Giants rookie CB has elite debut in Preseason Week 1

New York Giants cornerback Deonte Banks (36) breaks up a pass intended for Detroit Lions wide receiver Chase Cota (88) in the first quarter at Ford Field
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants spent their first-round pick in this year’s draft on CB Deonte Banks. The Maryland product possesses elite athleticism and demonstrated the ability to stick with receivers in tight man coverage throughout his collegiate career. Those skills seem to be translating to the next level so far as the rookie had an elite debut in his first preseason game.

Giants secondary stands out in preseason opener

The Giants may have lost their first preseason game on Friday night, but there were many positives to take away from the exhibition outing. Primarily, the positives to draw came from the team’s young defensive backfield. Big Blue flexed its depth at safety as the back-end defenders stood out for the entire contest. But in addition to the safety play, New York enjoyed some excellent performances from their cornerback as well.

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Deonte Banks is shutdown against the Lions

Banks looked the part of a shutdown cornerback in his NFL debut on Friday night. According to Pro Football Focus, Banks played 22 coverage snaps, allowing 0 catches on three targets for a 39.6 passer rating allowed.

Banks showed off his speed in coverage against Lions second-year WR Jameson Williams, breaking up a would-be touchdown on a deep shot downfield in the first quarter. He then broke up another pass later in the quarter against a tight end on the sideline.

Did the Giants draft an elite CB duo in 2023?

Banks is not the only rookie cornerback that stood out against the Lions. He was joined by fellow draft classmate Tre Hawkins III, who has been a standout player all summer. Hawkins surrendered only 30 yards in coverage on six targets and exhibited his physicality and aggression as a tackler. It was an impressive debut for the Giants’ pair of rookie corners, instilling the team with confidence in its secondary entering the 2023 season.