STRENGTHS - Banks has the height, long arms and smooth/fluid athleticism that NFL teams have been looking for to matchup with the big receivers in the league. Despite his thin frame, he flashes strength to jolt receiver and slow his release with jam, can flip hips and stays on man's hip all over the field in tight man coverage. When he keeps his knees bent and stays under control he can plant, drive and close quickly on passes in front of him and shows the ball skills to break up pass. Natural timing , body control and long arms help him to consistently reach in front of receiver to break up pass without committing penalty. When he plays aggressively and uses good form he is a good wrap-up/form tackler.
WEAKNESSES - More of a smooth/fluid athlete than a quick twitch one, Banks' explosiveness and speed to cover NFL receivers is a bit of a concern. In "off" and "zone" he loses focus at times and struggles to transition and close consistently, which leads to him just making tackles after the catch. This is definitely more of a concern after he struggled in the positional drills at Combine because it makes me wonder about his ability to change directions quickly enough to click and close well in the NFL. While he has the hips and athleticism to stay with most receivers in tight man, he lacks premier speed to stay with elite speed receivers deep and does not have the catch-up burst to recover when he allows separation. In spite of flashing the ability to be a good run support player, he needs to compete more on running plays away and needs to maintain his focus on technique to be a more consistent wrap-up tackler on runs to his side of the field. For a player who consistently shows the ball skills to break-up passes, I am concerned about Banks hands due to his lack of interceptions.
SUMMARY - One of the highest rated cornerbacks in the country according to National Football Scouting / Blesto coming into the 2012 season, Banks did not hold up to the scrutiny when we broke down the film closer to warrant a first round grade. There is no doubt that he has the height, long arms, body control and ball skills to be an effective press cornerback in the NFL, but if he does not play with better footwork in "off" and "zone" coverages he will struggle to carve out a long career as most teams play a lot of "cover 2" based schemes. You cannot write Banks off due to these inconsistencies because when he plays his best he reminds us of current Ravens' cornerback Jimmy Smith's play at Colorado. Overall, I do not think that Banks will be the first round pick he was expected to be entering the 2012 season, but he should be a second round pick because tall cornerbacks with good athleticism and ball skills are extremely tough to find. If he can become more consistent with his footwork and intensity/passion, Banks will become a good starting cornerback who breaks up a lot of passes and covers his man consistently well.