The New York Giants selected Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks in the first round of this year’s NFL draft. Big Blue is hopeful that he can win the starting job across from Adoree’ Jackson this summer and give the team a formidable pair of corners.
That is the hope, but through the first few days of training camp, Banks has yet to distinguish himself. He appears to have a lot of seasoning to do and the Giants will need him to shorten his learning curve.
“First, I take notes,’’ Banks told reporters on Friday. “I take notes on my stuff and learn what I can learn from my position, and then I try to see the bigger picture, and see what everybody else is doing. Also, ask vets what they’d do or how they’d look at this or things like that.’’
That’s fine, but on the field, Banks has been inconsistent, like on this one-on-one against tight end Darren Waller.
— Follow @NFL_DovKleiman (@DovKleiman_Vid) July 30, 2023
Granted, these are not full-go, full-contact drills, but Banks has allowed a number of plays to elude him.
That could change as the summer unfolds, though, and especially when the pads come on, as the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Banks is a physical player.
But for every big-ticket draft pick that gets off to a slow start, there’s always another that gets off to a fast one.
Such is the case for sixth-round draft pick, Tre Hawkins III, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound corner out of Old Dominion, who has been impressive thus far at camp.
It’s early but sixth-round pick Tre Hawkins has looked good. Running with the 2’s, he just broke up a pass to Sterling Shepard on an in route and had tight coverage on an incomplete deep ball to Jalin Hyatt.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) July 30, 2023
The Giants may have found a hidden gem with rookie 6th rounder Tre Hawkins.
— Gridiron Media (@Gridiron_Media_) July 30, 2023
I’m a Tre Hawkins stan pic.twitter.com/923ZahuzKz
— Talkin’ Giants (@TalkinGiants) July 30, 2023
Hawkins was an under-the-radar pick by general manager Joe Schoen, as he did not participate at the NFL Combine. But if he had, he would not have lasted until the sixth round.
At his pro day, Hawkins ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, which would have placed him in the top 10 at the combine. His 6.74 time in the 3-cone drill would have been good enough for second at the Combine.
He also logged in 17 reps on the bench press, a 37.5-inch vertical and a 4.22 time in the 20-yard shuttle.
Hawkins prides himself on his physical play and loves to tackle, which is why he has increased value as a special teamer.
Should Banks not be ready by opening day, perhaps Hawkins will be. Unlike in recent years, it appears the Giants might be back to finding gems in the late rounds of the draft.