On Wednesday morning, a random tweet from Ian Rapoport caught my attention:
#Maryland CB Deonte Banks, who has had meetings or visits with nearly every team, ends his tour with the #Bills today, source said. He's also visited the #Saints, #Commanders, #Titans, #Vikings, #Raiders, #Texans, #Giants, #Bucs, #Eagles, #Jaguars, #Bears, and #Steelers.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2023
Normally, I might not have given Rapoport’s tweet another thought since Banks isn’t one of the cornerbacks that I’ve been looking at as a future Seattle Seahawks player.
But I was curious . . .
Why has “nearly every team” met with the Maryland CB over the past couple months?
Possible R1 pick
Deonte Banks is #23 on PFN’s Consensus Big Board.
That’s a mere two spots behind Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. (#21) and puts Banks at #5 among all of the cornerbacks in this year’s NFL Draft.
Putting that another way . . .
If there’s a run on CBs before the end of Round 1, Banks is probably going to be part of that run.
College stats . . . and a setback
As a true freshman, Banks appeared in 9 games, played 478 defensive snaps (230 in coverage). He was targeted 21 times, giving up 14 receptions (66.7%) for 175 yards (12.5 per) with a passer rating against of 104.3.
The next year, Banks appeared in 5 games, played 280 defensive snaps (147 in coverage), was targeted 17 times, gave up 8 receptions (47.1%) for 99 yards (12.4 per), and had a passer rating against of 65.6.
In 2021, Banks suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the second game of the year. He had surgery and returned with a vengeance 357 days later.
His 2022 stat line reads:
- 12 games, 680 defensive snaps with 384 of them in coverage
- 60 targets with 26 receptions allowed (43.3%)
- 258 yards (9.9 per) with a long of 29
- 4 TDs allowed
- 1 interception, 8 PBUs, and a 71.4 passer rating against
- One blocked extra point
After the 2022 season, Banks opted to forego his senior season and declared for the draft.
Here are some copy/pastes from various scouting reports on Banks:
Banks is a physically impressive cornerback with plus-level height and length. He also has rare reactionary athleticism for a corner his size, showing the ability to flip his hips run vertical, then sink his hips and break back downhill toward the ball.
At 6’0″, 197 pounds, Banks has a lean, compact frame with good mass and above-average length. His size profile isn’t quite elite, but he has an exceptional overall frame, and he’s quantifiably elite as an athlete — with his short-area mobility and burst at the center of his profile.
As an athlete, Banks effortlessly explodes out of his stance. He has enough accelerative capacity to turn and run with receivers upfield, sticking to the hip pocket. Additionally, he flashes high-end explosiveness upfield out of stacked transitions, and he’s a very free-flowing athlete for his size.
The NFL Combine served as corroborating evidence for Banks’ athleticism, as the Maryland CB tested as one of the most athletic cornerback prospects of all time.
A cover-and-clobber corner, Banks has the competitive makeup and smooth hips/feet to become a receiver’s shadow in man coverage. His read-react ability to sort routes from zone needs work to create more breakup opportunities, but he is an above average high-to-low tackler. Overall, Banks needs to add more discipline to his play style, but when he trusts his technique, he has the size, athleticism and physicality of an NFL starter. He projects best as an outside, press-man cornerback with upside in zone looks
The FUN part
The Draft Network identified four teams that they view as the best fits for Deonte Banks, and the Seahawks are one of them.
From the intro to their article:
One of the more fluid corners in the class whose potential could see him shut down a third of the field in the near future, Maryland’s Deonte Banks is a rare case of one-size-fits-all for many NFL teams. A physically gifted talent in man to mirror and match only to then align seven yards off and blow up a screen play in zone, here are a few of my favorite fits for the uber-athletic roof defender Deonte Banks.
Here’s what they wrote about Banks’ fit with the Seahawks:
Seattle struck gold after grabbing Tariq Woolen in the fifth round last spring, but trotting out Mike Jackson to start opposite just wouldn’t be good business. Banks and Woolen could progress into one of the top young corner duos in football in rapid fashion.
To be fair, I think you could replace Banks’ name with a handful of other CBs in this year’s draft and not lose much, if anything, in that evaluation: Woolen and Gonzalez, Woolen and Witherspoon, etc.
That said, Woolen and Banks does sound like a fun combination.
- Height: Woolen 6-4 | Banks 6-0
- Weight: Woolen 205 | Banks 197
- Arms: Woolen 33-5/8 | Banks 31-3/8
- Wingspan: Woolen 78-5/8 | Banks unclear (TBD)
- Hands: Woolen 9-1/8 | Banks 9-3/8
- 40-yard dash: Woolen 4.26 | Banks 4.35
- 10-yard split: 1.49 seconds each
- Vertical leap: 42 inches each
Tariq Woolen is bigger and faster than Deonte Banks, but they had matching 10-yard splits and vertical leaps at the Combine.
And check out their RAS scores (Banks’ is currently unofficial):
Tariq Woolen (9.71)
Deonte Banks (9.99u)
Yeah . . . Banks and Woolen could be a fun combination.