COLUMBUS — Every Ohio State starting cornerback has been selected in the NFL Draft since 2013, giving the Buckeyes all the validation needed to declare themselves the Best In America.
Continuing the streak now lies with Sevyn Banks. He made his presence known as a freshman with his special-team touchdown against Michigan, and he emerged as Ohio State’s top lockdown choice at cornerback late last season. Even though the 6-foot-1, 200-pound defensive back missed the majority of spring camp with an undisclosed injury, he’s still expected to be the team’s starting cornerback come the fall.
Being reunited with Kerry Coombs has helped Banks mature, too. Coombs originally recruited the defensive back to Columbus before heading to the Tennessee Titans. The duo reunited last season and the on-field production rose from Banks in the process.
If Banks can provide a full season of film showing he can take away half of the field this fall, NFL draft experts believe he’s capable of being a first-round pick. That’s why the senior’s name has been all over way-too-early 2022 mock drafts the past two weeks.
“Cornerback is a unique position,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said this spring. “You have to bring it every play, and you have to have a short memory. Those guys are all competing at it, and they’re growing, they’re getting better. They’re given a good day’s work every day.
“As long as they keep stacking those days, they’re going to continue to get better.”
ESPN draft expert Todd McShay released his first 2022 mock draft last week. He believes Banks has good size, length and speed, which is why he projects the Arizona Cardinals to take the cornerback with the No. 14 overall pick.
Banks is also forecasted as a first-round pick in FOX college football writer RJ Young’s 2022 projections. Young thinks Banks will slip into the mid-20s, taken off the board by the New York Jets with the No. 24 pick. The Jets haven’t had a lockdown cornerback since the days of Darrelle Revis, but Banks could possibly follow fill the void.
But for all the projections, Sevyn Banks has to put in the work this summer and to have the 2021 season many expect him to have. He’s proven before he can be the lockdown cornerback Ohio State needs.
If he can show those skills throughout the fall, there’s no reason why his name won’t soon be mentioned along with Jeff Okudah, Damon Arnette, Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore and other former first-round picks produced by Ohio State.