Giants’ late-round rookie cornerback dazzles in preseason debut

Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams (9) reacts to a first down catch against New York Giants cornerback Tre Hawkins III (37) during the first half of a preseason game at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday
Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants may have found a gem in the late rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. Sixth-round CB Tre Hawkins III has been making noise throughout the summer, earning first-team reps at training camp and looking the part during the team’s first preseason game on Friday. Hawkins dazzled in his preseason debut, demonstrating his keen ball skills and tackling prowess.

Tre Hawkins III stands out in preseason debut

Despite losing the game, there were plenty of positives to take away from the Giants’ first preseason game. In the secondary in particular, Big Blue had some standouts, including Hawkins. After drafting Hawkins in the sixth round of this year’s draft, the Old Dominion product has quickly made a name for himself.

In his preseason debut, Hawkins totaled five tackles and had tight coverage on opposing Lions receivers. His physicality was on full display in the second quarter as he made an aggressive tackle quickly after the reception:

Could Tre Hawkins crack the Giants’ starting lineup?

As things currently stand, veteran CB Adoree’ Jackson is expected to be joined by first-round rookie Deonte Banks in the starting lineup this season. Jackson and Banks both typically play on the outside, as does Hawkins. This might make it difficult for Hawkins to fight into the starting lineup. However, there is an avenue for playing time for Hawkins.

New York is toying with the idea of moving Jackson into the slot, opening up an opportunity for Hawkins to play on the outside along with his fellow draft classmate Banks. If Hawkins can continue to play at a high level during the preseason, the underrated rookie could find himself playing an extended amount of minutes during the regular season.

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