Johnthan Banks Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February – 9 – 2013

Johnthan Banks I Mississippi St. I CB I 6012 I 185 I Senior

"Johnthan Banks"


40 Time (E): 4.50

Overview: It’s hard to find a more experienced starter at the CB position than Johnthan Banks. Banks has almost four years of starting experience in Starkville against SEC competition. He played safety as a freshman before converting full time to a starting CB for Mississippi St. He’s a long, lean athlete that teams rarely challenged because of his ball skills. He lined up a lot into the boundary with teammate Darius Slay playing as a field corner. Many draft analysts have Banks as a first round pick but I have questions about certain aspects of his game that have led me to grade him out as a second round prospect.

Man Coverage: Banks has the length to play with bigger receivers at the next level. He shows excellent technique in his backpedal with the ability to plant and drive on the ball. He shows very good ball skills and excels when the ball is in the air. I have concerns with Banks in man coverage against speed. His backpedal is too high, flips his hips well, but I think he can be beat by vertical speed. A lot of wasted movement with his feet in the transition from backpedal to break. Don’t love him in press situations as he struggles with the transition from jam to running with the receiver. For such a long limbed athlete I expected more pop and carry from him but didn’t see it with any sort of frequency.

Zone Coverage: Banks could excel at the next level as a zone corner. Heavy zone teams may take a long look at Banks early in the draft. Excels in pattern reading and sinking into the hole. Excellent reactionary skills as a lot of his interceptions come off reacting to the QB’s eyes and anticipating the pattern. He’s a better player with the ball in front of him rather than playing with his back to the ball.

Run Support: Not a great tackler as his technique is far from perfect but isn’t afraid to stick his nose into the action. Tackles too high and misses tackles. That said, he does a great job of locking out on blockers, reading the action, and shedding to get into the tackle. For this reason, I think he could be a more than adequate tackler at the next level at the cornerback position.

Size/Strength/Athleticism: Great size for the position from a height standpoint. He could stand to add some mass to his frame. He’s a wiry build with long, lean musculature. Another five pounds would be beneficial for Banks if it didn’t compromise his speed. He will be one to watch at the Combine when he runs his 40. I didn’t see great long speed, struggled to keep up with Alshon Jeffery on vertical route in 2011. I would like to see a high 4.4, low 4.5 but have a feeling that he could run high 4.5 to low 4.6 based on what I see on tape. Vertical speed is definitely a question mark when it comes to Banks.

Bottom Line: I really think it comes down to scheme fit for Banks. I don’t see him excelling in a system that plays a lot of man coverage. A heavy zone team could value Banks very highly. He has a knack for finding the football when it’s in front of him and plays with his eyes as well as any corner in the draft. He could have really benefitted by playing in the Senior Bowl and showing that he could match up with top receivers in 1-on-1 drills. Concerned with taking him in the first round given the questions about his lack of pure coverage ability. If I’m a heavy zone based system, I don’t have a problem taking this guy in the top 20.