Deonte Banks, Maryland Terrapins (October 22, 2022)

Deonte Banks – © USA TODAY Sports

With the 24th pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected cornerback Deonte Banks (University of Maryland). The Giants traded up one spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchanged for their 25th pick in the 1st round, the 160th overall selection in the 5th round, and the 240th overall selection in the 7th round. Banks is 6’0” and 197 pounds. He has run a 4.35 40-yard dash.

Sy’56’s Scouting Report on CB Deonte Banks: Senior entry. Three-year starter but two of those years summed to just five starts combined because of Covid-19 and a shoulder injury that kept him out of all but two games. Honorable Mention All-Big Ten in 2022. Banks is a bit of an unknown when because of the lack of experience over that two-year span. That said, he did start as a true freshman in 2019 and looked fantastic in 2022. The movement traits are nearly off the charts and his aggressive play style will be attractive to defensive schemes that want to use a lot of man coverage. His rapid-fire footwork allows him to stay stick and the long speed pairs with acceleration traits to stay on top of pro deep threats. There are not a lot of plays made on his tape and I’m not sold he completely understands what he is doing yet. Banks is a wildcard that could make a case to be the top corner in the draft because of talent and traits, but there are question marks in a few of the mental areas of the grade sheet.

*Banks tore it up at the Combine and this is a position that everyone wants to see traits at, then gamble. Banks’ movement ability shows up on tape, there is no denying his ability to play against NFL speed. The question will be how quickly he adapts mentally. He simply did not play a lot in college and he was not challenged often enough. Like a lot of these other corners in the group, this will be a big swing for the fence and his shortcoming centers around size/length.

Media Q&A with General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll (Video):

Q. On the decision to trade up to pick 24.

JOE SCHOEN: The way it went down and the way the board fell, we were getting depleted.

So it was the right thing to do for us. We do a lot of research on team needs, and what people need behind us, and including the team that we traded with. So that was a scenario we put together early in the day if we got there, and we were worried about anybody else coming up to that position. We had something in place with Jacksonville and it worked out.

Q. As it was unfolding today, maybe until about pick No. 19, it looked like it was playing out well for you. Even if you were looking at receivers, how tense does that start to get once it got to like 20, 21, 22?

JOE SCHOEN: I would say it got pretty tense. We had a lot of irons in the fire, whether it’s moving up, moving back. We had a lot of opportunities to move out of 25 if we would have stayed there.

So trying to manage phone calls with teams in front of us while also keeping track of options if we decided to move back. Then the other option was staying, make the pick at 25.

Q. The TV shot that caught Wink (Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale), looked like he might tackle you. Can you speak to what that was all about?

JOE SCHOEN: You guys know Wink’s defense and what he likes, and Deonte fits that mold “to a T”. He was ecstatic.

Q. What is it about him specifically that attracted you to him?

JOE SCHOEN: He’s a prototype from a size standpoint. He’s athletic. He’s physical. He can run. He ran 4.32 at the Combine. He has arm length, big hands. He’s been a four-year starter. He was hurt a year ago but he has played a lot of ball there at Maryland and schematically, he’s a good fit. And we spent a lot of time with him. Met with him at the Combine. He’s a guy that, you know, we went down to the pro day, and we spent a good amount of time with him, and again we felt comfortable with him.

Q. Are you surprised, you mentioned you were worrying about teams jumping in front of you. Did you think Jacksonville, maybe they could take him?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, if you look a lot of the mocks and just like you guys track the 30 visits, we track the 30 visits, and the reality is, the last four or five teams in a line there, when things looked like they were lining up for us, he visited a lot of those places. So you take a lot of that into account, risk versus reward. Didn’t want to get greedy. Hey, this is a player we like, we covet, don’t get cute. Let’s just take him, and then we’ll move on to day two of the Draft.

Q. When the receivers started, they were done for a long time, and then bang, bang, bang. How much did that affect this pick here?

JOE SCHOEN: You mean that the receivers started to go?

