A Top CB Prospect Met with Vikings

Dustin Baker's 1st-Round Draft Prediction for Vikings
NFL Draft

Throughout the three-month lead-up to the 2023 NFL Draft, which culminates in one week, one name is arguably the most popularly linked prospect to the Minnesota Vikings.

He’s Maryland’s Deonte Banks, and he met with the Vikings recently, perhaps a signal that all the mock drafts will be correct.

A Top CB Prospect Met with Vikings

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Wednesday, “Maryland CB Deonte Banks, who has had meetings or visits with nearly every team, ends his tour with the Bills today, source said. He’s also visited the Saints, Commanders, Titans, Vikings, Raiders, Texans, Giants, Bucs, Eagles, Jaguars, Bears, and Steelers.”

A Top CB Prospect Met
Nov 5, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Maryland Terrapins defensive back Deonte Banks (3) reacts following a play during the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

So, Banks has plenty of suitors — about half the league as of late if Rapoport’s tweet is a reasonable indicator — but Minnesota lives in a draft spot to possibly grab Banks. Some believe he’ll be wiped off the board before No. 23, the Vikings spot, but various mock drafts think the Terrapin will still be there.

The Vikings are tentatively expected to trade the 23rd overall pick, stockpiling assets near the end of the round, into Round 2, or later in Round 3. The strategy may complicate the Banks prediction, but there’s also a world where Banks dips to the latter part of the 1st Round.

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before a wild card game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Banks scripted a magnificent NFL Combine in February, and that did not hurt his momentum to be selected early in the draft one bit. Banks produced the following marks in Indianapolis:

  • 40-yard: 4.35 (92nd percentile)
  • Vert: 42″ (97th percentile)
  • Broad: 11’4” (98th percentile)

At 6’2″ and tipping scales at 205 pounds, Banks is a beefy physical corner in the mold of Xavier Rhodes of yesteryear’s Vikings. He excels in press coverage, and Minnesota will need such defensive commodities to make Brian Flores’ defense hum in the fall. Banks is an ideal candidate for the job — so much so that if it’s not him or draft-mate Joey Porter, then who? The Vikings employ Byron Murphy, Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, newcomer Joejuan Williams, Tay Gowan, and Kalon Barnes at CB with the draft one week away, and the group needs more oomph. Banks can be the oomph.

Mock Draft Darling
Oct 15, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Maryland Terrapins defensive back Deonte Banks (3) intercepts a ball meant for Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Andison Coby (10) during the second half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports.

Last month, ESPN’s Jordan Reid told Vikings reporter Gabe Henderson, “Deonte Banks from Maryland — he’s one I would put a gold star beside if I was Vikings fans. I think he’s going to be a name you see projected to the Vikings.”

Banks tallied 38 total tackles, 8 passes defended, and 1 interception in 2022, his final season as a Terrapin. The knock on him is injury, as he played just 30 games in college. He’s also said to lack explosiveness and closing speed.

The last time Minnesota drafted a man from the University of Maryland, it all worked out — Stefon Diggs in 2015.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.