There are checkpoints throughout the year for every NFL team, and the New York Giants reached one on Tuesday … the first day of pads.
"You have to be strong up front on both sides, and this is really the first true evaluation of the players," coach Brian Daboll said before practice. "Knowing what to do and being able to do it without the pads on, but now, seeing the physical part of it is important."
Here are the highlights from the day:
View photos from Monday's training camp practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
🔹 The focus was largely on the trenches and short game, but wide receiver Kalil Pimpleton did haul in a deep touchdown pass from Tommy DeVito in three-on-three drills.
🔹 Second-year cornerback Cor'Dale Flott jumped a route and grabbed an interception during three-on-three drills.
🔹 It's early, but the Giants might have something in rookie cornerback Tre Hawkins III. The sixth-round pick out of Old Dominion broke up two more passes on Tuesday while he has seen time with the first team.
"Well, I think he's earned it," Daboll said before practice. "He had a couple of good days, so we gave him an opportunity. We'll try to do that with all the positions. Every day's an evaluation, so if we think you've earned an opportunity to do it and that's what we did. It's his birthday by the way today."
🔹 Speaking of defensive backs having a good start to camp, the versatile Nick McCloud had another pass breakup.
"I would say he's been a very flexible player, not just here, but in Buffalo," Daboll said Monday. "He has played safety, he has played the nickel, he has played corner. He has been a special teams player. So, again, it goes back to the more you can do. He's kind of moved all around. I'd probably expect similar throughout camp. But he's a smart player. It's a benefit when you can have a guy who can move in a lot of different spots."
🔹 Rookie cornerback Deonte Banks, the Giants' first-round pick, nearly had an interception after ripping the ball out of the receiver's hands.
🔹 Running back Saquon Barkley broke a screen pass for a long gain.
🔹 Wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins made a tough contested catch, stretching out for the ball while leaping in the air.
"I feel very comfortable in the offense and the scheme," Hodgins said Monday. "Just being able to take a different approach to my game and knowing that I'm not just thrown into the fire like I was last year, I kind of get to work on some mental stuff for me. Kind of like looking at coverages and disguising stuff and seeing stuff that I give away and stuff that I can work on in my game. So, I'm trying to take that next step myself."
🔹 Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari sniffed out a designed quarterback run in the backfield.
"Azeez is a great player to have on the team," defensive lineman Leonard Williams said before practice. "He's a great player to have on the field. It's unfortunate when guys ever go through injuries and stuff like that. When he was on the field, he was very productive. I think having him out there is always a great thing. I think he's focusing a lot on taking care of himself and taking care of his body to make sure that he is out there as much as he can be.
"I think he has a natural feel for the game and natural feel for pass rushing. I think it's smooth the way he pass rushes. It doesn't seem like he has to try too hard. I think it's great to have all four of us, and even the more additions that we added to the team, just healthy on the field when we're called upon. We're trying to create more bond between us all this year and work together."