Q. Like four in a row.

JOE SCHOEN: That was part of it. There’s some receivers that were going off the board and some corners, typically there’s a lot of corners that go, and once Gonzalez went, we were wondering what was going to happen next and Forbes went. Getting Banks is a guy that we liked, we spent a lot of time with and we’re ecstatic to get him.

Q. You talk a lot about the traditional value stuff and knowing premium spots. Were you locked into a couple different positions in that spot? Obviously wide receiver and corner. How important was that for you knowing in that spot that you wanted to take a premium pick rather than lean towards a perceived need in another area?

JOE SCHOEN: In an ideal world, that’s how that works out. You know, on the open market these players are getting at their position, and some of the positions continue to ascend up, and some have went the other way. But corner is one that’s going to continue to ascend. You take that into account.

But when you’re picking at 25, we had multiple, multiple positions and it may not be a popular first round position but best player available we were prepared in different situations, scenarios that we went through that we would take one of those players.

Q. You said you met with him at the Combine; what do you remember about the meeting?

JOE SCHOEN: Just personality. He’s a personable individual. Football intellect was good. Very good understanding of their defense. You know, made a good first impression at the Combine, and I’ll give our scouts the credit, you know he was hurt in 2021 and one of our guys was in there in August, and he wasn’t really on our radar because he didn’t play a lot in 2021 and so our scouts were on him early.

So he is somebody that we were able to get out and see and we had several looks throughout the fall, live looks, whether it was at the school, games or at practice. So you know, we had very good coverage on him.

Q. How much last year as the whole season went on did you get a sense that you — cornerback, you had some guys hurt, Adoree’ (Jackson) got hurt a little bit; that that was a position that you had to manufacture things there?

BRIAN DABOLL: You can never have enough good corners. This is a passing league. We have a tough division and Te, he’s a tall, lengthy, press, man-to-man corner who we had graded high, and happy we have him.

Q. Joe, you were talking about how the variables were a lot different than last year and you knew a handful of guys. Was this, like, something you expected he’d be there? Were you surprised? Did you think about moving up sooner when you saw him maybe falling further than your projection?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, we had a group of players that ended up being in the same range. Again, all the mocks, if it’s a player you covet, you naturally think everybody else may, too. So a lot of mock drafts guys are gone and we went through different scenarios, and it played out pretty darn close to some of the scenarios that we went through. We weren’t sure he’d be there, and we also were surprised maybe a couple other place were still available as the Draft went on. Yeah, you try to go through as many of those scenarios as you can, and you know, you make the phone calls with the other general managers throughout the league and you have good dialogue and conversations, where if you get on the clock and there’s an opportunity. Again, I had talked to Trent Baalke down in Jacksonville earlier today and said, ‘hey, I don’t know if there may be a scenario where I’m worried about somebody coming behind us to this position, would you be open to it, these would be the parameters,’ and we stayed in communication throughout the Draft.

Q. Is this guy a cover corner or is he a press guy or what?

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, he’s played a lot of press man-to-man. Again, we play a variety of defenses with our system but he’s played a heavy amount of man-to-man coverage and press and he’s strong. He’s got good length. He’s got good quickness, good speed. And now we’ll just throw him in the mix with our guys and good to have him.

Q. The knock that people seem to have on him was the lack of interceptions. What do you guys make of that, if anything?

BRIAN DABOLL: Look, he was around the ball quite a bit. There was a lot of pass breakups. He can match receivers. Again, it’s new for all these young guys coming in, but I think he’s a good player. I’m glad we got him.

Q. Do you think he’s ready to come in and be a year one starter?

BRIAN DABOLL: We got a lot of work to do, so you know, with us, everybody has got to earn their role. Come in, throw him in the mix. Again we think he’s a good player. Obviously we drafted him in the first round, but everybody here has to earn their role and come in there and compete.

Q. Not too long ago in this league it was the idea of rookie corners weren’t able to come in and make that impact unless they were really that elite guy. Did what happened last year in the league with guys coming in like Sauce (Jets CB Sauce Gardner) and some other guys change maybe the way you think corners can transition maybe a little quicker than they have in the past?

