The Phinsider's video review of 2013 NFL Draft prospects continues with a look at Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks--a long, physical cover man who could be the second corner drafted this April.
As far as college cornerbacks go, 2013 has been Dee Milliner's year thus far. The Alabama cover man was highly impressive against Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert during the BCS Championship Game two weeks ago, and he's almost a shoo-in to be the first cornerback selected in this year's NFL Draft. Some current mocks have Milliner going as high as No. 4 overall to Philadelphia, and few have him falling out of the top 10.
Milliner wasn't the only outstanding cover man to light up college football in 2012, though. His SEC counterpart, Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks, turned plenty of heads last season (and not just because his first name is deliberately misspelled), serving as the heart and soul of the Bulldogs' upstart defensive bunch. Banks' skill set and frame are right in line with what many NFL defenses currently covet: good height, long arms and exceptional speed paired with keen instincts and a total willingness to step up and get after the run. Like Milliner, Banks is still developing as a man-coverage defender; however, both prospects possess the agility, awareness and strength to become very good press corners at the NFL level if given the right coaching. Banks' ability to knock receivers off their routes really developed throughout this season, and he flashed very good recognition and closing speed against quick hitters and short routes.
Milliner may be slightly ahead of Banks in terms of pure technique, but it's the latter who is superior as a ball hawk and blitzer, and that's what makes him worthy of a selection of a top 20 selection. If the Dolphins like what they see in Banks, they might be able to trade down a bit and still land him. Given Miami's current corner group, the team could do so much worse than Johnthan Banks right now. But could they do better? That remains to be seen.
Note: As I've stated several times in the comment section below, the brief nature of this highlight reel is due to the fact that it is the only Banks video on YouTube that doesn't feature a soundtrack containing offensive language. If you want to see more of Banks' stuff from 2012, feel free to peruse the content at your own discretion.