2023 NFL Draft

NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein Has Steelers Selecting Athletic CB In New Mock Draft

With the NFL Combine all wrapped up, it’s time for the latest editions of mock drafts to come out.

We posted several new renditions to our own mock drafts yesterday on the site based on the new information we gathered from the NFL Combine, and now other draft analysts are doing the same thing, taking their best shot at first round mocks as they attempt to pair prospects with teams based on information that they gathered during their time in Indianapolis.

While many “draft analysts” stick to the status quo names for Pittsburgh, NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein recently published his latest mock draft and gave the Pittsburgh Steelers a name that hasn’t been often mentioned at #17 overall: Maryland CB Deonte Banks.

“Banks obliterated the testing in Indy, pushing himself up the draft board. His scheme versatility gives the Steelers coverage flexibility,” Zierlein said on the pick of Banks.

As you can see above, I found out that the Steelers did conduct a formal interview with Banks at the Combine, one step in the “Blues Clues” test for Pittsburgh and players they consider taking in the first round. As Zierlein mentioned above, Banks also impressed in the athletic testing portion of the workout, posting an official 40-yard dash time of 4.35-seconds with a 10-yard split time of 1.49-seconds. He also registered an amazing 42-inch vertical jump to go along with an equally impressive broad jump of 11’4″. He also passes the eye test from a measurables perspective, standing 6001, 197-pounds with 31 3/8-inch arms and 9 3/8-inch hands.

Deonte Banks’ impact on the stat sheet has been relatively light during his time in college, posting 83 total tackles (61 solo), 0.5 TFLs, two INTs, and 11 PBUs in four seasons and 28 games played. Still, he has all the physical tools you look for in an outside CB, having the size, athleticism, and skill set to play press man coverage and matchup with some of the bigger, more physical receivers on the outside.

With Banks being a Maryland product, there’s a good chance that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin already knew quite a bit about the young since his son, Dino Tomlin, started his college career at Maryland prior to transferring to Boston College. The Steelers have shown interest in plenty of Maryland kids over the years, having drafted OT Derwin Gray, S Antoine Brooks Jr., and Anthony McFarland Jr. in just the last few seasons. OC Matt Canada was on staff at Maryland when Banks was a freshman as well, only providing more familiarity for Pittsburgh.

Being that Pittsburgh is a team that often drafts players based on familiarity and previous connections, Banks certainly checks a lot of those boxes and should be a name to watch at #17 or #32 going forward.

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