We’ve covered the Seattle Seahawks and the potential need for a cornerback across from Tariq Woolen extensively in this draft cycle. They historically don’t draft corners early under Pete Carroll and John Schneider, but you never know when a trend will be broken. In this article we are going to review University of Maryland corner Deonte Banks.
Games watched - 2022 SMU, Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan
Relative Athletic Score (RAS)
- Biggest strength - very good (7) athleticism - Banks’ long and makeup speed makes him an extremely difficult player to get over the top of on vertical routes, because he has the ability to run with the receiver step for step even if beaten clean off the line. His play speed is also good enough to where he has a little more leeway to make errors.
Deonte Banks is fast. He ran a 4.35 at the combine, and he shows off that speed fairly often.— BOLTS Draft Talk (@BoltsDraftTalk) April 16, 2023
Banks forces the outside release and suffocates the route to the sideline, giving himself a great position to defend the pass. pic.twitter.com/HS2wvupI3l
- He pairs his play speed with a very good (7) transition that is extremely prevalent in zone coverage. When sinking back and gaining depth in a cloud or deep third zone Banks keeps his eyes locked in on the quarterback. He reads where they are going with his good (6) FBI (football intelligence) and eyes and triggers to the spot once the quarterback starts their throwing motion.
- Banks is shot out of a cannon when he triggers up field, only needing one or two steps to get up to at least a minimum play speed. Banks also shows off his good (6) ball skills in these situations as there are multiple instances in which he is able to break up field and make a play on the ball at the catch point. When tracking the ball downfield Banks does a good (6) job of not panicking and instead getting his head around to locate and track the ball to try and make a play on it.
- In zone coverage, Banks has a very good (7) understanding of how much depth to gain, not panicking when placed in conflict and communicating with nearby defenders as to who is picking up who. As the play continues to develop when in a cloud zone, he gains additional depth to the nearest receiver assuming nobody is in front of him on his side. Banks’ route recognition in zone coverage is good (6) and bordering on very good (7).
Maryland’s Deonte Banks showing off the awareness in zone to carry the crosser, the patience and ability to throttle down in press-man, and the deep speed to stay in hip pocket on a vert.— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) April 20, 2023
Has everything you want in a CB. Top-20 prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft class. pic.twitter.com/b0InafA947
- Against the run he often does a good job of setting the edge, staying outside to force the running back inside.
- Biggest weakness - getting beaten to the inside - When Banks struggles in coverage it is when he is in press. Off of the snap his feet can get a little too loud as he replaces them with too much consistency and he can get back on his heels, rarely staying light on his toes. He overplays his leverage when in press, as he often oversteps to the outside which results in receivers being able to beat him to the inside with some ease. He struggles against more advanced releases that involve jab steps, allowing separation off of the snap. When beaten off of the line Banks tries to use a quick press that’s accurate into the chest plate of the receiver. This does help him get in phase, but in situations where he is unable to get the press off, he cedes three to four steps off of the line.
- His route recognition in man coverage does get questionable and is sufficient (5) at best as he overplays early movement in the route.
- As a tackler he’s sufficient (5) but there are instances where he doesn’t jump in on the tackle when help is needed. He also can get dragged by more physical ball carriers. His tackling technique is okay but there are instances in which he just throws his shoulder in rather than trying to wrap up.
Floor/ceiling - Banks’ very good play speed, transitions, athleticism and good off man coverage, ball skills and zone coverage which borders on very good gives him the ceiling of a high-end starter, however his questionable running game willingness, inconsistencies in press, and ability to get beaten to the inside gives him the floor of a high-end backup.
Grade - 6.6 - Low end starter - Early 2nd
Grade explanation - Banks is a great athlete which gives him instant appeal as a prospect. He is not a perfect corner by any means as he has a lot that he has to clean up near the line of scrimmage in press coverage. He is good (6) in zone coverage with solid route recognition which should allow for him to become a starter very early or instantly in his rookie season. I do worry about how he will do against receivers with more advanced releases in press coverage, but outside of that I am not too worried about him as a corner.
Schematic fit - Banks projects best as a low-end starter in a zone-heavy scheme. He will be able to play against more athletic receivers because of his play speed but his physicality will allow him to play against bigger ones as well. His running game impact is questionable and might have to come off of the field in more obvious running situations.