Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports


Alex Mack says fans shouldn’t be concerned about 49ers rookie Aaron Banks’ lack of playing time

Oct 19, 2021 at 12:30 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers have played five games this season. Their second-round draft pick, guard Aaron Banks, has been inactive for each of them. That has led many to question the selection. That's a high draft slot for a player who has yet to contribute this season.

Veteran center Alex Mack joined KNBR this morning and was asked about his rookie teammate. What does Banks need to do to get on the football field for the 49ers?

"Just keep putting the work in," Mack responded on the Murph & Mac show. "You know, he's a good dude. He works hard. He just has a couple of more things to learn and put the work in. And it's a credit to the other guards that it's not easy to break the starting lineup. We have a lot of depth here.

"Aaron is physically talented. He just needs to keep working on the technique and keep learning, and we may need him this next game. We don't know what's going to happen. We just have a lot of good depth, and that's kind of where the cookie crumbles."

That makes perfect sense. However, not being active for games gives some the impression that the rookie offensive lineman might be further behind than the 49ers hoped. Should there be some fan concern that Banks couldn't compete for a starting job or even suit up for a regular-season game?

"No," Mack responded. "This is one of the good things about coming here, is that we have a lot of talent, and you can have a lot of people to learn from. And when his time is called, he needs to be ready. So, he's just doing what it takes to be ready when the next man up happens."

Last week, general manager John Lynch also offered up a vote of confidence in Banks, providing an explanation similar to Mack's while adding more details.

"Aaron Banks, in my belief, is going to be a great player for us going forward," Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I'm very confident in that. [Daniel] Brunskill is a tough player to beat out. ... So, Aaron has moved from left guard over to right guard. That's a little bit of a challenge, trying to get his body honed and ready for NFL action. He's getting better every week. He's being coached hard.

"Aaron, I think, I'm a firm believer that at some point this year, he's going to be out there helping us win games and that his future is incredibly bright."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Mack below.






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