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2023 NFL Draft

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Experts grade Giants' first-round pick: 'Perfect type of cornerback'


The New York Giants landed cornerback Deonte Banks out of Maryland in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Giants traded up from No. 25 to No. 24 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, surrendering a fifth-round (No. 160) and a seventh-round (No. 240) pick in order to land Banks.

Experts praised the Giants' decision to select the former Terrapin, highlighting Banks' strong fit in Wink Martindale's defense.

Here are expert reactions to the Giants' first-round pick.

Grade: A-

"The former Maryland star is a twitchy athlete with good size who plays with anticipation in coverage."

Grade: A-

"Deonte Banks is the perfect type of cornerback for Wink Martindale's scheme. He can strap up in man coverage, which is essential for the blitz-happy defensive coordinator. Banks isn't a perfect fit for every team, but he certainly is for this one."

Picks Kiper liked

"Cornerback Deonte Banks is a nice pickup for the Giants. ... Banks is fast and tough. He did not allow a catch of over 30 yards all season. The Giants got him at No. 24, and he's No. 20 in my rankings."

Grade: Very Good

"The third-best cornerback on the PFF big board, Banks can fly and clocked a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. An elite athlete, he has proven that he can mirror wide receivers in college and has the size teams look for at the position. He produced a 72.0 PFF grade in his final season at Maryland, the best of his college career."

Grade: B+

"The Giants traded two Day 3 picks to move up from No. 25 to No. 24 to select Banks, a nice size/speed combination prospect who looked fluid during workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine. He'll likely line up outside as a rookie to bolster that group."

Grade: B+

"He's an impressive man-cover player who will fit in perfectly with Wink Martindale's defense. Banks is a cocky player who played his best against good players. I like this pick."

Grade: B+

"The Giants filled a need in the secondary with the addition of Banks, who could develop into a quality outside cornerback because of his size and speed."

Grade: B+

"Banks is a physical corner with ideal size and high-level athletic tools."

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Grade: B+

"Sometimes, things just make sense. After the run on wide receivers, it made sense for the Giants to shift their focus to the guys that cover them. Wink Martindale's defense needs CBs who can line up in press and be reactive athletes in man coverage. That is exactly what Deonte Banks brings to the New York Giants' defense. But that's not all he brings. Banks is an absolute dog against the run. He's more than willing to fill a gap and take on a pulling lineman, and he loves smacking receivers in the mouth. There's even video evidence of him pressing a receiver into the backfield."

"The Giants couldn't sit back and wait for a player they needed to elevate their secondary, so they did the right thing and moved up one spot. Muscular, fast, physical and smooth, Banks soared up draft boards after an under-the-radar but effective career at Maryland. Banks has 21 starts spread over four seasons but has only 10 over the past two years combined. He recorded one interception last year and defended nine passes with 38 tackles. According to PFF, Banks gave up 26 catches on 60 targets for 258 yards and four touchdowns.

"But his measurables and combine results are top-shelf, as is his potential. Banks (6-0 1/8, 197) ran the 40 in 4.35 seconds, his 10-yard split was 1.45 seconds, and his 42-inch vertical led all cornerbacks. He's physical and energetic. Chances are that more people would have heard about him had he not missed all but two games following shoulder surgery in 2021."

"High-impact Day 1 starter. The Giants' top need is an outside cornerback, and Banks is that with 6-foot-2 size and 4.38-second 40-yard dash speed on the boundary. He's physical at the line of scrimmage and has the confidence to be the team's CB1."

"Banks is a physical press-zone corner with the fluidity and top-end speed to turn and run with any receiver."

View the top photos of Deonte Banks' career at Maryland.

"A four-year starter at Maryland, Banks was an outside cornerback in defensive coordinator Brian Williams' balanced scheme. After missing almost all of the 2021 season with a shoulder injury, he got better as the 2022 season went on, including a strong performance versus Ohio State (and Marvin Harrison Jr.) that showed the strengths and weaknesses of his game. 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."

"Perimeter corner with desired blend of size, strength and athleticism. Banks is capable of release disruption from press. He plays with smooth hips and easy feet to pedal and glide around the field. He's capable of matching the release and running with his opponent."

"Banks has a great frame and is not afraid to get physical. He tackles in the run game and will stick to receivers like glue in coverage. After missing all but two games last season because of injury, he was fantastic for the Terps in 2022, breaking up eight passes with an interception. He also seemed to up his game in the biggest matchups on their schedule. Banks' tape is one of the most impressive I've seen in this class in terms of man coverage. He also has a lot of experience; he started eight games as a true freshman in 2019. He ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash and put up a 42-inch vertical leap at the combine."

"Banks is the most reliable tackler at cornerback on tape this year, and he plays with an aggressive mindset and an excellent motor."

"To see his competitiveness, watch his blocked PAT against Ohio State that was returned for a two-point conversion. He doesn't take plays off. He is a physical and reliable tackler in space."

"What an athlete. Banks went 4.35 in the 40-yard dash with a 42-inch vertical and an 11-foot-4 broad jump at the NFL Combine. That matched his tape, where he easily mirrored receivers at all levels of the field."


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