Aggressive. Physical. FAST. Each are adjectives that could be used to describe Wink Martindale’s defense. A unit budding with talent in the front seven, day one of the 2023 NFL Draft saw the New York Giants add a playmaker I expect to thrive early and often this fall.
The standout within a Maryland Terrapins roster not lacking in NFL talent, cornerback Deonte Banks was one of the more enjoyable studies of the entire pre-draft process. A homegrown talent that initially made his mark at Edgewood High School just north of Baltimore, years spent in College Park saw him blossom into one of the country’s premier secondary stalwarts.
In New York, he’s quickly CB1.
Deonte’s first day in the NFL 😍 pic.twitter.com/CxujJ24mvo
— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) May 6, 2023
A corners room that entered the spring in need of reinforcements, Banks fits exactly what Martindale wants to deploy in a ballplayer that could potentially shut down a third of the field. A non-scheme-dependent prospect who can work downhill in zone only to align in press-man and carry a 4.3 runner down the hash, Banks combines elite football prowess with an athletic profile that just few could match even in the deep corner class that was 2023. With a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash, an 11-foot-4 broad jump, and a 42-inch vert, there weren’t many boxes that Banks failed to check as teams solidified their boards.
For the Giants, while Adoree’ Jackson and Cordale Flott approached the spring as the starters on the perimeter, the presence of Banks elevates the group tremendously considering neither of the aforementioned names fit the ideal mold of a ‘CB1’ type of aerial stalwart that Banks does. And when you take a step back and look up from the secondary toward a front seven that’ll wreak havoc every single week, having an athlete like Banks to roam the deeper portions of a defense could turn him into one of the more impactful day-one picks and a player I wouldn’t be surprised develops into the premier corner in the class when we look back a few years down the line.
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