Could Giants’ former 6th-round pick steal a starting job in the secondary?

Washington Commanders wide receiver Dyami Brown (2) is unable the catch the ball as New York Giants cornerback Tre Hawkins III (37) defends in the second half at MetLife Stadium
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

One of the New York Giants‘ biggest weaknesses heading into the 2024 season is the cornerback position. With Adoree’ Jackson departing, Deonte Banks will be stepping in as the primary CB1. The Giants still need to fill a significant gap beside Banks, and general manager Joe Schoen appears reluctant to spend heavily on a free agent.

Although they might consider bringing back Jackson on a team-friendly deal, they’re also evaluating their homegrown players to address the void.

Filling the Giants’ Cornerback Void

Recently, we discussed the competition between Cor’Dale Flott and Nick McCloud for the starting role, but there’s also Tre Hawkins, a sixth-round pick from 2023, who could emerge as a viable starter.

New York Giants cornerback Cor'Dale Flott (28) and New England Patriots wide receiver Tyquan Thornton (11) fight for the ball in the 2nd half at MetLife Stadium
Nov 26, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants cornerback Cor’Dale Flott (28) and New England Patriots wide receiver Tyquan Thornton (11) fight for the ball in the 2nd half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Tre Hawkins: An Emerging Option

Hawkins, who is 6’3″ and 195 pounds, possesses the ideal frame for an outside cornerback. Last season, he played 346 snaps at 23 years old, conceding 330 yards and three touchdowns while breaking up two passes.

Despite being benched for a few games after missing three tackles against the 49ers in Week 3, he had some standout moments. For instance, against Arizona in Week 2, he allowed zero yards on two targets over 40 snaps. One of his best games was against Washington, where he gave up just 34 yards on four targets and notched a pass breakup.

Overall, Hawkins experienced his share of ups and downs during his rookie year, but that’s expected given his transition from Old Dominion to the NFL. He has the athletic traits and raw potential to make significant progress this season and is a strong contender for the second cornerback role.

The Giants appear poised to leave this position open to competition, giving Hawkins a fair chance to seize the job if he continues to develop. Ultimately, the team will let the best man win.

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