass, practice and then as we observe and evaluate players as we go through it, if we still have needs, there will be some vets that will be released over the next couple weeks as well. There’s always going to be a time and a place where you can add more players. We’ll see where we are now, and as we go through the competition period and training camp, if there are other areas we need to fill, we’ll try to do that.”

For the first time in his three years here, Schoen made no trades in the draft.

Also notable was that he did not select a quarterback. As they do every year, Schoen and Daboll thoroughly vetted the top players at that position, and the G.M. explored the possibility of trading into position to select one. But he chose to stick with the trio of Daniel Jones, Drew Lock and Tommy DeVito. That’s not exactly a shock, as Schoen said prior the draft, “we could go into the season with the three that we have and be comfortable with that.”

“I think it’s a different position when you are evaluating,” Schoen said. “You can watch all the film you want, but there’s a reason guys at that position, they succeed, and they fail and it’s not just because of the tape. The three years we’ve been here, we have done a lot of work on the quarterbacks. Maybe it has not been as public or maybe it has not been as well covered, but we’ll always do that because of the importance of the position.”

Did either Schoen or Daboll discuss with Jones their thoughts on potentially acquiring another quarterback?

“I’ve talked to the entire team, but I meet with the quarterbacks daily,” Daboll said. “I spend a lot of time with them every day. … You’re just transparent with the entire team about the whole draft process. You’re trying to improve your team.”

Schoen believes they’ve done that on both sides of the ball, plus special teams. After the third round concluded Friday night, he was asked his thoughts about the defense.

“You know the players that are under contract for more than one year,” he said. “Dexter (Lawrence) is under contract. Burns is for five years. Kayvon (Thibodeaux) for three, (Bobby) Okereke for another three, Tae Banks for four. Just got Nubin for four years.

“So, you’ve got a young core group of players that will be able to be together for – and again, I know people want instant gratification, but it takes time to build this, and then over time, you have guys that are able to create continuity because they play together year over year. I’m excited about the young core that we have together and the guys that are under contract for multiple years and even guys that may only have a year left that potentially we can extend down the road. I do think we have pieces in place that I like that are going to be together for a couple years here.”

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