Jonathan Banks

March 29th, 2013 | Written by Kip Earlywine

Once considered among the best corners in the 2013 draft, Jonathan Banks’ draft stock might be in trouble after clocking a 4.61 in the forty at the combine.  Consider that just three other corners ran in the 4.6s, and of those three only Cal’s Marc Anthony is expected to be drafted (in the 7th round).  General managers tend to have a “cutoff point” system, which is part of the reason the Seahawks got Russell Wilson in the 3rd round last year.  You’d have to think that cutoff point for corner speed would be faster than a 4.61.

Since we don’t know what the actual NFL draft boards will look like, we can only hazard a guess as to how much his stock will suffer.  Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated has excellent NFL connections and had the most accurate big board last year.  I don’t know how good his connections are this year, but he now has Jonathan Banks all the way down at #63, which potentially puts him in play for Seattle at #56.  I think Seattle is pretty unlikely to draft a corner this early, but Banks is a player worth looking into given Seattle’s scheme and how it de-emphasizes corner speed.

Banks has excellent tape.  I think he made a mistake running the forty at the combine.  You wouldn’t suspect speed problems based on what he did on the field.  Had he forced teams to grade him just from his tape, I’m pretty sure he’d be a mid-first rounder.  In three games I don’t recall him ever being burned by a receiver even once.

Mississippi State used Banks in many ways.  They had him blitz quite often and even lined him up as an outside linebacker a few times.  He even returned punts.  I know it’s cliche, but Banks really is a “football player” in the truest sense.  No matter how Mississippi State used him, Banks looked natural in every task given.

One of the things that stands out about Banks is how quick his feet are.  He can plant and explode with good short area quickness.  He chops his feet very well and is tough for ball carriers to dodge in the open field.  His backpedal is pretty to look at.  He keeps his hips down too.

When Banks is allowed to face the quarterback, he shows excellent ball skills, hands, and return ability after the interception.

I should clarify something I said earlier- when I say Banks has good short area quickness, I really mean he has a quick first step or two.  If he has to close a five to ten yard gap, his closing speed appears to be below average.  That can be a bit of a problem in coverage sometimes- he’s not able to make the kinds of plays that require closing a moderate amount of space in very little time.  Banks could end up being limited in zone coverage, especially when compared to alternatives like Robert Alford.

Banks is a big hitter and usually a good tackler, though he often goes for the hit instead of wrapping up, and in one instance that led to a touchdown given up on a kickoff.

I think Seattle will like Jonathan Banks a lot.  Not only do they value speed less at corner, but they value long arms a lot more than most teams do- viewing arm length as a compensating factor for speed.  Jonathan Banks has 33⅞” arms- that’s enough arm length to play offensive tackle.  Demetrius McCray of Appalachian State has the same arm length, but no other corner comes within even a full inch of arm length.  When considering the arm length, Seattle might view Banks as effectively having the coverage ability of a 4.55 player.  Banks is a physical player the defends the run well and provides added value as a blitzer.  Pete Carroll likes to blitz his corners.

I think a late round player like McCray is more likely to be a Seahawk than Banks for many reasons, but if the Seahawks love Banks polished skillset and feel they can afford to draft whatever they want in the late 2nd round, Banks at #56 could be a possibility.

13 Responses to “Jonathan Banks”

  1. MattyB says:

    I see drafting a corner later in the draft is definitely more likely but we never know with PCJS. They have had great luck drafting corners late but i believe when Browners contracts up, he will be gone because the best position Pete knows is corner. That being said I see the future replacement being a late round pick or someone already on the roster (lane, thurmond). Banks is intriguing though but i still think we draft DT with the 1 year signings this offseason and setting up for the future but with this team..who knows!

  2. Nolan says:

    While I am no in love with Banks I would prefer him to Eddie Lacy who Rob mocked to us in the last mock draft. I think corner provides a better value for the Hawks because of Browners impending free agency, so if they think Banks can be Browners hier apperent then I say draft him. I really like Sanders Commings though so I hope they go else were then Banks in round 2.

  3. Burner says:

    Why is everyone so convinced Browner will be going? He owes Pete Carroll an awful lot for plucking him from obscurity and his Adderall shenanigans will seriously deflate his market. Maybe I’m being wildly optimistic but I can see him giving us a serious home town discount to stay on board. He looks like he loves the team to me. That’s of course if we can squeeze him under the cap along with everyone else.

