Giants wide receiver Malik Nabers makes a catch during training...

Giants wide receiver Malik Nabers makes a catch during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Tuesday in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Malik Nabers assessed his play following his first mandatory minicamp practice as a Giant on Tuesday.

“The level of competition rises, actually,” he said. “Competition was good today. Starting to get the offense down a little bit. I was out there playing fast.”

It seems Nabers knows no other way.

In his less-than-two months as a Giant, if there is one word to describe Nabers it would be "fast." He is a blur on the field. And he’s caught just about everything thrown his way.

A first-round draft pick from LSU taken ninth overall, Nabers had a particularly eye-opening practice last Thursday, including one spectacular reception where he tracked quarterback Drew Lock on a broken play and somehow made an acrobatic reception, seemingly staying in-bounds.

“Of course,” Nabers said with a laugh Tuesday, “I'm always in bounds.”

In a receiver room that includes veteran Darius Slayton, slot receiver Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt in his second year, Nabers could prove to be the missing link to the Giants' air game.

“Malik is a great player,” tight end Daniel Bellinger said. “See him making a lot of plays out here. He’s a great player and athlete and will be a huge, huge help for our team.”

And for Daniel Jones.

“I mean, he can do everything,” Jones said of Nabers. “There is not much that he can’t do really from a route running standpoint. He is dynamic with the ball in his hands and strong, fast, explosive, catches the ball well. Yeah, he does a lot well.”

Jones also spent time with Hyatt over the offseason.

In his rookie season last year, Hyatt had 23 receptions for 373 yards and, despite his 16.2 yards per catch average, no touchdowns.

“I think he's made a ton of improvement this offseason and was really dialed in on some of the smaller details of route running, understanding how defenders are trying to play him and how to gain leverage and gain separation,” Jones said. “He's worked tremendously hard this offseason, and I think it's shown up on the field this spring. It’s been really fun working with him. He’s an extremely talented guy, obviously, and he’s only getting better.”

Because Jones is still only participating in 7-on-7 drills, he was a spectator during Tuesday’s minicamp. Jones does believe he will be a full participant when training camp commences in late July.

About developing a rapport with Nabers, the quarterback said, “Yeah, the reps we get and routes on air are valuable, as is the time we spend in the meeting room, talking about how we see certain routes, how we see things playing out against certain looks. All that stuff helps build that chemistry and rapport, and you’ve got to take advantage of all the time you get. I feel like we'll be good to go.”

What kind of weapon can Nabers be?

“I think he can be a tremendous weapon for us,” Jones said. “He’s had a good spring. He’s looked good and made a lot of plays. You know, it takes time and work, and we’ll put that in.”

Jones said he plans to invite offensive players to train with him in the Charlotte area during the summer break.

“We have high expectations,” Jones said. “We always do. You know, we’re going to get there by putting the work in every day and making sure we’re ready to go for the first day of training camp, and when we get into training camp, getting everything out of each practice and improving and growing together. We've got high expectations of what we can be as a team and what we can be as an offense.”

All of that will start with Jones, of course.

He said his right knee (torn ACL) feels strong and stable. He also said he has "no doubt" that, when he is fully cleared, he will have no physical limitations.

“I think I can do all that stuff now,” Jones said, “and I’ll be even better in a month.”

Notes and quotes

With tight end Darren Waller now retired, Daniel Bellinger — presumably the starting tight end — was riding an exercise bike during practice. Asked about that, Bellinger said, “I wouldn't say (it was) rest. Just kind of like letting Theo [fourth-round draft pick Theo Johnson] grow and getting more mental growth to Theo and (Lawrence Cager) and everybody to take a step as a 'whole tight end room' instead of just myself taking all the reps." …In what has been a consistent sight when the media has been in attendance, right tackle Evan Neal (left ankle) stood and watched practice away from his teammates. Brian Daboll indicated that the next time Neal participates will be in training camp.

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