Skip to main content
New York Giants homepage

Giants News | New York Giants –

Giants Now

Presented by

Giants Now: PFF highlights Giants rookies vs. Lions


PFF highlights Giants rookies vs. Lions

Friday's preseason opener in Detroit served as the first NFL game action for the Giants' 15-man rookie class.

Several of the team's first-year players put together strong performances against the Lions, including the team's first two draft picks.

Cornerback Deonte Banks, the 24th overall pick in this year's draft, was listed as one of the two starting cornerbacks, alongside veteran Adoree' Jackson, on the team's first unofficial depth chart early last week. Banks followed that up with a solid outing against the Lions.

The 6-foot-2 rookie corner was on the field for 22 coverage snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. On the three passes throw in his direction, Banks did not allow a single reception while registering a 39.6 passer rating allowed.

"I thought our young guys, our corners (Banks and Tre Hawkins III) and our center (John Michael Schmitz Jr.), I thought they showed well in the game for us," coach Brian Daboll said Saturday. "Played with confidence, did their job, so it was good to see those young guys out there playing. They played at a fairly high level."

Banks landed on the NFL radar following a strong senior season at Maryland. The young cornerback registered an interception and eight passes defensed to go with his 38 total tackles (25 solo) and 0.5 sacks. But it was the 22-year-old's performance at the NFL Combine (4.35 40-yard dash, 42-inch vertical, 11-foot-4 inch broad) that truly solidified his status as one of the top cornerbacks in the draft.

As Daboll mentioned, the Giants' rookie center also played well in his first NFL game.

Schmitz was on the field for 19 pass block snaps against the Lions and did not allow a single pressure.

"He did a good job of communicating with his linemates and down the line of scrimmage, and with the snap, it was good," Daboll added about Schmitz. "It was actually pretty loud at times in there. So, for his first outing at center for us, I was pleased with the progress that he's made throughout camp, and I was pleased with his first game, and we've got to build on from that."

Similar to Banks, the 6-foot-4 center out of Minnesota was also listed among the first-team players on the first unofficial depth chart. Schmitz and Ben Bredeson, currently listed as the first-team left guard, have been competing during training camp for the starting center position.

Schmitz started all 13 games for the Golden Gophers in 2021 on his way to being named Second-Team All-Big Ten by the conference's coaches. But the center was at his best last year, as he started all 12 regular-season games and allowed just two sacks and eight total pressures on 302 pass block snaps. This led to him being named First-Team All-American and First-Team All-Big Ten.

View photos from the Giants' preseason opener against the Lions in Detroit.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2023 roster as it currently stands.