Notre Dame guard Aaron Banks was the 49ers’ second-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft. While he checks off a need for San Francisco on the interior of the offensive line, how well he fits in their offense is a bit of a question.
Size isn’t a problem for Banks. He’s massive at 6-5, 325 pounds with 33-inch arms. He uses that size well while mauling defenders, especially in the second level. He’s also a good pass blocker who’s impossible to move one-on-one. Fixing that would be a plus for the 49ers.
However, Banks isn’t a tremendous athlete which could become problematic in San Francisco’s offense. He isn’t very fast, and the more athletic fronts he’ll see in the NFL could pose real issues. Teams that’re unable to go through him can pretty quickly find ways to go around him.
Perhaps the 49ers intend to have him trim down some, but at that point he loses the size that helps him become such a powerful blocker.
On the other hand, Banks explained in his post-draft press conference that he believes he’s versatile enough to thrive in San Francisco’s offense since he’s done some of the things they’ll need him to do. Switching from left to right guard also won’t be an issue.
Aaron Banks says he can play any scheme, gap or zone. #49ers have incorporated more gap scheme recently. Also said switching from LG to RG won’t be a problem.
— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) May 1, 2021
If he figures out how to take on NFL speed, he’ll be just fine and should be a long-term starter for San Francisco. If he doesn’t make that adjustment, he may not even earn a starting job. The latter wouldn’t be acceptable given the other needs the 49ers passed over to take Banks. They need him to be excellent very quickly to justify his selection in the top 50.