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Adoree’ Jackson offers early impressions of Tre Hawkins III and Jalin Hyatt

Jackson likes what he’s seen so far in training camp

Syndication: The Record Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

Adoree’ Jackson is still the New York Giants’ No. 1 cornerback. Drafting Deonte Banks in the first round and Tre Hawkins III in the sixth round doesn’t change that fact.

It does mean that Jackson has the opportunity to play fewer reps and try out new positions in the secondary this year at training camp. With the coaching staff focused on seeing what they have in Banks and Hawkins, Jackson has been taking snaps as a slot cornerback. He played almost exclusively on the outside last year.

Our own Anthony Del Genio recently explored the idea of Jackson starting games in the slot this year. Is that really a possibility?

“If it’s to help the team, if it’s for the betterment of the team, I’m for that,” Jackson said following practice on Thursday. “I did it before in college, I did it in high school, (and) I did it a little bit in the league, when I was in Tennessee … Then, just being able to talk to the guys (and) having Logan Ryan before and playing in the nickel position and learning things from him was pretty cool to have.”

That scenario is dependent on Hawkins’ (or someone else’s) ability to start on the boundary alongside Banks. While that remains unlikely for a rookie sixth-round pick, Hawkins has already turned heads while playing with the first team during training camp. Jackson described him as a “comfortable” and “poised” player who “is not scared of the competition.”

“As a guy who’s been doing well, he’s getting the opportunity to get reps at corner. I don’t mind that at all,” Jackson said. “It just lets me hone in on my craft and just make sure I’m doing what I can do in my reps when I go in at the slot. I’m just trying to make myself more valuable and versatile.”

Wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, a third-round pick out of Tennessee, has been the other standout from training camp so far. Before the draft, some analysts predicted Hyatt would need to improve his route-running before he could succeed in the NFL. Jackson doesn’t think that will be an issue.

“I think he does a great job of running routes, honestly,” Jackson said. “Whatever they said that he couldn’t do, I’m seeing him do it. Getting out of his breaks. Know how to sell, he’s good in press coverage and if you’re off, it’s the same way. I think he does a lot of great things well and when you hear what you can’t do, you work on it, and he is coming out here showing that he can be a complete receiver.

“[Hyatt is] a guy who is confident in his game play and understands that people may say you can do one thing, and it’s just your way of showing that you can do it all. I like him, a good head on his shoulders, great charisma. I think he’s a great person.”

Of course, Hyatt’s main calling card is blistering speed. Hyatt ran an impressive 4.40-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and still said he was slowed down by a tight hamstring. He’s reportedly hit 24 miles per hour during training camp, faster than any NFL player has ever reached during an actual game.

“He’s a guy once he’s rolling, he’s rolling,” Jackson said. “It’s like, ‘Okay, he’s fast’ but then when those legs start to churn it’s like ‘Okay, he’s going away like Usain Bolt.’ ... I don’t want to say it’s surprising, being a track guy, seeing the different stride lengths and different runners, but it is very impressive how fluid and smooth he is when he is running. I like that a lot about him.”

Hyatt is just one part of a wide receiver group that appears to be deeper and more versatile than recent Giants teams. For the first time in what feels like ages, the Giants will likely have to cut some talented wide receivers to make room on their roster.

“I can’t remember who, but somebody was asking what receiver was the toughest to guard that we had at practice, and I told them, ‘I like them all’ because you get every look,” Jackson said. “You got the short, shifty, quick. You’ve got Jalin, nice stride (and) speed with (Darius Slayton) Slay. You got (David) Sills, who can do a little bit of everything. Isaiah (Hodgins) as well and then you’ve got Collin (Johnson), the big physical and then you’ve got Darren Waller that you’ve got to go against or (Lawrence) Cager. So, you get a little bit of everything.”

The wide receivers aren’t just fast. They’re almost all younger than Jackson, who is entering his seventh NFL season. Jackson doesn’t seem to mind his role as one of the elder statesmen on the team.

“The Lord let me be able to play this long to see that come to fruition for myself, so it’s cool to be able to see that,” Jackson said. “Just do what I’ve got to do to get my conditioning and get the reps that I need to do and just help coach. Pretty much, I’m just proud to see those guys thriving and achieve so far.”