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2023 NFL Draft grades: Praise pours in for Giants Joe Schoen and Deonte Banks

The Giants continue to crush the first round of the draft

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NCAA Football: Maryland at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants, led by GM Joe Schoen, seem to continue to crush the first round of the draft with the selection of Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks at 24th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Schoen and the Giants were widely praised for their selections in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft as well. But getting good players when you have two picks in the top 10 of the first round, and getting a good player 20 picks later, are two very different things.

It’s a bit silly to grade a draft pick less than 12 hours after it’s made, and it should be understood that we might not know know good any of these picks are for a year or three.

But still, the Giants received pretty much unanimous praise for their work in the first round. Let’s see what the experts at the various outlets thought.

What Giants’ fans thought

We’ll start with our community right here, and I think we can safely say that the Big Blue View crowd loved the pick.

67 percent of respondents graded the selection of Deonte Banks as an “A”, while 27 percent graded the pick a “B”. I feel safe in saying that that averages out to a solid “A-”.

SB Nation

Stepping back to SB Nation as a whole, the pick remains popular. Joseph Acosta gave the Giants pick of Banks a “B+” for the pick.

Banks just feels like a Wink Martindale corner. Good height, long, extremely athletic and is confident in his press ability. He’ll swing and miss sometimes but he’s a very nice fit in New York and can operate next to Adoree Jackson. He’ll need to be coached a little more with his patience, but he’s a great CB for this defense.

Chad Reuter over at graded the selection of Banks as a “B+”. Reuter’s grade takes into account that the Giants traded up for Banks, saying:

Analysis: The Giants traded two Day 3 picks to move up from No. 25 to No. 24 to select Banks, a nice size/speed combination prospect who looked fluid during workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’ll likely line up outside as a rookie to bolster that group. Going with a corner here made sense, since the Giants missed out on the top receivers. The question is, will Banks be significantly better than the as-yet-undrafted Joey Porter Jr., who would have been available at the Giants’ original draft slot even if someone jumped up to No. 24 to grab Banks?

Yahoo Sports

Charles McDonald of Yahoo Sports is also high on Banks for the Giants, even in light of the trade. He graded the selection an “A-”, calling Banks a “perfect” fit for Wink Martindale’s defense.

Banks is the perfect type of cornerback for Wink Martindale’s scheme. He can strap up in man coverage, which is essential for the blitz-happy defensive coordinator. Banks isn’t a perfect fit for every team, but he certainly is for this one.

The Athletic

The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman isn’t quite as high on the pick as everyone else. He gave the pick a “B”, but also noted that Banks could be the right player to elevate the Giants’ secondary.

The Giants couldn’t sit back and wait for a player they needed to elevate their secondary, so they did the right thing and moved up one spot.

Muscular, fast, physical and smooth, Banks soared up draft boards after an under-the-radar but effective career at Maryland. Banks has 21 starts spread over four seasons but has only 10 over the past two years combined. He recorded one interception last year and defended nine passes with 38 tackles. According to PFF, Banks gave up 26 catches on 60 targets for 258 yards and four touchdowns.

But his measurables and combine results are top-shelf, as is his potential. Banks (6-0 1/8, 197) ran the 40 in 4.35 seconds, his 10-yard split was 1.45 seconds, and his 42-inch vertical led all cornerbacks. He’s physical and energetic. Chances are that more people would have heard about him had he not missed all but two games following shoulder surgery in 2021.

Pro Football Network

Ryan Gosling of the Pro Football Network noted that the pick of Banks by the Giants “just make[s] sense”. He too gave the selection a B+ saying,

Sometimes, things just make sense. After the run on wide receivers, it made sense for the Giants to shift their focus to the guys that cover them. Wink Martindale’s defense needs CBs who can line up in press and be reactive athletes in man coverage. That is exactly what Deonte Banks brings to the New York Giants’ defense.

But that’s not all he brings. Banks is an absolute dog against the run. He’s more than willing to fill a gap and take on a pulling lineman, and he loves smacking receivers in the mouth. There’s even video evidence of him pressing a receiver into the backfield. Banks must improve his consistency in the way he processes information in zone coverage, and he needs to stay healthy as well. But he is a great fit in New York.

CBS Sports

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports is a fan of the Giants’ first round pick as well. He graded the Giants’ decision to secure Banks as a long-term answer at corner a “B+”.

He’s an impressive man-cover player who will fit in perfectly with Wink Martindale’s defense. Banks is a cocky player who played his best against good players. I like this pick.

The 33rd Team

The scouting department over at The 33rd Team is high on the Giants’ first round pick as well. They gave the selection a “B+” grade, saying,

Deonte Banks (scouting report) is a physical corner with ideal size and high-level athletic tools. He’s a twitchy player with speed but does not have great ball production. The New York Giants needed help on the back end of their defense and landed a good fit for Wink Martindale’s defense.

Pro Football Focus

Somewhat annoyingly, Pro Football Focus isn’t handing out letter grades for draft picks, so I decided to save them for last.

They do like the selection of Banks by the Giants, though giving the pick a grade of “Very Good”. They said,

The third-best cornerback on the PFF big board, Banks can fly and clocked a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. An elite athlete, he has proven that he can mirror wide receivers in college and has the size teams look for at the position. He produced a 72.0 PFF grade in his final season at Maryland, the best of his college career.

Overall grade

Setting PFF’s “Very Good” aside, I wanted to take an average of the various draft grades. Overall, the grades of: A-, B+, B+, A-, B, B+, B+, B+ would work out to be a 3.36 GPA or just shy of passing the first round with an A-.

The concerns regarding Banks’ health are valid, particularly considering that those of us on the outside don’t have access to his medicals. However, Joe Schoen has shown plenty of confidence in the Giants’ strength and conditioning staff this offseason.

Now it’s on to Day Two to see how Schoen follows up and tries to sustain the success.

What we think

Nick and I took to the Live Stream to offer our thoughts on the Giants’ selection of Banks immediately after the pick was made, and while the draft was in the process of wrapping up. You can hear our thoughts here, and don’t forget to tune in after the Giants make their pick in the third round for our thoughts tonight.

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