Sitting at pick No. 25, New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen knew he might have to be aggressive to make sure the Giants got one of the players they wanted in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. That is exactly what played out as the Giants moved up one spot in a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars to select Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks.
“The way it went down and the way the board fell, we were getting depleted. So it [the trade up] was the right thing to do for us,” Schoen said after the selection. “We do a lot of research on team needs, and what people need behind us, and including the team that we traded with. So that was a scenario we put together early in the day if we got there, and we were worried about anybody else coming up to that position. We had something in place with Jacksonville and it worked out.”
Schoen admitted that “it got pretty tense” as the Giants watched the top four wide receivers — Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Quentin Johnston, Zay Flowers and Jordan Addison — get selected from picks 20-23.
“We had a lot of irons in the fire, whether it’s moving up, moving back,” Schoen said. “We had a lot of opportunities to move out of 25 if we would have stayed there.”
After the Minnesota Vikings selected Addison at No. 23, Banks and another cornerback, Joey Porter Jr., of Penn State, remained on the board. With a clear idea which player they preferred, the Giants moved up to get their guy.
“You guys know Wink’s defense and what he likes, and Deonte fits that mold to a T,” Schoen said. “He [Martindale] was ecstatic.”
It’s fair to say Wink Martindale was excited to see Deonte Banks as the pick pic.twitter.com/iDidLquHHP— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) April 28, 2023
Martindale, of course, plays a pressure-heavy scheme that requires press-man cornerbacks with size, speed and length.
“He’s [Banks] a prototype from a size standpoint. He’s athletic. He’s physical. He can run. He ran 4.32 at the Combine. He has arm length, big hands. He’s been a four-year starter. He was hurt a year ago but he has played a lot of ball there at Maryland and schematically, he’s a good fit,” Schoen said. “And we spent a lot of time with him. Met with him at the Combine. He’s a guy that, you know, we went down to the pro day, and we spent a good amount of time with him, and again we felt comfortable with him.”
.@TerpsFootball @IamDeonteBanks_ @Jakorian23 all you “draft experts” out there….take an hour and go rewatch the Terps v Buckeyes game from this year and watch Banks & Bennett play press man coverage with No Fear….NFL style…so fun; so impressive. #nfldraft #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/3wkOwnJ4Az— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) April 11, 2023
“You can never have enough good corners,” added head coach Brian Daboll. “This is a passing league, we have a tough division, and Tae, he’s a tall, lengthy press man-to-man corner who we had graded high. I’m happy we have him.
“He was around the ball quite a bit. There was a lot of pass breakups. He can match receivers. Again, it’s new for all these young guys coming in, but I think he’s a good player.”