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Prospect: Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi St.
By Clint Clearwater
NFL Draft Director and Senior Writer
October 15, 2012

Ht: 6-1 Wt: 185 40: 4.42

Strengths:  I love his size, very impressive.  Has long arms.  Able to cover big receivers.  Some of the plays I seen him make really get me excited to see what he does at the next level.  He’s a playmaker; whether it’s intercepting the football or stripping it, he’s always looking for an opportunity.  He also has soft hands.  Has a good jam at the line of scrimmage during press coverage.  Pretty good at man to man coverage, his hips get a little stiff at times but overall pretty good.  Has solid zone coverage skills as well, good back pedal, keeps his eyes on the QB, breaks on the football.   He has good instincts.  Effective blitzer with playmaking ability when rushing the passer.  Able to return punts.  Love his experience; 3 year starter at CB in the SEC.  I believe he will be able to play immediately in the NFL.       

Weaknesses:  He’s got the size to be very physical and he often is, but I want to see more consistency. I really hate some of tape I’ve seen where he has the opportunity to make a big tackle, but instead tries to arm tackle. Poor technique. He does overpursue at times. Quickness needs to be more consistent. Like I said earlier, his hips seen a little stiff at times; but at his size, I don’t see that as a huge concern.

Summary: I really like Banks as a prospect.  I love his size, skill set and his ability to make game-changing plays.  Above all else though, as a scout, I really love his experience.  Seeing 3 years of experience playing corner in the SEC means a lot to me.  He has gone up against elite competition and proved he belongs there.  I believe he is only going to get better too.  However, there is no perfect prospect, and Banks has his issues that show on film.  He is not as physical as you would expect from a big corner.  He needs to step it up in the ground game and learn to tackle properly on a daily basis.  Speed and quickness also look like areas of doubt for me too.  I saw a couple times on film Banks get burned by fast receivers.  However, Jonathan Banks has been very strong so far this year, making big plays to help his team and I believe his stock is on the rise.  He’s got incredible potential and the size that NFL teams love.  Right now, I have a late first round grade on him, but if he continues his impressive play, he could be rising up on my big board.

Draft Projection:  Late 1st round