Lions trade for CB Johnthan Banks, give up future 7th

After nearly releasing him, the Lions gave up a future late-round pick to the Tampa Bay Bucs for defensive back Johnthan Banks. Darius Slay and Banks were an elite cornerback duo at Mississippi State.


Sept 8, 2012; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Darius Slay (9) during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Auburn Tigers 28-10. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions chose to trade for the former 2nd-rond pick from the 2013 draft, rather than risk losing him on waivers if he were to be released, as it was reported yesterday. Schefter reported, via his twitter account @AdamSchefter.

Tampa Bay wound up not releasing CB Johnthan Banks; instead it is trading him to Detroit, per league source. So there’s another trade.”


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Banks was once thought to be the better of the two former standout college defensive backs. In fact, Slay was discovered when teams stopped throwing at Banks. Due to a 4.61 40-yard-dash at the NFL Scouting combine, people felt Slay, who was much faster was the better corner. While it’s no doubt been true through their two careers thus far. Both were early 2nd-round picks in the same draft. Banks is a big, lengthy corner, that excels in press-man coverage. He could possibly help add some size to Detroit’s rather small defensive back core. Could Detroit have gotten Banks without giving up the reported 2018 7th-rounder? Impossible to know, but Bob Quinn felt he was worth the fairly low cost to assure Detroit could acquire him.

Time will tell if Banks is a good fit and he may be waived next week, however, Detroit needed to add some talent. He is still young enough and talented enough to turn things around. Just don’t count on it. Slay will be happy to get his college teammate back and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin won’t ask him to do what he isn’t capable of. It’s a low-risk, high reward move for a guy people thought was an elite prospect just a few years ago.

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