There was much belief the Giants would draft a wide receiver at No. 25 overall. Especially when each of the top four in the class lasted until No. 20.
But after the top names came off the board consecutively from picks 20-23, the Giants pivoted to their other major need: cornerback. And following a trade-up that saw Big Blue give Jacksonville the No. 25, 160, and 240 selections, GM Joe Schoen took Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks.
It was understandable to desire a receiver or tight end in this draft to add to the various offensive acquisitions already made this offseason. But cornerback was arguably a bigger need than either of those two spots.
Adoree’ Jackson is set to start at one of the boundary spots, but the other starting role has too many question marks. In coordinator Wink Martindale’s blitz-heavy, man-heavy scheme, the Giants couldn’t roll the dice with Aaron Robinson, Cor’Dale Flott, or Rodarius Williams for the entire 2023 campaign.
Will Banks start right away? Well, we may have to wait and see. But in a passing league, with Dak Prescott and Jalen Hurts in the division, the Giants needed to address a glaring weakness at such a crucial position.
Banks is a physical corner who is at his best in press-zone coverage, has the length and strength to reroute receivers off the line (although his technique will need to improve) and shows the fluidity to flip his hips and run with anyone vertically. He has very quick feet and lateral agility for a bigger corner. Banks’ ball production wasn’t great at Maryland, but he has flashed good ball skills. He does get into trouble when his back is to the ball and he tries to turn and locate. Banks is the most reliable tackler at cornerback on tape this year, and he plays with an aggressive mindset and excellent motor.