Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs add Banks at cornerback

TAMPA — Playing cornerback for Bucs coach Greg Schiano is not for everyone. In Tampa Bay's aggressive defense, it is a stressful, exhausting and mentally taxing proposition, one not every cornerback is capable of.

That's why the Bucs choose carefully when addressing personnel at the position, including their selection of Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks in the second round of the draft Friday night.

A tall, lanky prospect at 6 feet 2, 185 pounds, the former safety is regarded for his feisty play, and willingness to get in receivers' faces and use his hands at the line of scrimmage.

Asked to describe his style of play, Banks said exactly what the Bucs wanted to hear.

He compared himself to Richard Sherman and Antonio Cromartie, Seahawks and Jets cornerbacks, respectively.

"Big, tall guys," Banks said. "They get after people and play aggressive, and they love to play football."

The Bucs saw those qualities in Banks, which is why they believe he can be successful in their scheme.

"We ask our corners to do a lot, everything from press (coverage) to bail (coverage) to baiting to (playing) off, rotating," Schiano said. "(Banks has) done all that. He's shown that he can do that. I really like the way he plays the game. He was the captain. He was the guy who made (Mississippi State's) defense go, period. You love that, especially in a corner. That doesn't happen very often."

Banks also was productive.

In recording 16 interceptions, he tied a Mississippi State career record and won the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back, last season.

The Bucs have remade their secondary this offseason. First, they signed All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson (five years, $41.25 million, $22 million guaranteed) from the 49ers. Then they acquired All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis from the Jets (and signed him to a six-year, $96 million contract that includes no guaranteed money).

At cornerback specifically they have gotten more of the sort of personnel Schiano wants and needs. Revis and Banks represent the prototypical cornerback for Tampa Bay's scheme.

Schiano said Banks will enter training camp in a position to compete for a starting job, presumably across from Revis, with veteran Eric Wright his likely competition.

The confidence that allows Banks to successfully play his aggressive style can only help in a position battle.

"I played in the SEC for four years," Banks said. "Week in, week out, you have to be ready. You have to be on your toes. You're going to play against the best every week no matter who it is. Doesn't matter if it's the worst team in the league, you're going to get their best.

"I'm competitive. I like to compete. I don't like anyone to beat me. It's you against me. May the best man win."

Said general manager Mark Dominik: "He took the (opponent's) No. 1 guy. That's a tough road to hoe as a corner in the SEC."

The Bucs believe they got their man, bypassing other cornerbacks — including Boise State's Jamar Taylor — and resisting the urge to trade up in order to draft others they liked.

And their feelings about Banks were reinforced by what happened immediately after they confirmed their pick with NFL officials in New York.

"The draft room," Dominik said, "erupted."

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @HolderStephen.

Comments
Bucs’ Mike Evans: Yards after catch must improve in 2018

Bucs’ Mike Evans: Yards after catch must improve in 2018

Mike Evans is one of just three receivers in NFL history to open his career with four straight 1,000-yard seasons, but he understands one area where he can make a big improvement in 2018: yards after the catch."I think last year was my worst year in ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Gerald McCoy: Sorry, but Vita Vea is Maui from Moana

Gerald McCoy: Sorry, but Vita Vea is Maui from Moana

If you've been dipping your toes in the "Gosh, Vita Vea looks a lot like the guy from Disney's Moana" pool, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has jumped in all the way.The Bucs' 347-pound rookie is massive, has a family history on the Pacific island...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jason Pierre-Paul, Brent Grimes absent as Bucs open OTA practices

Jason Pierre-Paul, Brent Grimes absent as Bucs open OTA practices

The Bucs started another chapter of their offseason Tuesday with the first OTA (organized team activity) practice at One Buc Place, with veterans Jason Pierre-Paul and Brent Grimes as the only healthy players absent from what is officially a voluntar...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs Jameis Winston gets engaged to long-time girlfriend Breion Allen who says, ‘Well, it’s about damn time’

Bucs Jameis Winston gets engaged to long-time girlfriend Breion Allen who says, ‘Well, it’s about damn time’

On a day when the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was taking place across the pond, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston proposed marriage to his long-time girlfriend Breion Allen Saturday in New York City.She said yes.The proposal to...
Published: 05/21/18
Could Bucs find another undrafted rookie tight end in 2018?

Could Bucs find another undrafted rookie tight end in 2018?

At no position is the Bucs' ability to find talent outside the NFL draft more clear than at tight end, where three of the four returning players from last season joined the Bucs as undrafted rookie free agents.Cameron Brate did so in 2014, Alan Cross...
Published: 05/21/18
Why the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule isn’t as bad as it seems

Why the Buccaneers’ 2018 schedule isn’t as bad as it seems

Saints, Eagles, Steelers.Three games against three playoff teams to open the NFL season.Who in the league scheduling office did the Buccaneers tick off?What an injustice!Or not.Maybe the league did the Bucs a favor.Would you rather face the Saints, E...
Published: 05/21/18
O-line coach ‘ecstatic’ about Bucs drafting Vita Vea

O-line coach ‘ecstatic’ about Bucs drafting Vita Vea

Add another to the long list of Bucs players and coaches excited about first-round pick Vita Vea: offensive line coach George Warhop.Warhop said the 347-pound defensive tackle from Washington kept showing up as he looked at tape on Pac-12 offensive l...
Published: 05/19/18
Pillow talk: O-line coach says Bucs need tougher approach to run the ball

Pillow talk: O-line coach says Bucs need tougher approach to run the ball

TAMPA — At least he stopped short of calling them soft. That's not a word you ever want to use when describing an NFL player, much less the entire offensive line. That would be a tough pillow to swallow.But it's clear George Warhop didn't like ...
Published: 05/19/18
Pop Warner to honor Bucs’ Gerald McCoy as ‘Inspiration to Youth’

Pop Warner to honor Bucs’ Gerald McCoy as ‘Inspiration to Youth’

Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will be honored at Pop Warner's annual "All-American Scholars Banquet" in Orlando with the national sports organization's "Inspiration to Youth" award.McCoy, who has been to six straight Pro Bowls, is the first-ever...
Published: 05/18/18
Land O’Lakes grad Shaheed Salmon gets contract with Bucs

Land O’Lakes grad Shaheed Salmon gets contract with Bucs

Most appropriately named player on the Bucs roster? Undrafted rookie Shaheed Salmon, a linebacker from Land O'Lakes who has quickly shown the ability to fight against the current and get to where he wants to go.Salmon, 22, wasn't drafted and didn't h...
Published: 05/18/18