Johnthan Banks: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Mississippi State CB
Johnthan Banks was a pivotal part of Mississippi State's defense throughout his time in Maroon colors. Considering what conference the Bulldogs play in, the feat is even more impressive.
Speculation about Banks is very mixed. There are some who believe he is a first-round talent, while others imply that he may fall into the third round.
So what should teams know about the young corner?
Hometown: Maben, MS
High School: Maben East Webster High School
College: Mississippi State University
It was a good decision for Johnthan Banks to stay in-state for college, as he came around at a time when Mississippi State's football program was on the upswing. Thanks in part to Banks, they were a big player in the SEC for much of the 2012 season.
2009: 7 games, 31 tackles (20 solo), 4 interceptions (2 touchdowns), 3 passes defended
2010: 13 games, 50 tackles (31 solo), 3 interceptions, 7 passes defended, 1 sack
2011: 13 games, 66 tackles (43 solo), 5 interceptions (1 touchdown), 9 passes defended, 3 sacks
2012: 13 games, 63 tackles (39 solo), 4 interceptions, 7 passes defended
Because of his stellar play in 2012, Banks won both the Bednarik Award (College Defensive Player of the Year) and Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back).
Prior to the end of the season, Banks was in fourth place among active FBS players with four interceptions and had three returned for touchdowns, two behind the all-time record.
Interesting to note—the two touchdowns he scored his freshman year came in the same game against a rather famous Florida Gator quarterback. Maybe you've heard of him?
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com
Weight: 185 lbs.
Arm Length: 33.875"
Hand Size: 9.25"
40-yard dash: 4.61 seconds
Bench press: 10 reps
Broad jump: 125 inches
Vertical jump: 34 inches
3-cone drill: 6.97 seconds
20-yard shuffle: 4.27 seconds
Mississippi State Pro-day
40-yard dash: 4.51 seconds
Banks improved on his incredibly mediocre 4.61-second combine time in the 40-yard dash by bumping it up to 4.51 seconds at the Mississippi State pro day. Word is that he also improved on a couple other statistics, though Hailstate.com did not disclose which parts those were.
There was some concern about Banks following the combine, but it seems that he's righted the ship after he performed at the Mississippi State pro day. Given his stats over the last four years, scouts should probably take the performance at the combine as a bad day.
Banks showed a lot of power, and despite a loss of speed, showed great footwork, which is what will make him a solid defensive back in the NFL.
Banks' full NFL profile can be seen here.
Combine stats courtesy of NFL.com
Pro-day stats courtesy of hailstate.com
Johnthan Banks also played linebacker, quarterback and running back in high school, showing his overall athleticism.
Not only did he multi-task in football, but he also was a basketball player and baseball player, even going to two state championships in the latter.
NFL.com compared Johnthan Banks to current NFL cornerback Aqib Talib. The biggest compliments the site gave him were that he was a great tackler, is effective on jump balls and can change direction quite effectively.
Unfortunately, the knock on Banks is that he is pretty skinny and without great size to measure up to bigger NFL wide receivers. He has played both safety and cornerback, but still doesn't have great recovery speed.
A pro comparison for Banks can be seen here.