clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
New York Giants Offseason Workout
Deonte Banks taking part in a drill.
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Filed under:

‘Goldfish’ Deonte Banks learning from training camp ups and downs

First-round pick knows it’s ‘a big thing’ to bounce back from bad plays

First-round pick Deonte Banks has not been the best rookie in New York Giants training camp.

That has likely been wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, the third-round pick who has wowed thus far with big plays and shown he is more than just a fast guy.

Banks has not even been the best rookie cornerback, or at least not the one who has gotten the most attention.

That would be sixth-round pick Tre Hawkins III, who has earned some first-team reps with what defensive coordinator Wink Martindale called a “great camp.”

“I’m just kind of getting my body acclimated, getting my mind acclimated to how camp goes,” Banks told me after Friday’s practice. “This is my first time and I’m trying to get through it. Taking it day by day, trying to choose one thing I can get better at every day.”

Banks has had good and bad reps throughout training camp. The one below, with the rookie cornerback missing a jam at the line of scrimmage and being beaten badly by Darren Waller, has made the social media rounds.

Here is one of Banks’ best plays of camp, breaking up a pass intended for Darius Slayton:

What Banks has done throughout camp is simply lined up and continued to compete play after play, regardless of outcome.

“That’s a big thing,” Banks said. “When I lose reps you’ve just got to think next play mentality. You can’t win all of ‘em, but you should win the ones that you need to win.”

Head coach Brian Daboll said moving on and learning from poor plays is part of the process.

“Everybody’s had a bad play or multiple bad plays and people have had good plays,” Daboll said. “So training camp is about learning from your plays, learning from your mistakes, correcting your fundamentals, improving on your strengths, then really honing in on some of your weaknesses to try to make them your strengths.”

Banks’ competitiveness is one of the things the Giants loved when they scouted him.

“I go live and go see him play against Ohio State,” assistant GM Brandon Brown said. “I see him get beat by (wide receiver) Marvin Harrison Jr. the first play of the game and then line right back up and play relentless with effort the rest of the game. Then he ends the game and blocks a kick. I just think his competitiveness is something that you covet in our system, especially playing a lot of man.”

Martindale’s reaction on draft night to GM Joe Schoen trading up to get Banks with the 24th pick went viral.

Martindale has praised Banks at every opportunity.

In June, the defensive coordinator said this:

“He lives life like a goldfish. He’s got a short memory when things don’t go right. He’s tough minded, he’s physical, he can tackle and on top of that, he can run. So, we’re excited about it. He’s getting into the groove. There’re still some rookie mistakes, which you expect that, especially this early, but we’re really excited. I was obviously really excited that we got him. It was like winning a scratch-off ticket.”

This past week, Martindale was at it again:

“I think he’s been great. It’s one of those things – corners are on the island. You know what I mean? When you see, he’s on the island and this is the NFL. It’s 50/50 on the edge. He still has that mentality that if he gets knocked down nine times, he gets up 10 and doesn’t flinch. (He) listens, learns (and) Rome’s (secondary coach Jerome Henderson) doing a great job with him.”

Banks’ Saturday practice

I decided to watch each of Banks’ reps on Saturday. It turned out not to be a great night to focus on the rookie because there wasn’t much action going his way, but here are a few plays and thoughts.

  • Banks participated in six red zone 1-on-1 reps, four against Collin Johnson and two against Darius Slayton. The Giants were working on rub routes with two receivers involved, and the ball never went Banks’ way. Maybe because he was in good position.

In roughly 20 11-on-11 reps, the ball rarely found Banks. Again, was that because of what the rookie did right, or because the plays were just designed to go elsewhere? Impossible to know. Here are a couple of noteworthy plays.

  • Banks gave up two short receptions when he ended up matched up with tight end Darren Waller. One came when linebacker Micah McFadden blitzed and Banks had to jump inside to cover Waller. No harm on two short completions where Banks was in position to make an immediate tackle.
  • Banks got matched up against Waller, Daniel Bellinger, Isaiah Hodgins, Parris Campbell, Slayton, Saquon Barkley and Eric Gray at various times. The two balls Waller caught were the only receptions Banks surrendered.
  • Banks’ best play came against Bellinger. The second-year tight end ran a stick and go double move, and quarterback Daniel Jones threw a good ball to the corner of the end zone. Banks batted it away. Now, that wasn’t Waller or one of the front line wide receivers running that route, but it was a nice play.

All in all, it looked like a good night for Banks. No big plays surrendered, a nice pass breakup, and to my eyes he seemed to be where he was supposed to be.

Final thoughts

Sauce Gardner of the New York Jets set an unrealistic bar for rookie cornerbacks in 2022, when the No. 4 overall pick was named All-Pro and AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. Playing cornerback in the NFL, especially as a rookie, is not as easy as Gardner made it look.

“I wouldn’t say he wrecked it (in terms of increasing expectations for players like him),” Banks said. “He just had a great year.”

GM Joe Schoen said cornerback is “one of the hardest positions in football. You’re moving backwards, away from the ball, trying to cover (an) elite athlete. So it’s one of the most difficult positions, I think, in the NFL.”

Banks will experience ups and downs doing so as a rookie, just like he has through the first nine training camp practices of his career. What we’re learning about him, though, is that he seems level-headed about it all and he just keeps lining up and coming back for more.

NFL | From Cat Scratch Reader

Bryce Young is practicing today

NFL | From

Robert Saleh’s bizarre loyalty to Zach Wilson could cost him his job

NFL | From Silver And Black Pride

Josh McDaniels continues to make the argument against himself

View all stories in NFL