Giants select Maryland CB Deonte Banks at No. 24 in first round of NFL draft after trading up a spot

Joe Schoen got a corner for Wink Martindale.

The Giants GM traded up one spot to No. 24 overall on Thursday night and took Maryland corner Deonte Banks on the heels of a wide receiver run from picks 20 through 23.

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Schoen gave the Jacksonville Jaguars picks No. 25, 160 (fifth round) and 240 (seventh round) to move up one spot to help his secondary.

Banks, 22, is a physical 6-foot, 197-pounder who has the size and athleticism to play press man coverage on the outside in Martindale’s defensive scheme.

His selection addresses a major need on Brian Daboll’s roster, where the Giants were lacking anyone reliable behind veteran Adoree Jackson.

The board broke pretty well for the Giants.


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The first receiver didn’t come off the board until No. 20 overall, when the Seattle Seahawks picked Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba. A lot of the top corners and receivers got pushed down the board by several developments:

Three quarterbacks went in the top four. Six defensive players came off the board in the seven picks from 13 through 19. The Detroit Lions took a running back and an inside linebacker with their two picks in the top 18.

It was setting up for the Giants to possibly pick a playmaker or a corner at No. 25, but then four straight wideouts came off the board in a row: Smith-Njigba to Seattle, TCU’s Quentin Johnston to the Chargers at 21, Boston College’s Zay Flowers to the Baltimore Ravens at 22 and USC’s Jordan Addison to the Minnesota Vikings at 23.

Flowers might have been the Giants’ pick if he slipped to 25, but he never made it there. It’s possible that seeing their preferred players fly off the board so close to them coaxed Schoen into the trade one spot up the board to make sure he got his guy.

The Giants still are expected to take a playmaker somewhere in the early rounds, and they need to address the center position, too. But Banks, who ran a 4.35 40-yard dash and made 21 starts and 30 appearances across four college seasons, can help this team immediately.

In a division facing the Eagles’, Cowboys’ and Commanders’ receiving corps, with a pressure-based defensive scheme that trusts its corners to handle their business, a corner was a must early in this draft to help the Giants’ coverage.

They’ll probably draft more corners, actually, before the weekend is done.


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