Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports


49ers make Notre Dame OL Aaron Banks a 2nd-round draft pick after trading back

Apr 30, 2021 at 5:22 PM--


After trading back from the No. 43 overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers selected Notre Dame offensive lineman Aaron Banks with the 16th pick (No. 48 overall) in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

San Francisco sent the No. 43 overall pick and a seventh-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for No. 48 overall and a fourth-round pick (No. 121).


Banks appeared in 38 games with 31 starts in four years (2017- 20) at Notre Dame. As a senior in 2020, he started all 12 games, including an appearance in the CFP Semi-final. Banks was named First-Team AFCA All-America and Associated Press First-Team All-America as a senior. He started all 13 games as a junior in 2019 and helped the Irish rank 13th nationally in scoring offense. The offensive lineman played in all 13 games with six starts as a sophomore in 2018 but did not see game action as a freshman in 2017.

"Hey, we're pumped," head coach Kyle Shanahan told Banks on the phone after the selection was made. "We talked to (Mike) McGlinchey all day. He's been begging us to get you here. We're ready to have another Golden Domer, man."


49ers CEO Jed York is also a Notre Dame graduate and is excited to add the offensive lineman from his alma mater.


Banks is from El Cerrito, CA. He earned a pre-draft grade of 6.29 from NFL.com, which equates to a "good backup who could become a starter," per the site's 8-point grading scale.

NFL.com projected Banks to be a second- or third-round draft pick.

Below is the NFL.com draft profile bio on Banks:

Banks had big shoes to fill when taking over the left guard spot for the Irish halfway through the 2018 season (he started six of 13 games played), following All-American and No. 6 overall pick Quenton Nelson. He's acquitted himself well over the past three years, earning his own spot on the first-team Associated Press All-American squad in 2020 as well as first-team All-ACC notice as a 12-game starter. Banks started all 13 games for Notre Dame in 2019, as well, living up to his status as a top-200 overall and top-10 guard recruit coming out of El Cerrito High School in California. He accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl. -- by Chad Reuter

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote the following about Banks within his scouting report:

Mass of humanity who's able to cast his frame upon opponents and win with pure size at times. Banks can get a little lax with certain elements of technique and footwork but tends to counter that with his frame and strength. His core and base are rock-steady, as he's rarely jostled by contact. He can create momentum with his size as a run blocker, but he's not a great bender and lacks explosiveness into contact. Pass protection will get a little choppy against athletic interior rushers and twist games that force him to make quick slides to cut off his edges, but he has the anchor to stall bull rushers all day long. Banks has some physical limitations but should be fine as a potential early starter and Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) pick for a physical running game.

Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network wrote the following about Banks within his scouting report:

Aaron Banks projects to the NFL as a quality option along an offensive line. Banks, who is a multi-year starter with the Irish, brings plenty of experience to the pro game and is physically built to last on the interior. Banks offers a wide base, plenty of weight distribution below the waist, and some notable results as a power at the point of attack blocker looking to drive opponents off the line of scrimmage. Banks' game is not without flaws and his projection will not be a universal one—teams that ask their interior line to play out in space often or play laterally to string out action will find Banks' resume much less appealing than those that implement vertical climbs and double teams to generate interior lanes and space. The Irish guard does have starter potential; although I would consider his ceiling to be that of a mid-level starter at the pro level and only in specific systems that don't bank too heavily on zone concepts.

Pro Football Focus wrote the following about Banks:

Banks broke into the starting lineup for the Irish midway through the 2018 season and was a mainstay at left guard ever since. He's a big boy who's going to be a guard only at the NFL level despite being Notre Dame's emergency tackle. While he has three years of quality pass protection under his belt, he doesn't have the foot speed or anchor to think that will continue at the NFL level. Even at his size, you rarely see him moving guys off the line of scrimmage. I struggle to call anyone capped out, but with as technically sound as Banks is already, I'm not sure where he goes from here.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic wrote the following about Banks:

A three-year starter at Notre Dame, Banks was a mainstay at left guard in offensive coordinator Tommy Rees' scheme, also seeing time at left tackle and right guard. He entered the starting lineup midway through his freshman season and started 31 straight games, finishing his South Bend career as an All-American. Banks displays the body girth, brute strength and physical attitude to take up space and anchor, making him a hard guy to move. He isn't the most dynamic athlete among the offensive line prospects, but he isn't a slug and has some mobility to his game. Overall, Banks needs to mature his hand placement and body posture to match up with NFL defenders, but he has the massive size and brawling strength to be a square-dominating blocker and potential starter.

Measurables


Height: 6-5
Weight: 330 lbs.
Arm length: 33.25 inches
Hand length: 10 inches

Personal


  • Attended El Cerrito (CA) HS where he was named American Family Insurance first-team All-USA California and first-team San Francisco Chronicle all-metro in 2016
  • Majored in film, television, and theatre at Notre Dame.
  • Born Aaron Banks (9/3/97) in Alameda, CA.

Other Notes


  • Was given the nickname 'The Dancing Bear' by former Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long due to his energy and playing style.
  • As a sophomore at Notre Dame, hosted pizza night every Thurs- day night in his apartment to help the offensive line bond off the field. "We have those guys every week, it's our pizza night. But it's not always at our house. We move it around a little bit," Banks said. "Pizza night has been a thing among the o-line for a long time, and it's a tradition."
  • While attending El Cerrito (CA) HS, Banks, realizing that the school's weight room was limited, took it upon himself to find additional ways to train in a local gym. "Yeah, we didn't have a lot of weights," Banks said. "So myself and my little brother would go before school, at like 4:30 in the morning and go lift."


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