Defensive back Deonte Banks became the first Maryland football player off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft Thursday when he was selected No. 24 overall by the New York Giants.
Banks is the first Maryland player taken in the first round of the NFL draft since Darnell Savage was taken No. 22 overall by the Green Bay Packers in 2019. He is the 11th Terp selected in the first round in the common draft era — since 1967 — and the highest draft selection out of Maryland since D.J. Moore was selected No. 24 overall in 2018.
Banks was the fourth cornerback taken in this year’s draft.
“The Giants are getting a truly special player and person,” Maryland head coach Michael Locksley said in a release. “I know Deonte has been dreaming of this moment ever since being a kid growing up in Baltimore. I’ve seen firsthand the hard work and tireless effort he’s put into becoming a great player and teammate. I’m so proud of him and elated for his entire family.”
Banks was a key component of the Terps’ secondary for four years, despite missing most of his junior season with an injury. The Baltimore native was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention last season after an outstanding senior campaign. In 2022, he had an interception, blocked extra point, 38 total tackles and nine pass breakups.
It was at the combine, though, where Banks caught the eyes of scouts and rocketed up draft boards. He posted the sixth-best vertical jump by a cornerback in 17 years and finished atop the leaderboard in his position in the broad jump. To cap it off, he ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash, which ranked fifth among all combine participants.
The Giants had the 13th-best pass defense in the league last season under first-year defensive coordinator Wink Martindale. Banks will hope to line up alongside New York’s top cornerback, Adoree’ Jackson.
Banks became the fifth Maryland defensive back to join the current ranks of the NFL, joining Savage, Nick Cross, J.C. Jackson and Tino Ellis.