In Niner Noise’s newest ‘Who’s?’ installment, we take a look at 49ers lineman Aaron Banks, who might see extra snaps this season than some other rookie.
The San Francisco 49ers‘ 2021 NFL Draft class will in the end be outlined by how properly quarterback Trey Lance, the No. 3 general choose, winds up performing within the coming years and whether or not or not he turns into a bona fide famous person.
But Lance isn’t projected to start out straight away. Not less than not whereas the veteran, Jimmy Garoppolo, continues to be on the town.
As a substitute, the participant who would possibly find yourself offering the most important impression, a minimum of by way of complete snap depend this season, is the Niners’ second-round draft choose, Notre Dame offensive guard Aaron Banks, chosen by San Francisco at No. 48 general.
Banks, 6-foot-5 and 325 kilos, ended up being Indianapolis Colts All-Professional guard Quenton Nelson’s alternative on the collegiate stage, in the end changing into a 2019 first-team All-ACC starter after which a first-team Related Press All-American in 2020, pushing him in the direction of a day-two draft choice by San Francisco.
That choose might need been one thing of a shock, given the 49ers already had two guards able to beginning, Laken Tomlinson and Daniel Brunskill, and there have been different urgent wants like cornerback and broad receiver.
Nonetheless, it’s by no means a foul thought to spend money on the offensive line early, and the Niners certainly are taking a look at one among Banks’ prime traits, which is a purpose he might present some early enchancment his rookie season.
Why Aaron Banks thrives with 49ers in 2021
Two traits ought to stand out essentially the most when taking a look at Banks as a blocker: energy and move safety.
Banks didn’t permit a sack throughout his remaining yr at Notre Dame. And given how San Francisco has had points with inside pass-rushers the previous two years, together with having to face Los Angeles Rams perennial All-Professional defensive sort out Aaron Donald twice a yr, it makes greater than sufficient sense to get somebody like Banks into the fray.
Simply by taking a look at Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline’s scouting report, it’s arduous to not get enthusiastic about this imposing rookie:
Giant, explosive lineman who’s finest fitted to an influence hole offense. Fires off the snap, blocks with correct lean, and simply controls defenders on the level. Opens up the working lanes, anchors in move safety, and blocks down on opponents, utterly smothering them from the motion.
Performs with a nasty perspective, retains his head on a swivel, and at all times seems for somebody to hit. Jolts defenders with a violent hand punch and simply knocks opponents from their angles of assault.
Banks isn’t only a high quality move protector. His imply streak extends into the run recreation, too, the place he’s at all times seeking to punish the defender reverse him.
For a 49ers staff doubtlessly seeking to transfer away from a lot of finesse and extra in the direction of some physicality, