1. A surprise at slot cornerback for the Giants
The battle for the team’s starting slot cornerback was supposed to be between Cor'Dale Flott and Darnay Holmes. However, they’ve all been losing in their competition for the starting slot corner role due to the emergence of sixth-round rookie and training camp standout, Tre Hawkins. Hawkins has held his own opposite first-round rookie Deonte Banks on the outside, which has allowed the Giants to move Adoree’ Jackson to the slot. That's how the defense looked to start vs. the Panthers.
While Jackson is typically known for being an outside corner, he has some experience in the slot dating back to high school, college, and in a limited capacity with the Titans. Jackson has stated that he is open to staying in the slot for the sake of the team since the rookie Hawkins has no experience playing inside.
Holmes was listed as starting nickel cornerback on the first unofficial depth chart, but Jackson indeed got the start there on Friday night. Holmes could be a cut candidate if Jackson ultimately keeps the starting slot corner job, giving Hawkins the third cornerback position in Martindale’s defense.
Martindale said that “…right now, those are our three best corners” referring to Jackson, Banks, and Hawkins. With the Giants set to play against the Cowboys and their explosive receiving trio of CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup in Week 1, they are most certainly going to need their three best cornerbacks ready to ball out.