Giants’ Brian Daboll: Rookie Tre Hawkins has ‘earned his role’

Headed into the offseason, the New York Giants needed to improve at the cornerback position. Accordingly, they spent their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft on Maryland corner Deonte Banks to pair up with Adoree’ Jackson.

However, throughout the preseason, it was sixth-round pick Tre Hawkins who emerged at the position and the Giants suddenly had some much-needed depth at cornerback.

That depth paved way to an interesting scenario as Hawkins earned a starting job.

“Tre has had a good camp. I think he’s improved since he’s been here. He’s got the right mindset,” Davboll told reporters on Monday. “It’s early in his career, very early in his career, but he works hard, he understands our defense and he will have his challenges throughout the year, but he’s done a good job with what we are looking for in terms of his intelligence, his dependability and he’s earned his role relative to what we are going to ask him to do.

“I think again just credit goes to (general manager) Joe (Schoen) and the scouting staff. We brought him for a 30 visit, got to meet with him there. There is a long process relative to the evaluation part of it and then once you get here, it really doesn’t matter how you get here. Free agency, late pick, UDFA, high pick, it’s all what you do when you are here. He’s earned what he’s got.”

Hawkins has improved throughout the offseason — something Daboll hopes continues into the regular season:

“I’d just say each and every day there’s an evaluation throughout camp from OTAs all the way through of basically how you perform on the field when you have an opportunity to perform. I think, again, he’s improved. Are you going to say he’s there? No. He’s a young player that has earned his role. He’s going to continue to work hard to try to get better. He has the right mindset. That’s what we hope for all of our players,” Daboll said.

By now, most fans are associating Hawkins with Kadarius Toney. The Giants, of course, used the picks they received from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Toney on Darren Waller (trade) and Hawkins (6th round).

Last season, the Giants were left short-handed when top cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was out due to injury.

In addition to depth, Hawkins’ emergence hopes to allow the coaching staff flexibility to move Jackson around and lean on him inside, especially ahead of the Week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

“Well, I’d say Adoree’ — last year we played a lot of different coverages and games where we matched and he played inside, he played outside, so he has position flexibility,” Daboll said. “We’ll try to use him the best way we can.

“Again, they have a very good player that plays both inside and outside with CeeDee (Lamb), but they have some other skill players that are going to be challenging — really their entire package. All their skill guys from their backs, to their receivers, to their tight ends. All of our guys are going to have to be ready to go with the assignments that we ask them to do.”

Hawkins should provide Big Blue with speed and depth at the cornerback position. Given the talent of some of the receiving corps the Giants will have to play this season, depth and flexibility can only help.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire