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5 Players That Stood Out in Week 1 of New York Giants Training Camp

The New York Giants opened up their 2023 Training Camp to fans this past week at the Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and here are five players who have stood out so far…

1) TE Darren Waller

After the first week of New York Giants training camp, there has been one name circling the NFL news world, and that’s Darren Waller. This is because Waller has been practically uncoverable so far during the Giants’ practices open to fans.

Whether the drills are 1-on-1s, 7-on-7s, or 11-on-11s, against linebackers, cornerbacks, or safeties, Waller has simply been uncoverable. He has consistently had the best performance out of any player on the team each day of training camp and the gap hasn’t been close.

It is also clear to see that Giants starting quarterback Daniel Jones immediately picked up on these easy matchups for the highest-paid tight end in football. On the first day of camp, Jones connected with Waller for three touchdowns which included a circus catch that was caught through contact with two defenders on him.

During live team drills like 7-on-7s or 11-on-11s, it is Waller that Jones first turns to after snapping the ball, and it doesn’t take long for the 6-foot-6 tight end to get open.

Just a reminder for those who have forgotten, this is Darren Waller’s first season playing with the New York Giants.

Waller was a sixth-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens back in 2015. He struggled with violating the league’s substance abuse policy in 2016 and 2017 before signing with the Las Vegas Raiders’ practice squad in 2018 where he gained tremendous success. The following two seasons, he combined for over 2,000 receiving yards and scored 12 touchdowns.

Last season, Waller had trouble staying on the field as he dealt with a hamstring strain that kept him out for most of the season. On March 15, 2023, Waller was traded to the Big Apple for a compensatory 2023 third-round pick that was previously traded from the Kansas City Chiefs in the trade for wide receiver Kadarius Toney.

The 30-year-old still has a lot to prove in New York and after the first week of camp, it seems to be looking only up from here.

2) CB Tre Hawkins III

The New York Giants selected Tre Hawkins III with the 209th pick (6th Round) in this year’s NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3 cornerback out of Old Dominion University started two seasons for the Monarchs and totaled 76 tackles in the 2021 season.

What stood out most to NFL scouts was Hawkins’ 4.40 40-yard dash time at his pro day which would have put him in the top 10 at the NFL Combine. That speed has been evident throughout the first week of Giants training camp. The rookie has not only been able to keep up with veteran wideouts but also read their routes and make some impressive plays.

Hawkins’ solid performances have now slotted him into a great position for not only making the roster (come regular season) but also lining up alongside starters Adoree Jackson and Deonte Banks.

When Giants head coach Brian Daboll was asked about Hawkins’ early success thus far he stated, “He’s done a nice job with the opportunities that he’s given. He’ll get some more chances.” As training camp continues, fans will be able to see what these chances turn into.

3) QB Daniel Jones

Yes, I am sure you all are thinking… Why is Daniel Jones on this list? Isn’t he not able to be tackled or sacked because it’s training camp? Isn’t it easier for him to throw better passes because he isn’t under pressure? And to answer those questions, Jones might not be getting rushed a ton, tackled, or even sacked, but it is still important to note that the starting quarterback has been consistent throughout the first week of training camp.

This past offseason, Jones signed a HUGE 4-year, $160 million contract. However, the hype surrounding the deal heading into the season is not phasing the quiet but confident quarterback at all.

Unlike last summer when Giants defensive coordinator made Jones look silly with his different defensive schemes, the QB has changed up his approach early in camp. He has spread the field hitting new targets Parris Campbell and Darren Waller, while also connecting with old friends Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins. Don’t forget about Saquon Barkley out of the backfield for dump-offs as well.

It is important to point out the connection between Jones and Waller so far in training camp. From day one, the Giants quarterback has been eyeing up his big tight end target as a number one option.

Big Blue fans are expecting steady improvement from their QB this season with his new deal and if throws like these continue throughout the season there will not be any problems in Jones’ way.

4) WR Parris Campbell

After being drafted 59th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Campbell’s career got off to a rough start.

During his first three years in the league, he played only 15 of a possible 49 games. With many fans doubting he could ever be a productive NFL receiver, Campbell entered his 4th season and contract year looking to prove everyone wrong. He would go on to play all 17 games for the Colts, racking up 63 receptions for 623 yards and 3 TDs.

His stellar 2022 performance would earn him a second contract with the New York Giants on a one-year, $4.7 million deal.

From the start of the 2023 Training Camp, Campbell, along with fellow receivers Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins worked with the first team. A connection with Jones was quickly built and he became one of the QB’s favorite targets.

All this would build up to a monster day for Campbell on day 5 of camp, with 4 catches in 11-on-11 drills including a difficult sideline contested snag and a deep touchdown catch.

Daniel Jones’ spot-on throws in these clips cannot be ignored either. Campbell finished with the 3rd most 11-on-11 receptions with 8 after the first five days of practice. We will have to wait and see if this excellent pre-season translates to a successful regular season for the 5th year wideout.

5) WR Jalin Hyatt

The New York Giants selected Jalin Hyatt 73rd overall in this year’s NFL Draft. A player many had mocked in the 1st round, Hyatt’s long slide down the board ended when the Giants traded up for the speedy Volunteers receiver. He was a player that most NFL scouts considered a “one-dimensional” receiver due to the Tennessee playbook, as seen in the infamous clip between Hyatt and a Cowboys scout.

So far in training camp, Hyatt has proven all of those scouts wrong with his crisp route running and reliable hands in addition to his game-breaking speed. After starting mostly with the 2nd and 3rd team during the first few days of camp, Hyatt made an impression with coaches prompting him to receive mostly 1st team reps on day 5. He took advantage of that opportunity with a stunning toe-tap grab along the sideline on a dot from Daniel Jones.

The work isn’t done for the rookie receiver who worked with Jones after practice going over route timing.

Hyatt has the potential to have a groundbreaking rookie season and potentially even silence the very Cowboys scout that doubted him during the scouting process under the lights week 1.

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