Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks concluded his top-30 pre-draft tour with a visit to Orchard Park, NY and the Buffalo Bills. NFL Insider Ian Rapoport shared the news that Banks was set to meet with the team, his last stop during a very busy spring ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.
#Maryland CB Deonte Banks, who has had meetings or visits with nearly every team, ends his tour with the #Bills today, source said. He's also visited the #Saints, #Commanders, #Titans, #Vikings, #Raiders, #Texans, #Giants, #Bucs, #Eagles, #Jaguars, #Bears, and #Steelers.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2023
Deonte Banks has been projected as a late first-round or early second-round prospect, and nearly every NFL team has prioritized speaking with him in some capacity. With Buffalo scheduled to pick at 27, he could be an option for general manager Brandon Beane and company. Cornerback may appear of less concern having drafted both Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford last April. But, depending how the draft falls, their options and thoughts about trading up or down, and where they find the best value with their initial pick — yes, Banks could be on the Bills’ radar.
At the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, Banks ran a blistering 4.35-second 40-yard dash, and a 1.49-second 10-yard split. He added a 42” vertical jump, and 11’4” broad jump at this year’s combine.
In four seasons with the Terrapins, Banks made 83 tackles (half a tackle for loss), half a sack, two interceptions, and defended 11 passes in 28 games.
Banks has elite traits to be a CB1 in the NFL, with outstanding athleticism, instincts, size, and physicality to hold his own on the perimeter against teams’ best receivers. Banks is another defensive back with a lot of experience and versatility, which we know head coach Sean McDermott prefers in almost every player on his roster.
Scouts and analysts knock Banks’ play when his back is toward the football. He’s often left scrambling to regroup. As such, opposing offenses could find success against him when utilizing routes that turn and confuse Banks — which could make him penalty-prone in the NFL. Additionally, Banks lacks the same type of production usually found in top cornerbacks. To Banks’ credit, quarterbacks posted an average rating of just 77.8 in four years of competition against him.
Does Deonte Banks fit the Bills? If Buffalo drafts Deonte Banks at 27, they’ll land a player who’ll likely play well above his draft position. Choosing him would signal the move to simply draft for “best player available” when the clock begins to tick. In a draft with so many unknowns, Banks represents a known commodity as future CB1 in the NFL. Would he help the team now? That’s the biggest question and reason to pause should he be available. It’s also possible another team covets him in that spot and offers the Bills a favorable trade option.
(Stats courtesy of Sports Reference)