Today we are analyzing Ohio State’s 6’1″ 200 lb. cornerback Sevyn Banks, who has been garnering a lot of first round buzz lately ahead of his senior season with the Buckeyes. Is he worth the hype? Let’s dive into the tape!
Strengths: Banks offers good size and length at the cornerback position. He often uses his body well by crowding the receiver against the sideline. Banks is physical in coverage and often disrupts the receiver’s route well in the first five yards. He excels in press, combining the required physicality to jam the receiver with admirable fluidity to flip his hips without giving up any separation in transition. Banks is agile and quick to cover short routes out of press coverage as well. He is highly experienced in off coverage too, which he actually lines up in most often, and has been effective in this technique. Banks can use his length to break up a pass when he is aware that it is coming his way and has the potential to do so more consistently. Against the run, Banks shows solid effort and takes good paths to the football. He flashes the ability to use his hands and his strength to shed blocks. Banks’s fumble recovery against Nebraska and his interception against Clemson on a tipped pass show his high-level reflexes to make plays in these situations that require quick reactions and good football instincts.
Weaknesses: At this stage in his career, Banks has a lot of holes in his game. Banks is too soft in off coverage, allowing easy completions short and underneath. The receiver can bait Banks into giving him too much of a cushion by making him think he will go deep then coming back to the quarterback for an easy gain. While Ohio State may ask Banks to play deep off, he needs to close to receiver quicker. His route anticipation is still a work in progress, as Banks will try to match every movement the receiver makes and get fooled by the deceptive steps and misdirections the receiver commits, which causes him to lose ground. Banks also lacks deep speed. When the receiver begins to stretch the field vertically, Banks cannot keep up and resorts to grabbing. This also means he lacks recovery burst and speed when he initially allows separation. His tendency to give up ground against good route-running and his lack of recovery burst are a bad combination. Banks also struggles a lot at the catch point. He frequently fails to turn his head when the pass is coming in and the receiver beats him to the ball by being far more aware of its presence. This also severely limits his ability to make plays on the ball. It is far too common that receivers dominate Banks at the catch point. Banks is highly inexperienced in zone coverage.
Bottom Line: I’ve seen Banks as high as the top ten in mock drafts but I simply cannot buy it. His size, agility, and fluidity are significant pluses, and I believe he would benefit from being lined up in press coverage more often, where he has real potential. However, there are simply way too many flaws in Banks’s game currently. He gives way too big of a cushion in off coverage, lacks deep speed and resorts to grabbing on vertical routes, lacks route anticipation, and struggles mightily at the catch point. Banks will need a significant improvement in his play level to warrant a first round selection next spring.
- Cover Image: https://www.on3.com/teams/ohio-state-buckeyes/news/ohio-state-sevyn-banks-buckeyes-football-cornerback-depth-chart-high-school/