Clowney has been widely tipped to be the number one overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, with his mixture of skill and size leading some to predict that he could go on to become an all-time great of the game.
However, Banks believes that labelling him as the next Lawrence Taylor, who is widely regarded to be the best defensive player in the history of the sport, is premature and overlooks his ability to match other legends.
"Number one, you're stepping over a lot of great defensive ends. They should hope he's as good as a Richard Dent, Neil Smith, Bruce Smith or Charles Haley. If he can get to that level, he's a dominant player," Banks told ESPN.
"But you want to jump over those players and say he's the next Lawrence Taylor? It's ridiculous. I just gave you four of the greatest defensive ends, and you don't want to put him in that category because he's already better than them?"
Taylor, who spent 13 years with the Giants, won an NFL MVP award and two Super Bowl rings and was selected to 10 consecutive Pro Bowls during his illustrious career.