Could Deonte Banks become Maryland’s highest drafted cornerback?

The 2023 NFL Draft is now hours away as former Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks remains in a position to hear his name called tonight.

After meeting with nearly every team through the draft process, Banks continues to fall in the middle of the first round in all of the latest mock drafts.

The Athletic: 14th, New England Patriots

CBS Sports: 16th, Washington Commanders

NFL.com: 17th, Pittsburgh Steelers

Yahoo Sports: 23rd, Minnesota Vikings

Sports Illustrated: 23rd, Minnesota Vikings

If Banks is drafted ahead of the Vikings’ pick at 23rd, he would become the highest-drafted defensive back in program history and the program’s first first-round pick since Darnell Savage was selected by the Packers in 2019. Maryland has an opportunity to have a second defensive back, Jakorian Bennett, likely drafted on day two, marking the first time since 1981 that the Terps have had two defensive backs drafted in the same draft.

Banks, a former three-star prospect out of Edgewood (MD), committed to Maryland under the Durkin regime but signed in Mike Locksley’s initial class as he ascended within the program under Henry Baker’s coaching.

“I remember getting that offer like it was yesterday,” Banks wrote as he reflects on his journey leading up to draft day. “My parents were with me in the head coach’s office, and I started to cry tears of joy when I got it. I committed about five days later. It was an easy decision. Maryland was always my dream school. It was the home school. It was always where I saw myself since I was a little kid. It was a dream come true.”

Banks started the final eight games of his true freshman season and never relinquished his starting job until he suffered a season-ending injury in the second game of the season in 2021.

As a junior, Banks registered nine pass break-ups and an interception, while not allowing a reception of over 30 yards when targeted. According to Pro Football Focus, Banks allowed only a 43.3-percent completion percentage when targeted this year by opposing offenses (26-for-60), the 18th-best mark in the nation and second-best in the Big Ten.

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