JOE SCHOEN: Yeah, that’s one of the hardest positions in football. You’re moving backwards, away from the ball, trying to cover elite athlete. So it’s one of the most difficult positions, I think, in the NFL.

Like Dab said, everybody is going to come and compete. Nobody is going to be given anything. So he’s going to have to come in and earn his stripes and he’s got a lot to learn in terms of scheme and our defense. So looking forward to getting here and get to go work.

Q. Does trading the picks make you less likely, or your want to of maybe trading up in, like the second or third round, because now you do have a little less draft capital?

JOE SCHOEN: No. I’d still go up. No, it’s not going to effect. We’ll still move. We still have, like, our premium, second, third, fourth. We are in good shape from that standpoint if we want to move around.

Media Q&A with Deonte Banks:

Q. Can you describe what your interactions were like with the Giants leading up to the Draft, when you met with them and what those meetings were like?

DEONTE BANKS: I met with them a bunch of times. They took me out to dinner when I went out for a visit. I met with all the coaches when I was there and I also met with the db coach (Jerome Henderson) a week after that, he came to me, and we went out to eat. We also met in the meeting room.

Q. What’s your confidence level that you can come in and not only be a Week 1 starter, but do something special, maybe like Sauce Gardner did last year?

DEONTE BANKS: It’s really high. I’m just ready to get to work.

Q. What did you think of the Giants coaching staff, the new guys you’ll be working with when you had those dinners?

DEONTE BANKS: I like them. They cool. They have a unique kind of character. I loved them. It was a great meeting.

Q. How did they pitch you on your fit for the Giants?

DEONTE BANKS: When I came out here, it felt like it was my home. I felt like that. Everybody was cool. It just felt like my home. It felt like family.

Q. When you’re watching all the wide receivers go before you, did you think the Giants were going to be the team, baud they had had some interest in wide receivers, too. Did you think it was a good chance it was going to be the Giants?

DEONTE BANKS: I already knew if I made it to 25, it was going to be the Giants. I already knew.

Q. How likely did you think you were going to go before 25 entering today?

DEONTE BANKS: I wasn’t high on it, but I had a chance to.

Q. How would you describe your game and who are some of the guys that you modelled your game after through the years?

DEONTE BANKS: I like Jalen Ramsey and Marshon Lattimore. I love how they play.

Q. And how would you describe your game and what you bring to the table?

DEONTE BANKS: It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be real fun.

Q. Where are you now and who is with you?

DEONTE BANKS: I’m in Baltimore. I’m in a suite with my family.

Q. How familiar are you with Wink Martindale’s defense?

DEONTE BANKS: I’m very familiar, actually. They talk to me when I was down there for the meeting, so I kind of got a feel for that, and I like it. I love it, actually.

Q. Being from Baltimore, did you watch a lot of the Ravens when Wink was the DC down there?


Q. Did you ever meet Wink while you were at Maryland?


Q. What do you think of the cornerback room now with Adoree’ (Jackson) and what you can do?

DEONTE BANKS: It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be tough but we’re going to compete.

Q. Do you think your battles last year when you went up against Ohio State against (Marvin) Harrison (Jr.), it seemed like that opened some eyes for people with you coming back from your injury?

DEONTE BANKS: I think it opened a lot. I played really well against it.

Q. What does today mean for you to get drafted, or tonight, I should say?

DEONTE BANKS: I couldn’t even tell you. Like, I don’t know, it means so much to me. I couldn’t even tell you how much it means to me. That’s how much it means to me. I can’t even express how good this feels.

Q. The Giants general manager mentioned that you had that year with injuries, so you weren’t necessarily high on the radar at that point.


Q. How much do you feel like this year, you had a lot to prove to the NFL and to prove to these teams that, you know, you were that top prospect?

DEONTE BANKS: I played against Ohio State. It was a good game to watch from a scouting perspective, and it was a real good year for me personally. I played well and I just got hurt. The injury, it shouldn’t be any problem, you know what I’m saying.