The Giants may have something special in late-round cornerback

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

While the New York Giants are currently focused on developing first-round rookie Deonte Banks from Maryland, they may have struck gold in the late rounds with Tre Hawkins from Old Dominion.

New York Giants’ Hidden Gem: Late-Round Pick Tre Hawkins

Hawkins, boasting impressive physical attributes at 6’3″ and 195 pounds, hails from a smaller school and didn’t have the chance to face off against top-tier collegiate talents. Nonetheless, transitioning to the NFL and pitting himself against higher-quality players will undoubtedly help him refine his game.

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Making Impressions in Training Camp

Training camp has just begun, and Hawkins is already creating a buzz. He snagged an interception and broke up a pass during Thursday’s practice. Displaying exceptional technique against Bryce Ford-Wheaton, a fellow rookie, Hawkins mirrored his opponent’s route and turned his head to secure an interception near the end zone.

A Look at Hawkins’ Stats and Room for Growth

It’s crucial to mention that Hawkins is still quite a distance from becoming an everyday player. However, his senior season stats, including 57 tackles, two interceptions, six defended passes, and three fumble recoveries, are promising.

NFL.com pointed out the primary criticisms of Hawkins: his lack of experience and technical shortcomings. His draft profile suggests that he’s a project who has conceded touchdowns due to his limited awareness and ball skills. Despite his excellent athleticism, including speed, agility, and jumping prowess, he needs to polish his fundamentals and take a few years to reach his potential.

Immediate Contribution and Future Potential

Hawkins has the potential to immediately contribute to special teams due to his size and speed. He may also serve as a backup defensive back if the Giants need to fill in any injury gaps. His assertiveness in run support is a quality that defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will likely appreciate. But Hawkins needs more reps and guidance from defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson to harness his potential fully.

Overall, Hawkins needs to boost his mental game and football IQ, which should improve with time and exposure to NFL-level competitors during practice.

Upcoming Preseason Opportunities

The preseason will offer Hawkins valuable starting opportunities and a chance to showcase his athleticism. The Giants have prioritized enhancing the overall athleticism in their roster by seeking out players with potential. Hawkins fits this profile perfectly. As a late-round pick, he’s certainly one to watch in the coming season.