1. Second round, 43rd overall: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
I had graded Banks as a top 30 prospect in this year’s draft, and I think the main reason why he fell to the Buccaneers at 43 overall was his poor 40-yard dash time. He ran 4.59 at the Scouting Combine, then only improved it to a 4.57 at the Mississippi State pro day. You can’t coach speed, so teams likely dropped Banks down their board a bit because in the NFL, you have to have that 4.4 speed to hang with receivers. That being said, I think Banks more than makes up for his lack of timed speed with his game speed and length. He checks in at 6’2″ 185 pounds, so he is big, long, and lanky for a cornerback prospect. Banks is the type of guy who can get beat a little bit and make up for it with his length. He was the Jim Thorpe award winner last year as the nation’s top defensive back, and at one point in the draft process, some people thought that Banks could be the Bucs’ pick at #13 overall. He plays physical, and knows how to get his hands on the ball. Even though the Bucs used their first rounder to trade for Darrelle Revis, I feel like acquiring Banks in the second round is just as good as having another late first round choice. This is a great value for a team that needed help in its defensive backfield. I am impressed with the way Tampa Bay has addressed its secondary the last two years. Banks is projected as a backup to former big money free agent signing Eric Wright at CB opposite Revis–for now.