The New York Giants landed Maryland CB Deonte Banks in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, who they recently signed to a fully-guaranteed contract. Banks is bringing an aggressive, physical presence and an unfazed mentality to the secondary, according to his Maryland head coach.
Giants rookie CB Deonte Banks gets glowing review from Maryland HC
Banks is not fazed by his opponents
Maryland head coach Mike Locksley recently appeared on the Giants Huddle Podcast to give some insight on what Banks is bringing to Big Blue.
“I’m an offensive guy and I’ve had some great receivers that I know put the fear of God into DBs at times because they read the press clippings, they watch him on tape and they may play tentative,” Locksley said. “I mean, this kid [Banks] will get in front of anybody no matter what name is across the front or back of the jersey… He does not care about names. He doesn’t care about their reputation. It’s like, he’s not worried or fazed by who he’s going against because he has that much confidence in his ability to play out on the island.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Banks only allowed 50+ yards in a game once in his entire collegiate career. This career included a matchup with Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr., who many believe could be a top-ten pick in next year’s draft.
Banks has the size to survive on an island
Banks is an athletic specimen, running a 4.35s 4-yard dash and posting a 42″ vertical jump and 11’4″ broad jump at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. At 6-foot, 197-pounds, Banks has the ideal size to play on the outside in the NFL.
“When you look at the receivers that are really having a lot of success in the NFL, there are a lot of big guys that are outside on that island,” Locksley said of Banks’ size. “Typically tall, long athletic guys, struggle to play on that island. But Deonte is one of those guys that has the length that you like, whether it’s the arm length, the height, but he also has the feet and the ability to play like a little guy. And so to me, the athleticism, the ability to play man cover, and I think probably his biggest trait or skill set trait that I’ve always really been most impressed with is his ability to forget a bad play.”
Locksley described Banks’ ability to “get back up on that horse again,” saying, “he has an innate ability that even when he does maybe give up a play, it doesn’t linger and he doesn’t lose confidence. Nor does he lose the ability to get right back in front of a guy that has talent and know that he has the ability to run with, stick with, and then the ball skills necessary.”
Locksley says Banks will be “a great locker room addition“
By all accounts, Banks will be a huge addition to the Giants’ defense. He has the mindset, length, and athleticism to be a top corner at the next level. But Locksley also made sure to highlight how Banks will fit into New York’s locker room.
“The interesting thing is I’ve spent the last three days sitting and doing end of year evaluations with current players, and one of the things that I’ve used as an analogy for our current players is not one time did I have to deal with Deonte Banks [for] anything off the field,” Locksley said. “Going to class, living the right way, the right kind of lifestyle off the field, leadership in the locker room. And here’s a kid that’s getting drafted in the first round, 24th pick, and he’s down in study hall two days ago working on finishing his degree because he’s going to graduate in the next two weeks here. When most guys trick off their Spring semester, have six hours, 12 hours to finish and they wait, wait, wait until their career is done to finish it. I mean, that’s who Deonte is, and so he’ll be a great locker room addition.”
Giants general manager Joe Schoen has always stressed the importance of finding players who fit the team’s culture. Banks fits the mold of “smart, tough, and dependable,” three adjectives that Schoen looks for in all prospective Giants.
The Giants clearly held Banks in high regard, trading up one spot to draft him 24th overall in the first round of the draft. Expectations will be high for the Maryland product, but, as Locksley detailed, the Banks has the mentality necessary to succeed early and often in his NFL career.