The New York Giants traded up in the first round of last year’s NFL draft to select Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks. Even though most experts saw Banks as a Day 2 pick, general manager Joe Schoen felt so strongly about him that they were willing to do what it took to not lose him.

Banks played 74 percent of the defensive snaps as a rookie last year — more than any other Giants corner — finishing fifth on the team in tackles (64), first in passes defensed (11- tied with Xavier McKinney), and recorded two interceptions.

On Thursday, at the Giants’ ninth OTA of their offseason program, head coach Brian Daboll spoke about Banks heading into Year 2.

“Obviously he played a lot for us last year. Liked him coming out of the University of Maryland. He’s another guy like (Jalin) Hyatt in terms of the more he plays, the more comfortable he’s gotten,” Daboll said. “He’s playing some different things here with our new defense, but he’s done a really good job I would say throughout the OTAs as well.”

Last year, Banks was entrusted with shadowing the opponents’ top wide receivers, an assignment usually reserved for more established and accomplished veteran corners. He’s up to the challenge.

“I love that. I shadowed a few receivers last year,” Banks told reporters this week. “I followed CeeDee (Lamb) in our second game, and I also followed (Garrett) Wilson.”

When asked if he saw that as a compliment, Banks quickly said, “Yes, for sure.”

But that was last year in coordinator Wink Martindale’s scheme. The Giants have a new coordinator in Shane Bowen this season and it’s uncertain if he will deploy Banks in the same fashion.

“I wouldn’t say I expect it, but if it happens, it happens. I’m cool with whatever,” Banks said before outlining the nuances.

“Probably playing not as aggressive. It’s still aggressive, but just not as aggressive. A little bit more zone. I guess you could say that… I really still have the same responsibility. I’m still pressing, still up close on the guy. It doesn’t really change that much.”

No matter how the Giants choose to use Banks, they have confidence in him holding down his side of the field. They also are showing confidence in their other young corners, such as Cor’Dale Flott, Tre Hawkins III, and rookie Andru Phillips, who will compete for jobs in training camp this summer.

“Yeah, good competition,” said Daboll. “Looks good. Jerome (Henderson) is doing a really good job with those guys. They are improving every day. It will be good to get out here in a month for training camp and get the pads on and let them compete it out.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here