    What do you know about this Demetrius McCray? We took a 5th round flyer on another Appalachian state product Mark LeGree a couple of drafts back, maybe history can repeat itself.

    • Dylon says:

      I think people see BB on the way out due to a few reasons. He’s getting up there in age he’s right on the cusp of 30 (I believe he his 28 or 29). He’s viewed as more of a liability, he gets burnt on double moves by shifter WR’s like amendola or Titus young. Though to be fair neither of them are in our division and they’ve burned all of our corners anyway. I think people want to see PC/JS maximize his value by trying to get more draft picks for him now rather him sitting around on the roster a la truant.

  4. Hawkfin says:

    I’m torn on Banks. There’s a lot to like with him I think. The speed really is the major question mark. The article sums up my feelings pretty much. I think he has the potential to be a top corner, and I rated him around the 4th or 5th best CB overall. But, he does blitz a lot. I personally don’t see us blitzing our corners very often or at all. This might mean Banks is not really tested as much in coverage, since it always seems like he’s on a blitz. Overall though, I like Banks.

    I would probably pass on him in the 2nd though. LB/DT more important I think, plus I kind of feel Banks would make a better fit to replace Browner like others maybe say we should do.

    However, my feeling is there’s an outside shot Browner stays with us for awhile and it would be better to get a corner that is “shifty” with Potential to be a “shutdown”. Lane could probably replace Browner. We need a “fast corner”, and Banks does not fit that bill I don’t think. Or at least his timed speed says it doesn’t.

    Like Dylon said above – The Welker’s or Amodalla’s or fast twitchy guy’s who do lots of slats seem to bother us. I’d like to see a nickle corner come in that’s speedy to take on this type. And I think that could maybe be filled with a late pick instead.
    OR if you want the tall guy late there is Sanders Commings that I probably like just as much.

  5. Cysco says:

    Sounds like Flynn to Raiders is a done deal.

    So, where do we go for a back-up QB?

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      It’s gotta be a short list, and I’ll bet that Vince Young is not only on it, he’s probably pretty high up. His problems in the NFL have everything to do with work ethic and maturity, not ability. If ever there was a coach and a program that could deal with this stuff, surely it’s PC and the ‘Hawks.

      It wouldn’t be a long term solution because I don’t think Young’s ego would let him remain a perennial backup. However, I do think he would be willing to backup RW for at least 1, if not 2, seasons. Certainly enough time for RW’s work ethic to rub off on him.

  6. Attyla the Hawk says:

    Intriguing.

    I remember thinking very early in the process during the college season that we might take Banks in the late first round. He seems to have suffered a pretty significant fall off, although not as precipitous as Amerson took over this year.

    Banks consistently displayed a lot of qualities that I think would have made him attractive in Seattle. Beyond the measurables which are merely average for Seattle but good by NFL standards.

    I can’t wait for this draft to unfold. It’s so unpredictable.

  7. Ukhawk says:

    Kip. Thanks for the Banks write up as promised. I Love this guy too! Certainly epitomises the difference between evaluating games vs workouts. Check out this write up, if this doesn’t get people excited nothing will: http://nfldraftsite.sportsblog.com/post/14/scoutin_report_mississippi_state_cb.html
    All-SEC 1st team! Jim Thorpe award winner!! returned punts !! 120 tackles, 4FF in last 2 seasons!! Play all 4 years, ‘Played safety’!! ‘Great at jump balls’!! ‘Playmaker’. Only major question mark I see is that he didn’t play a ton of press coverage. Nevertheless, do think they should prioritise replacing browner over a slot guy but banks could do it in the slot based on his varied experience.

    Denard robinson, Jonathan banks, keep the gems coming Kip

  8. Michael (CLT) says:

    I approve of this selection :)

  9. fijihawk says:

    Nice article, would really consider this a steal if he’s there in the 3rd! On a side note the correct spelling of his name is Johnthan not the traditional Jonathan as you and many others on draft sites have.

  10. bleedshawkblue says:

    I could definitely see Browner getting replaced by a speedier version, and moving over to a third safety spot, as Woodson and the likes of Deon freakin’ Grant have won championships doing it. Big Play Browner, anyone?

    Also, how much 10 yard closing speed does a slot corner need to have? Rush DT seems a bigger need than replacing Leroy, as Smith et al were at least somewhat capable, and slot corner seemed to be the biggest weakness on the back end.