The 2023 NFL Draft class features a stacked group of defenders, and Tennessee Vols LB Jeremy Banks is a name to watch as the draft approaches. In fact, he might be one of the more underrated under-the-radar players in the LB class.
While most of the conversation has been focused on the top names in the class, what does Banks’ scouting report suggest about his NFL draft stock?
Jeremy Banks NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Linebacker
- School: Tennessee
- Year: Redshirt Senior
A four-star recruit coming out of Cordova High School, Banks initially began his career as a running back. He rushed for nearly 2,800 yards and 48 touchdowns over his high school career and began his college journey in the backfield.
Playing in 11 games as a true freshman, Banks rushed 52 times for 185 yards with three touchdowns as part of a four-way committee. Toward the end of the season, Banks was also practicing at linebacker but returned to running back in the spring. However, it didn’t take long before Banks changed to linebacker, and he played three games while recording seven tackles and two interceptions.
However, the play on the field was far from being the main takeaway of the season. Banks was dismissed from the team in 2019 after he was arrested in September after a traffic stop revealed an outstanding traffic warrant for failure to appear in court on a July misdemeanor citation for driving while his license was suspended.
Unfortunately, things continued to go downhill when the body cam footage was released, which showed Banks using profanities toward the Tennessee police officers. There was also an additional issue that reportedly involved a woman who Banks threatened and argued with security guards earlier in the season outside of a party in which police responded to the incident.
In August 2020, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt announced that Banks was back on the team, ending his 10-month separation. Banks played in nine games as a reserve linebacker, recording 28 tackles before breaking out in 2021.
The redshirt junior had one of the best seasons in UT history at the position, leading the team in tackles and rankings second in the SEC and No. 7 in the nation with 128 combined tackles (59 solo, 69 assisted). Banks added one interception, three pass breakups, three QB hurries, 11.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks during the season.
2022 was less memorable, but Banks was already on the map from his previous campaign. Banks played in 11 games and recorded 43 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. An East-West Shrine Bowl Participant, Banks stood out at the 2023 NFL Combine.
Banks measured in at 6’1″ and 232 pounds with 9 1/2″ hands and 32″ arms, ran a 4.53-second 40, and posted impressive 10’7″ broad and 37.5″ vertical jumps. Banks did 25 reps on the bench press and rounded out his workout by doing the three-cone drill in 7.27 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle in 4.38 seconds.
As Banks looks towards the NFL draft and the next stages in his journey, what does his scouting report suggest are his strengths and areas for improvement?
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Jeremy Banks
Strengths: Athletic run-and-chase linebacker who plays with an aggressive style. Agile, fluid, and displays outstanding speed in pursuit. Efficient, takes proper angles, and makes a lot of athletic plays. Stays with assignments, quickly recognizes the action, and sells out to make the tackle.
Mobile, fast enough to cut off the corners from ball handlers and drives his shoulders into opponents. Sells out on the blitz, has a closing burst, and gets depth on pass drops. Easily changes direction. Effectively makes the defensive calls and gets teammates in proper position.
Weaknesses: Lacks size and growth potential. Easily knocked from his angle of attack by a single blocker. Lack of height results in coverage mismatches downfield.
Overall: Banks possesses the athleticism, speed, and instincts to line up as a backup in a one-gap system. He also plays with a special-teams mentality, which is added value.
Jeremy Banks Combine Measurements and Results
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 232 pounds
- Arm Length: 32″
- Hand Size: 9 1/2″
- Bench Press: 25
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.53
- Vertical Jump: 37.5″
- Broad Jump: 10’7″
Tennessee LB Jeremy Banks Current Draft Projection
While there might not be a Micah Parsons-style linebacker in this year’s draft class, the 2023 defensive class is loaded with talent. However, the bulk of that comes from the EDGE and CB groups, which will be substantially featured over the first two rounds.
That said, there’s some quality talent at the linebacker position as well. Banks might need to wait for a few rounds before he finally hears his name called, but he’ll almost undoubtedly be selected.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Banks is currently the 10th-ranked inside linebacker for the 2023 NFL Draft and the 186th-ranked player on Tony Pauline’s Big Board. With a 3.38 draft grade, Banks has a projected draft capital that places him in the sixth round of the draft.
While slightly undersized for the position, Banks could become a reserve linebacker who can help in coverage but likely needs to find his way on special teams before anything else. But given some of the production in the past, teams will certainly have their eyes on Banks in the latter stages of the 2023 NFL Draft, hoping to snag a fantastic value.
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