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Rookie Progress Report: How the 2023 class has fared (so far)

BANKS-HYATT-RIDER

The Giants are coming off their second win of the season, a victory that saw a couple of rookies step up with big performances.

Through the first seven weeks of the season, Giants rookies have made some big plays as they acclimate to the NFL.

Let's take a look at how each member of the Giants' 2023 draft class has done heading into Week 8.

CB Deonte Banks

After a solid start to his NFL career, Banks had his first big splash play against the Commanders this past Sunday. The rookie cornerback registered his first career interception while adding a season-high seven total tackles (five solo), including a couple of big tackles in the second half. He surrendered just one catch for eight yards in the first half, and while Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin did pick up a few receptions against him in the second half, Banks still finished with a passer rating against of 53.6. It marked the third consecutive game in which he earned a passer rating against under 65.0. Through seven games, Banks has five pass breakups, which ranks third on the team and is tied for the second-most among rookie cornerbacks.

"It's a great win for us. Trying to turn it around now. Trying to build some momentum..." Banks said in the locker room after Sunday's win. "That's really what we want to do in this league is just win, no matter how bad or how good it is, just win the game."

Banks was nominated for the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week for his performance against Washington.

C John Michael Schmitz

Schmitz injured his shoulder early in the Week 4 game against the Seahawks and has not been on the field since. However, the rookie center had been playing well prior to the injury. Schmitz has allowed just six total pressures on 139 pass block snaps, including only one sack. He has earned a pass blocking efficiency rating of 96.5 or higher every time he's stepped onto the field. The Giants hope to get Schmitz back in the lineup soon.

WR Jalin Hyatt

Before we dive into Hyatt's season, take a look at this quote from last week.

"I think he's fast and that he's got to play," head coach Brian Daboll told the media. "You can go out here and practice and do that, which is important, but you've got to get some game reps and run routes against DBs that are playing in the NFL in a competitive way. I think each week, he's gotten a little bit better. There's a lot to learn when you're a young player, but he's done a good job of practicing the right way, of preparing. I think he's got some good talent, and we're going to play him."

Over the last two weeks, Hyatt has seen his playing time increase significantly. The rookie wide receiver played on an average of 39 percent of the team's offensive snaps in the first five games. Over the last two outings, Hyatt has played 73 and 71 percent of the offensive snaps, respectively, and has received nine targets. He totaled five targets on the season heading into Week 6. Hyatt caught three passes for 21 yards against the Bills, and followed that up with two receptions for 75 yards in the win over the Commanders. The 22-year-old is developing into the team's deep threat, as all five of his targets this past Sunday went for 20+ air yards. Hyatt's 21.7 yards per reception this season ranks third in the NFL among players with 10 or more targets.

RB Eric Gray

Gray has seen most of his action this season on special teams. He has returned seven punts for a total of 28 yards (4.0 avg.) and four kickoffs for 58 yards (14.5 avg.). Gray has also rushed for 27 yards on 13 attempts while adding one reception for one yard. The rookie running back injured his calf early in Sunday's win over Washington and was unable to return to the game.

CB Tre Hawkins III

Hawkins has been active for all seven games with two starts and has recorded 22 total tackles (14 solo). With veteran cornerback Adoree' Jackson inactive this past Sunday, Hawkins started and picked up the first pass breakup of his career. Hawkins has also played 26 snaps on special teams over the last four games.

DL Jordon Riley

Riley has been active for two games and saw action in the season opener against the Cowboys. In that game, Riley registered his first NFL tackle, which was a tackle for loss. Pro Football Focus named him one of the top 15 rookies of Week 1.

S Gervarrius Owens

Owens was active for the first time in his career in Sunday's win over Washington. He played 12 snaps on special teams.

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