Giants putting a ton of pressure on 2nd-year cornerback

Oct 22, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants cornerback Deonte Banks (25) celebrates after an interception against the Washington Commanders during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are currently in a state of financial and strategic limbo as they await the recovery of approximately $11.6 million from veteran tight end Darren Waller’s expected retirement. In the meantime, their secondary remains relatively inexperienced following the departure of Adoree Jackson.

The Giants may consider several veteran options to bolster their defensive backfield, notably Stephon Gilmore, who has been a reliable cornerstone, logging consecutive years with over 1,000 snaps and serving as the primary corner for the Dallas Cowboys in 2023 after Trevon Diggs sustained a torn ACL.

As the 2024 season approaches, the Giants are placing considerable trust in Deonte Banks, a second-year defensive back from Maryland. Despite a rookie season filled with both highs and lows, Banks demonstrated promise.

At 23, he is one of the most athletically gifted cornerbacks in the league, though he allowed 644 yards last season, including four touchdowns, alongside recording two interceptions and six pass breakups. With the Giants shifting Jackson to the slot, Banks was thrust into CB1 duties, facing off against some of the NFL’s elite receivers.

Dec 11, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jayden Reed (11) runs the ball after a catch against New York Giants cornerback Deonte Banks (25) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jayden Reed (11) runs the ball after a catch against New York Giants cornerback Deonte Banks (25) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants Are Eyeing Development From Deonte Banks

Banks’ initiation into the NFL included challenging matchups against top-tier talents like DaVante Adams, who managed 110 yards against him, and other formidable opponents such as CeeDee Lamb, Garrett Wilson, and Terry McClaurin. While dominating All-Pro receivers is a daunting task for any cornerback, Banks showcased resilience and learned valuable lessons about elite competition and the mental fortitude required for success.

With Malik Nabers now on the team, Banks benefits from daily practice against one of the best receivers, embracing the “iron sharpens iron” philosophy that the Giants are emphasizing this offseason. This preparation is crucial as the Giants transition under new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen, formerly of the Tennessee Titans.

Bowen’s system favors a more zone-heavy approach compared to the man-coverage scheme of 2023, expecting less aggression and more reliance on the front four to generate pass rush, reducing the need for intricate sub-packages that previously involved defensive backs and linebackers.

While Banks may see less man-coverage, the Giants still envision him shadowing top receivers to mitigate their impact and maximize his potential.

However, the position opposite Banks poses a challenge, with Cor’Dale Flott and Nick McCloud as the primary contenders. Both possess potential but remain largely untested. The Giants are hopeful for their development or may need to integrate a seasoned veteran into the mix to enhance competition and readiness.

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