It’s been a challenging rookie season for New York Giants first-round pick Deonte Banks. The 22-year-old cornerback out of Maryland has faced some of the top wide receivers in the NFL this season, primarily serving as the Giants’ No. 1 cornerback.
Despite his fair share of struggles and challenges, Banks’ confidence remains firm. Ahead of another difficult matchup on Christmas Day, Banks is excited for the opportunity to square off against the Philadelphia Eagles’ elite playmaking duo of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.
Deonte Banks is excited to “compete against the best”
Banks has given up his share of plays this season, allowing 582 yards and five touchdowns in coverage on the year. But his shortcomings as a rookie mean little to the first-round pick. Banks has a short-term memory on the football field, taking it one play at a time, and looking forward to the next challenge.
“You beat me, good on you,” said Banks per NorthJersey.com’s Art Stapleton. “Next play, let’s go. My turn. Feel me? I love to compete, and I’ve seen the best of the best my first year. It’s fun and I’m going to keep getting better.”
This season, Banks has lined up against elite receivers such as CeeDee Lamb, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and many more. But this Monday afternoon, he’ll play his first game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, lining up against the Eagles’ dynamic tandem of AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith. Banks is excited about the challenge.
“I’m sure it’s going to be wild, and I’m ready,” Banks told Stapleton. “I’ve heard the stories [about playing at the Linc], but I wouldn’t say I’m intimidated by anything. Competition isn’t something I’m scared of. I love to compete, and if you’re going to compete, go out and compete against the best. That’s how you become the best player you can be. I’m about now and the future. The past is the past, and we have a great opportunity to win a football game. Let’s try to go win it.”
Brown has made a case for the league’s Offensive Player of the Year award, totaling 1,314 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Smith is not too shabby either, as he’s also racked up 957 yards and six touchdowns this year. Banks and the Giants’ secondary are going to have their hands full (not of presents) on Christmas Day.
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The Giants drafted a gem in Banks
Despite a few tough matchups this season, Banks’ first year in the NFL has been a success. Confidence is everything for NFL cornerbacks and Banks has no shortage of the crucial attribute. His killer mindset has contributed toward 58 combined tackles, a team-high 11 passes defended, and two interceptions.
Banks has flashed elite potential as a rookie. While he’s been beaten a few times and given up a handful of scores, there have been some particularly impressive pass breakups and coverage reps on Banks’ film this year.
Entering the offseason, the Giants can feel comfortable with Banks as their No. 1 cornerback on the roster. While adding talent around him in the secondary will be a priority, the Giants should feel confident in Banks’ ability to lead the group as their primary boundary cornerback.