CB on the Brain for Vikings in Latest PFF Mock Draft

Mock Draft Darling
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The 2023 Minnesota Vikings have draft needs at off-ball linebacker, interior defensive line, wide receiver, and possibly center.

But no need is as dire as cornerback, which is probably why mock-drafts-galore believe the franchise could spend its 23rd overall pick on a corner this April.

CB on the Brain for Vikings in Latest PFF Mock Draft

Pro Football Focus was the latest to do it, envisioning a Vikings selection of Deonte Banks on Monday, a CB from the University of Maryland.

CB on the Brain for
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PFF‘s Trevor Sikkema was the theorist and explained Banks-to-Vikings, “The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Banks stands out as a man coverage outside cornerback. He does lack consistency when it comes to mirroring off press coverage, but when he’s in sync, he’s one of the best cover cornerbacks in the class. The Vikings need to invest in a player like that on the outside.”

“Banks has all the physical traits of an All-Pro cornerback. He just needs to be more consistent with his technique,” he added.

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At 6’2″ and 205 pounds, Banks is a large physical corner in the mold of Xavier Rhodes of Vikings yesteryear. Choosing Banks with the 23rd pick is about where his draft stock stands before the NFL Combine, which kicked off this week.

Few Vikings fans would object to the selection of Banks — if the team does nothing at his position in free agency. For now, Minnesota employs Andrew Booth, Cameron Dantzler, and Akayleb Evans as possibly-startable cornerbacks, and that threesome doesn’t inspire much confidence in late February. In new defensive coordinator Brian Flores’ aggressive system, the Vikings need at least one “sure thing” at cornerback, and Booth-Dantzler-Evans ain’t it — at least not yet.

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

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The Draft Network, though, described Banks as a “physically impressive cornerback with plus-level height and length. He also has rare reactionary athleticism for a corner his size, showing the ability to flip his hips run vertical, then sink his hips and break back downhill toward the ball.”

Last week, NFL.com also mock-drafted Banks to the Vikings. Daniel Jeremiah noted, “Banks has good size, and I think you’ll see his stock rise as the evaluation process unfolds. The cornerback is physical and tough.”

The Vikings had tremendous luck with their last Maryland draftee — Stefon Diggs.

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.