Giants shockingly bench promising rookie cornerback

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown (2) catches a touchdown pass against New York Giants cornerback Tre Hawkins III (37) during the second half at State Farm Stadium
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants made a surprising decision to bench rookie cornerback Tre Hawkins III in Week 4 after a disappointing start to the season.

Giants bench rookie CB Tre Hawkins III

Hawkins earned a role in the starting lineup after a strong summer of practices. The sixth-round pick out of Old Dominion quickly made a name for himself, consistently shutting down his teammates in training camp.

Hawkins built on his stellar training camp campaign by turning in a few solid performances during the preseason. After continuously impressing the coaching staff all summer, the Giants named Hawkins a starting cornerback.

The move to insert Hawkins into the starting lineup forced veteran CB Adoree’ Jackson off the field for the start of the season. However, after Hawkins’ struggles to open the season, Jackson has since moved back into the starting lineup while Hawkins has been taken out of the gameplan entirely.

Will Hawkins be back in the lineup soon?

According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, Hawkins’ removal from the lineup does not appear to be a temporary move.

“It would be a surprise if rookie Tre Hawkins is back in the mix after not playing a single defensive snap against Seattle,” Duggan wrote. “He struggled while playing 72 percent of the snaps in the first three games.”

Opposing quarterbacks picked on Hawkins through the Giants’ first three games of the season. The rookie was targeted nine times in coverage, surrendering eight completions (88.9%) for 127 yards and one touchdown.

To make matters worse, Hawkins’ struggles didn’t end in coverage. He also missed four tackles in the first three games with a staggering missed tackle rate of 22.2%.

At 23 years old, the sky is still the limit for Hawkins. However, the Old Dominion product is clearly too inexperienced to currently be starting in the NFL. The Giants will need to take their time developing Hawkins and hope that he is able to take on a larger role somewhere down the line.

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