Giants incorporating 6th round cornerback gem into first team

NFL: New York Giants Training Camp, tre hawkins
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Every team is on the lookout for late-round gems and emerging talents during training camp, and the New York Giants are no different. Yet, they might not have anticipated the significant impact that sixth-round pick from Old Dominion, Tre Hawkins, would have within a few short days.

New York Giants’ Tre Hawkins: A Surprising Impact Player in Training Camp

Despite hailing from a smaller school, Hawkins’ tangible traits have translated remarkably well when guarding Giants receivers during training camp. Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 188 pounds, Hawkins brings a good mix of size and athleticism to the NFL, traits that could potentially land him a starting job in the future.

A key concern with Hawkins was his lack of experience, often manifested in his poor recognition and pre-snap instincts.

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Rapid Learning Curve Boosts Hawkins’ Stock

Luckily for the Giants, they picked Hawkins for his athletic upside, and he’s been showing considerable progress in the first few weeks with his new team. In fact, Hawkins’ performance has been so noteworthy that he’s earned first-team reps alongside rookie corner Deonte Banks, a Maryland draftee (per Art Stapleton of NJ.com).

With Banks and Hawkins operating on the outside, veteran corner Adoree Jackson has found himself slotting into the interior. Given the growing number of elite slot receivers in the NFL, deploying Jackson in that role seems like a sound strategic move.

Hawkins’ Potential Impact on Team Composition

Nevertheless, it’s also crucial to remember that Jackson is in the final year of his contract. Ideally, Hawkins would step up as a primary starter, significantly reducing the cost and enabling the Giants to redistribute funds elsewhere.

Granted, Hawkins has a long journey ahead regarding his development and has yet to face real action against rival offenses. However, his series of impressive plays during camp has been turning heads, elevating his stock and suggesting he might make a greater impact in 2023 than initially expected.

With the pads coming on Tuesday, Hawkins will have a real opportunity to shine and show that his early success is no mirage.