According to Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane, Joe Schoen has the versatility and talent to turn the New York Giants around
Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane knows he’s losing a top evaluator, after the New York Giants hired his lieutenant, Joe Schoen, as their next general manager Friday.
Schoen, formerly the Bills’ assistant general manager, has played an integral role in Buffalo mining top-tier talent from the middle rounds of the NFL Draft, an area the Giants have struggled mightily with in recent years.
During Beane and Schoen’s tenure, the Bills drafted the likes of tight end Dawson Knox, running back Devin Singletary, A.J. Epenesa, and others after round 1, and they have all gone on to be key contributors.
That’s no accident.
“The New York Giants will never have to worry that Joe Schoen didn’t invest the right time evaluating a player,” Beane said, during a videoconference with reporters Friday afternoon.
Prior to his arrival with the Bills in 2017, Schoen worked under Hall of Famer Bill Parcells with the Miami Dolphins and spent seven years climbing the ranks of the Carolina Panthers’ front office.
“Joe started as a grunt scout as a football ops intern for me,” Beane explained. “He moved into a scouting assistant role, and then became an area scout … He’s one of those guys who was a quick-riser.”
Why Joe Schoen’s best attributes make him a fit for New York Giants
Schoen has certainly paid his dues while learning from some of the more accomplished evaluators in the business. But, according to Beane, Schoen is in this position today, running his own front office, because of his work ethic, ability to build strong relationships, and trust what he hears as well as what he sees.
"“People trust what they saw in him,” Beane explained. “He started going to small schools you probably never heard of … Even though he was grading a lot of players who never were going to make it at this level, you could tell he had what it takes and did the work. He really saddled up with guys in this business who had had success, who taught him the right way. He didn’t just learn from one person.“That’s why he was so excited to go to Miami. He had been around a lot of things and people in Carolina, but he wanted to see a fresh way. Coach Parcells was taking over, what a great opportunity to learn from him, and see a different way to look at players, and construct a roster and build a team. That’s what was cool when Joe and I got back together here, I learned things from different leaders I was with, it was almost 10 years we were apart, and we could compare ideas.”"
In Schoen, though, the New York Giants are getting much more than an astute scout.
While Schoen’s background might be deeply rooted in scouting college talent, he also has worked extensively in pro personnel. That kind of versatility is one of the many reasons executives around the league believe Schoen will be a success.
It’s also what Beane believes will be a major loss for the Bills and a boon for the New York Giants.
Especially given the Giants’ current salary cap constraints, and missteps in free agency under former general manager Dave Gettleman.
"“It helps because when you’re evaluating pro players,” Beane explains. “you have to put values on players. We can all say I want this tight end, but I don’t want him in free agency at any price. So, I have to be able to assign a value. The next part of that is to work with my salary cap guy, my lead negotiator, and maybe put parameters when he’s negotiating with the agent or maybe I have to jump in … Joe’s been in those situations.“That’s the biggest key from transitioning from being a college scout to evaluating pros … He’s run free agency meetings, he’s run draft meetings, there’s nothing from a personnel standpoint that he hasn’t seen. He knows what questions to ask, he knows who to lean on and what to listen to [in order] to make the final decision.”"