The Pittsburgh Steelers could be going back to the Maryland well. Showing interest in almost all the top corners in this year’s class, a new report suggests the team thinks highly of cornerback Deonte Banks, a name that hasn’t gotten much buzz early in the first round but could be a good bet to land inside the top 20.
The Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora says Banks is held in high regards by several teams, including the Steelers.
“Maryland corner Deonte Banks didn’t do much at his pro day athletically, but he didn’t have to. He is crushing his interviews and visits and could be the third corner off the board. The Commanders, Steelers and Ravens, among others, love him, and I don’t think he gets past the teens. …”
Of course, as I’m sure you’ll make clear in the comments before, this is Jason La Canfora. He isn’t known to be the world’s most reliable insider though to his credit, hinted at the Terrell Edmunds pick that surprised so many. But Banks has had a solid pre-draft process with great athletic testing. At just over 6’0, 197 pounds, he blazed a 4.35 40, jumped 42 inches in the vert and 11’4″ in the broad for a historically strong RAS score. In fact, according to Kent Lee Platte, it was the second best RAS score ever by a corner, only trailing Zyon McCollum’s output last year.
While Pittsburgh had light attendance at his Terps Pro Day (as La Canfora mentions, Banks did not go through drills), he was brought in for a visit, signaling a level of pre-draft interest.
In our pre-draft scouting report, we highlighted Banks’ ability to press and jam at the line of scrimmage and his great ability to defend vertical throws. However, we noted a little bit of stiffness in his change of direction along with him not being the most willing tackler. Here’s how we concluded his game.
“Given his tightness, he’s an ideal fit in a Cover 3 scheme where he can carry and match routes vertically while not having to break down and defend in-cuts. He can use his closing speed and size to drive on comebacks and curls and keep a lid over the top. Banks is more of a linear athlete with clear talent and hasn’t played a ton of football over the last three years, just 19 games, so there should be more meat on the bone when it comes to rounding out his play.”
Our NFL comp to him was Kaiir Elam.
Banks is one of several top round corners the Steelers have looked at and it’s certain they’re going to draft one early, within their top three picks. They’ve also done their homework on Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr., Kansas State’s Julius Brents, Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes, and Georgia’s Kelee Ringo among others.
We’ll see if La Canfora’s prediction comes true on draft day, which will be held two weeks from tomorrow. You can read our full report on Banks below.