Deonte Banks NFL Draft Profile and Scouting Report
Deonte Banks Scouting Report: Cornerback, Maryland Terrapins, #3
2023 NFL Draft Measurements
6’2″ / 205 lbs.
Deonte Banks 40-Time – 4.50
Deonte Banks NFL Draft Profile
Banks is a former 3-star recruit out of Edgewood High School in Edgewood, Maryland. In the 2019 recruiting class, he was the 9th-best player in Maryland according to 247sports. He was also the 47th-best corner in the nation. While in high school, Banks did not get much recognition. He only had 6 Division I offers, and only one offer was from a Power Five program. The other schools that offered him were Monmouth, Kent State, Elon, Delaware State, and Buffalo. After only visiting Maryland, it became very clear that he wanted to play for the Terrapins.
According to ESPN, Banks got to play significant snaps as a true freshman. In his 2019 season, he had 22 solo tackles, 1 interception, and 2 pass breakups. As a sophomore, he played in all 5 games of the season. In these games, he had 10 solo tackles and 1 pass breakup. During the 2021 season, Banks suffered a season-ending injury in the second game. In those two games, he racked up 4 solo tackles, all of which were against West Virginia. Finally, as a senior, he had his best season yet. He had 25 solo tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 8 pass breakups.
Deonte Banks Strengths
According to Maryland’s Athletics website, Banks measures 6’2” and weighing in at 205 lbs. This makes him one of the biggest defensive backs in the 2023 NFL Draft class. I should note that he does not look that tall when he is on the field. This makes me believe that he is slightly smaller than 6’2”. Regardless, Banks’ bigger frame allows him to win many physical matchups on the outside. It also allows him to break up passes by going over the intended target.
When watching his film, there was not too much that stood out to me. But the one aspect of his game that was amazing to watch was his play strength. He has a strong two-hand punch that allows him to neutralize during their route stem. He had one snap against Ohio State where he completely stalled Julian Fleming at the point of attack. This took Fleming out of the play completely, forcing C.J. Stroud to throw the ball elsewhere. If the receiver does get past his jam at the line, Banks is good at forcing the receiver to the sideline. This removes the space that the receiver has to work with. Banks is also very aggressive at the catch point, allowing him to break up passes above his frame. His aggressiveness also allows him to fight through receivers to disrupt the pass.
Deonte Banks tends to be susceptible to double moves. However, his top speed allows him to quickly make up the ground against vertical routes. Banks also does a solid job of closing out on receivers below him. This makes him an asset against the outside run game as well as in the passing game.
Prior to the snap, Banks does a good job of keeping his pad level lower than his opponent. When the ball is snapped, he often punches the receiver in hopes of knocking them off-balance. When forcing the receiver to the outside, Banks does a good job of keeping his hand on them. This forces them to stay along the sideline, eliminating the space they have to work with. If he decides to bail out in press, he does a good job of mirroring his target. This allows him to stay with the receiver throughout their route.
Deonte Banks Weaknesses
Although Banks is good in press coverage, he is marginal at best in soft coverage. Banks often plays the receiver too far under him which leads to an easy reception. This can also make him susceptible to the receiver racking up some yards after the catch. Although he has solid close-out speed, it is not enough to disrupt the pass. Especially when he sits as deep as he normally does.
When watching his film throughout the 2022 season, Banks missed many interception opportunities. The biggest concern surrounding his ball skills is his positioning and awareness of where the ball is. This really hinders his ability to make a play on the ball and cause turnovers. He is also not a natural ball catcher and often has to rely on his body to help make the catch. This led to him having a few drops throughout his career at Maryland.
Although Banks has good straight-line speed, I have some concerns about his agility. When the receiver breaks toward the middle of the field, Banks struggles to flip his hips and stay with them. In one snap against Michigan, the receiver was running a pivot route. The receiver was able to change direction on a dime and leave Banks in the dust. But Banks was able to make up the ground because the receiver worked too far to the outside when going upfield. This allowed Banks to use his top speed to catch up and deflect the pass. So, although he was able to recover during this play, NFL receivers will stay tight when working upfield. This will allow them to make an easy catch for a big gain.
His below-average agility also makes him susceptible to double moves. When the receiver performs a double move at the top of their route stem, Banks tends to bite. This leads to him immediately losing leverage on short routes since he doesn’t have the agility to make up the ground he lost.
Deonte Banks Draft Stock
As of today, nflmockdraftdatabase has Banks as the 84th best prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Personally, I would have to agree with this ranking. I have Banks barely cracking my top ten cornerbacks in this draft class. Him only showing productivity in press coverage makes me question how some people have him going in the first round. If I am drafting a corner in the first round, he better be able and defend anywhere on the field. So, the highest that I would take Banks would be in the backend of the 3rd round.
Final Thoughts on Deonte Banks Scouting Report
Physically, Deonte Banks is one of the most gifted corners in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is the ideal frame for an outside corner in the NFL, standing at 6’2” and weighing 205 lbs. Banks consistently wins on the outside by relying on his upper body to overpower receivers. His punch allows him to neutralize his target in the early stages of press coverage. He also uses his strong upper body to force receivers to run along the sideline. This eliminates the space that the receiver has to operate in. If Banks does get beaten immediately off the snap, he has the downhill speed needed to make up his ground on deep routes.
I truly do not understand what some people see in Banks’ game. Although he is physically gifted, he lacks most of the tools needed to be effective in the NFL. Many of his weaknesses are reminding me of Akayleb Evans. Both of these players rely too heavily on their upper body to win in press. They also lack the lateral agility needed to cover the middle of the field.
Deonte Banks Player Comparison
As I just mentioned, Banks reminds me a lot of Akayleb Evans. A fellow DraftDive Analyst had many concerns surrounding Evans last season. If you want to see the proof, check out Ken’s Akayleb Evans scouting report. Although I believe that Banks has a higher ceiling than Evans, I have concerns about both of their production in the NFL.
Deonte Banks Scouting Report and Player Profile Analyst – Matthew Lewis