Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Three things to know about new 49ers OL Aaron Banks

Apr 30, 2021 at 5:59 PM--

The 49ers have a new offensive lineman -- Aaron Banks, who they selected in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft after trading down five spots to pick 48.

Banks is a big-bodied (6-6, 330) lineman who is a product of the Bay Area (Alameda). 49ers fans will get to know more about him very soon, and perhaps he could even become a starter on the offensive line sooner rather than later. But for now, here are three things to keep in mind as he begins his NFL career.

* He's well-decorated: While 49ers first-round pick Trey Lance was an unknown until blowing up in college at North Dakota State, Aaron Banks has followed a different trajectory. Banks was a high-end prospect at El Cerrito High School, ranking as a top 200 overall player by,, and He chose Notre Dame over Michigan and Oregon and also had scholarship offers from USC, UCLA, Cal, Washington, Wisconsin, and a number of others. In college, Banks won first-team Associated Press All-American honors, was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer, won ESPN All-America honors, and was a second-team selection for Walter Camp and The Sporting News.

* A number of NFL mentors: Banks will be joining a fellow Notre Dame product in Mike McGlinchey on the 49ers' offensive line, and he's also had the chance to play among a few other NFL linemen while in college. One of them is one of the NFL's very best in Colts guard Quenton Nelson.

"I learned a lot from 'Q,' Banks said recently, per "I was able to ask him a lot of questions playing behind him. Great player, great friend. We're all very tight to this day and have a great relationship."

Banks has also sought advice from former teammate and current Bears center Sam Mustipher, who helped him with his decision on whether or not to return to Notre Dame for another season.

"As far as somebody to lean on, I talked to Sam Mustipher a lot," Banks said, per IrishIllustrated. "He's somebody that I played next to and have a really good relationship with."

* A versatile dancer: Banks can potentially help the 49ers at a number of spots. He was a starter at guard for the Fighting Irish but also helped out at tackle and said he would have been their starting left tackle had he returned to school. Nicknamed "The Dancing Bear," which was given to him by Notre Dame offensive line coach Chip Long, Banks says his history with the game of basketball helps with his flexibility along the offensive line.

"I think having a childhood playing a lot of basketball helped me to have pretty good feet," Banks said, per Irish Illustrated. "I think that just having that background helps me with my versatility along the offensive line."

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