Giants GM Joe Schoen may look to draft a new...

Giants GM Joe Schoen may look to draft a new quarterback in the first round of April's draft. Could it be (clockwise from top left): USC's Caleb Williams, UNC's Drake Maye, Washington's Michael Penix Jr., or LSU's Jayden Daniels?

Joe Schoen had many responsibilities when he was the Bills' assistant general manager. One of them apparently was snapping to quarterbacks during predraft workouts for the team.

He was down on one knee feeding footballs to highly regarded prospect Josh Allen during his visit with the Bills in the winter of 2018 when the Apple Watch on his wrist sent him an alert. Schoen looked down briefly and saw that the Jets had traded with the Colts and moved up to third overall in the draft.

Surely, Schoen thought, they must be as enamored of Allen as he and the Bills were. Why else would they make this bold move? Schoen was deflated. The rest of the workout and visit with Allen suddenly felt moot.

A few weeks later, the Jets did use that pick on a quarterback they loved, but it was Sam Darnold. Allen wound up sitting on the board a little longer until the Bills made a trade with the Bucs to move up to seventh overall and nabbed him.

On Sunday night, Allen will face the Dolphins with a chance to bring the Bills to the playoffs for the fifth straight season.

When John Mara and Steve Tisch hired Schoen as the general manager of the Giants two years ago, those undoubtedly were the kinds of anecdotes that sold them on his professional acumen and dexterity and made him the person to overhaul their sagging organization. And when they signed off on Schoen hiring Brian Daboll as head coach shortly afterward, it wasn’t because they wanted to swap wing sauce recipes with the two guys from Buffalo. It was because they wanted to siphon some of what the Bills had and continue to have: legitimate perennial championship aspirations and postseason regularity.

So far, though, all the Giants have been for the most part is . . .  more of the Giants. They have new philosophies and mechanics back behind the closed doors on the second floor of their headquarters, they’ve updated their technologies and their flow charts, but the results have been strikingly and disappointingly familiar.

There was a brief bump in excitement last year with a playoff win, but that was followed  by the Great Regression of 2023. Now, as another double-digit-loss season comes to an end on Sunday, it’s time for all of the attention to swing from the field to the front office.

It's time for Schoen to do what he was brought here to do.

It’s time for him to revolutionize the Giants, not just in how they go about their business but in what they accomplish.

That starts, just as it did in Buffalo six years ago, by feeding snaps to draft-eligible quarterbacks.

The Giants probably won’t have one of the first two picks in this year’s draft — which is where Caleb Williams and Drake Maye figure to reside come April — but neither did the Bills in 2018. It’s up to Schoen, his confidants, his coaches and his instincts to go out and find the right player to lead this franchise forward.

If that requires a move up to the top of the draft, do that. If it takes sneaky patience to wait and grab the player you believe in while others reach — Jayden Daniels, Michael Penix Jr. or someone else — so be it.

At some point, Schoen  undoubtedly will see another alert on his watch or phone that portends doom, that makes it feel as if all of the work has been for nothing. He’ll have to remember 2018 when that happens. Keep pushing, stay strong and decisive, and trust his own sensibilities more than those of other teams. Those are the ones that the Giants hired.

Find someone who gets Daboll fired up and his play-designing juices flowing. Find a quarterback who can make everyone around him better and not have to rely on everyone being better in order for him to excel.

The only thing that can’t happen is for the Giants to head into the 2024 season with Daniel Jones as their clear-cut starter for the foreseeable future. We saw what that brought in 2023. More of the same.

Schoen’s biggest miscalculation  as general manager has been the $160 million Jones contract. That was old Giants thinking. As last season ended with two potential major free agents, he made an immediate commitment to Jones and a tepid one to Saquon Barkley.

Quarterback or running back? Schoen chose the right position, but he chose the wrong guy. How different would the team’s future look today if Jones had played this season on the franchise tag — or left in free agency — while Barkley was signed for another two or three years?

But then Schoen designed the Jones contract with a palatable out after two of the four seasons, essentially turning Jones from a (slightly underpaid) franchise quarterback into a (slightly overpaid) bridge quarterback.

In the next few months, we’ll find out where that bridge leads.

If it’s anywhere close to Buffalo, it’ll be worth it.

If it’s back to where Schoen and the Giants started out, it won’t be.

There are other hard decisions for Schoen in the coming offseason, including what to do with Barkley, how to fix the offensive line, adding edge rushers and finding a clear No. 1 receiver. All of those calls, though, are peripheral ones in today’s NFL. It’s the quarterback who makes or breaks the franchise. The one the Giants are tied to now is breaking them.

As for those inevitable Bills comparisons: It’s important to remember that after making the playoffs in 2017 — Schoen’s first year with them and their first postseason appearance in 17 years — they dumped the quarterback who brought them there (who happens to be current Giant Tyrod Taylor), went 6-10 in 2018 with Allen as a rookie, and have won at least 10 games each season since.

Schoen has matched that overall timeline minus the painful learning curve season of a rookie quarterback with a bright future. Maybe that will come next year. Maybe they’ll be strong enough otherwise to push through it.

Whatever happens, it feels as if Schoen has some catching up to do to reach the same results he achieved at his former place of business.

Monday gives him his next chance to close the gap.

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