Giants Training Camp: Daniel Jones and Darren Waller dominate on 1st day

Giants make injury designations to reach 80 players on roster
A general view of Giants training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
amNewYork/Christian Arnold

EAST RUTHERFORD — When most teams open up training camp, the belief is that the defense would be further along than the offense as there are new concepts to learn throughout the first week. 

That isn’t the case with the New York Giants. 

New York opened up their second training camp in the Brian Daboll era in front of hundreds of fans that turned out to watch and came away with plenty of excitement generated from a magnificent offensive showing. Without pads, the Giants’ offense continued to strike again and again while working red zone drills. Darren Waller and Parris Campbell, the two newcomers to New York, each scored multiple times while Daniel Jones looked like a franchise quarterback fresh off his four-year extension during the offseason. 

Jones was easily the biggest takeaway from Wednesday’s practice. The ball came out of his hand with confidence, and it resulted in a plethora of scores throughout the day. While New York only focused primarily on the red zone during their first practice, the fact that their star quarterback looked as confident as he did is a major turning point for an offense that struggled at times to put up points late in the season. 

He may have been the best player on the field, but Jones’ performance was not the only takeaway from Wednesday’s first day. 

Our further thoughts on New York’s first day are below.

Early Practice Depth Chart

It’s always important to note that a depth chart is not final when the first practices begin. That being said, there were plenty of noteworthy names that started with the first team Wednesday morning. 

On offense, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, and Isaiah Hodgins were all the first-team wideouts while Ben Bredeson took first-team reps at center. This means the Giants are clearly comfortable easing in second-round rookie John Michael Schmitz through the first week of practice instead of demanding he fills the need at the position. 

On defense, Deonte Banks was the starting corner alongside Adoree Jackson while Jason Pinnock took first-team reps at safety outside of Xavier McKinney. Darrian Beavers was the other starting linebacker outside of Bobby Okereke. 

Saquon makes catch of the day

The play of the day was arguably made on the first play of seven-on-seven work. After finalizing a one-year contract extension that allowed him to be a part of the camp, Saquon Barkley made an incredible toe-tap catch in the end zone on a Jones rollout. The catch had every fan in attendance going crazy and was the type of play that makes people think New York could be a true contender in the NFC. 

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022.AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Outside of his catch, Barkley wasn’t a full participant in every running back drill but was in with the first-team offense. It doesn’t look like he will be much of a distraction this camp, even if he isn’t fully pleased with how his one-year deal came out.

Jalin Hyatt is very fast

The third-round rookie turned heads on one of his first plays of practice where he took an end-around and out-ran everyone to the end zone for the score. Hyatt is working with the backups currently as he builds his strength and learns the offense, but this play was a microcosm of what the rookie could become in this offense. 

He did have to leave practice early with a trainer but it was unclear what kind of injury he suffered, or if he was just dealing with the heat that had plagued the Giants’ practice. 

Darren Waller is a problem

Darren Waller is going to be a problem this season if he stays healthy. Not for the Giants, but for every other defense New York faces this season. Waller made multiple red zone catches for scores, one on an acrobatic play where he caught a deflected pass in the end zone. 

The connection between Waller and Jones is already showing to be a lethal combination in practice. While there weren’t pads on, the Giants have to be very excited with how practice looked for two of their best offensive players. 

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