Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ John Lynch: Nick Bosa is going to get better this season, Aaron Banks will become a difference-maker

Sep 24, 2021 at 9:15 AM--

Nick Bosa certainly doesn't look like he's coming off a devastating knee injury. Instead, he seems like he's picking up from where he left off during his 2019 NFL Rookie of the Year campaign. Bosa has three sacks through two games this season and is again proving to be a force on defense.

And maybe we haven't seen anything yet.

"Nick's just — we all know it — he's a difference-maker when he's out there," general manager John Lynch said this morning on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "We missed him in a big way when he was gone last year. He's a difference-maker. I don't care who's out there. I mean, [the Packers have] got an All-Pro in David Bakhtiari, who's not playing, and Bakhtiari would have his hands full with Bosa. And that's not a slight to Bakhtiari. It's just whoever is playing Nick Bosa is going to have their work cut out for them. He's that good of a football player.

"I think the coolest thing with Nick, he's been incredibly productive in the first couple of weeks. I still think his legs are kind of getting underneath him. He didn't play at all in the preseason. He practiced a lot, but this is a guy who's still getting back on the football field. I've seen it with ACLs. It's a process, and I think he's going to get better each week, and that's a scary thing for opposing teams because he's just that good."

Lynch added that even Trent Williams knows Bosa is a different beast to go against. That means something, coming from an eight-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle.

"It's the combination of strength, leverage, skill," Lynch continued. "A lot of guys know that if they grab an offensive tackle's wrist, they've got them because his hands are just not effective after that. Most defensive players know that, but it's another thing for them to go like Matrix and actually find that tackle's wrist, and Nick can do those things. It's such a skill.

"His hand-eye coordination, his hands being tied to his feet — he is a difference-maker, and I see him only getting better each week. It's awesome having him back, and yes, he is in better physical [shape]. I think the biggest change he made this offseason: He really dedicated to his diet. He is ripped up and still the same weight, but a lot leaner, so hopefully we see even a better version of Nick throughout this season."

Another player who may prove to be a difference-maker in the years to come is rookie offensive guard Aaron Banks. Of course, critics will be quick to note that the second-round draft pick has been inactive for the 49ers' first two games.

"I think a lot of people read into it, and I understand it, into Aaron Banks, our second-round pick," Lynch said. "He's been inactive, but Aaron's getting better every day. Aaron's going to be one heck of a player. He's going to be a difference-maker for us at some point. I don't know when that time [will come], but he is getting better."

Lynch adds that the 49ers' offensive line is functioning very well right now. That includes Daniel Brunskill, which makes finding an immediate fit for Banks difficult. However, that doesn't mean the rookie won't be a significant contributor in the future.

"Banks, long-term, he's a guy that's going to be a 330-pound guy in there that can anchor a little, eventually," Lynch said. "It's just figuring out our techniques and all that, but we're very high on him. But he's got good players in front of him right now. ... We're very encouraged about this year's draft class."

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