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Giants rookie mini-camp, Day 1: Takeaways from a light practice

Draft picks do little on first day

First-round pick Deonte Banks (36) watches Friday’s practice.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants held a light workout Friday on the first day of rookie minicamp.

The Giants practiced for roughly an hour, with most of the 2023 draft class doing very little. The most competitive part of the day were nine 7-on-7 reps, and the only draft pick seen on the field was second-round pick John Michael Schmitz, who did all the snapping.

Not expecting too much

Daboll said the Giants have not put too much on the player’s plates for the two days of practice.

“There’s going to be mistakes. We had a walk-through. There was plenty of them. You don’t install very many plays I would say, just because for some of these tryout guys, too, you want to be able to evaluate what they can do physically relative to running around, cutting, things like that, and sometimes you give them too much, they’re thinking, and you don’t see the true talent of the player,” Daboll said.

“I’d say we’ll take it slow. We don’t have, again, very many plays in for those guys to go out there and be able to try to execute, which again, they’ve never thrown with the players they’re throwing with. There’s a lot that goes into it. That’s why we’re going to ease into these next two days here.”

A huge workout group

There are 73 players participating in the mini-camp. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Draft picks (7)
  • Undrafted free agents (9) — QB Tommy DeVito, WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton, CB Gemon Green, S Alex Cook, LB Troy Brown, LS Cameron Lyons, FB/TE Ryan Jones, Edge Habakkuk Baldonado, LB Dyontae Johnson
  • Veteran tryout players (4) — Edge Darryl Johnson, Edge Jonathan Kongbo, CB Iman Marshall, QB Bryce Perkins, CB Nigel Warrior
  • Rookie tryout players
  • Returning Giants (4) — WR Kalil Pimpleton, WR Makai Polk, S Trenton Thompson, RB Jashaun Corbin

Daboll’s got jokes

The Giants coach has always got something disarming to say. When Newsday’s Kim Jones asked him where a rookie center starts in a camp like this, Daboll deadpanned “at center.”

How the Giants will approach the learning curve for John Michael Schmitz, the second-round pick who could be their 2023 starting center, is of course a legitimate question.

“There’s a lot to pick up, but again, I think that what we try to do, I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, what we try to do is limit really what we put in the first couple days just because, again, there’s so much for these guys to learn every year, and I want them to just go out there and feel comfortable and try to play fast,” Daboll said. “John Michael (Schmitz) is a smart guy, but there’s so many things just even from the walk-through that we just had that your mind is moving a million miles a minute. Just like we do with all our guys, we have a process in place of how we try to develop them in the classroom, on the field and that’ll take some time.”

Podium problems

I guess it is the offseason, or a new season, for Giants staffers, too. When first-round pick Deonte Banks came to the podium to speak to media the microphones were so far below him that he kept bending over — way, way over — to speak directly into the microphone. I have never seen a player do that before.

Banks is wearing No. 36 after wearing No. 3 at Maryland, and you can tell he’d like a different number. Sterling Shepard has No. 3, though, so that’s not available.

“It’s [the number] alright,” Banks said. “It’s just what I have right now. That’s what I’m working with right now. That’s cool.”

Seeing the forest for the trees

Rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt has moved past pre-draft criticism of his route running.

People are always going to say things. I think that’s what I learned the most. I’m here now and I’m here with the Giants, and the draft process and everything else is out of the way,” he said. “I’m here, and my only focus now is getting better, learning my new teammates, learning the coaching staff here, learning the playbook and just going out there when my opportunity presents itself, and that’s my goal and that’s what I want to do.”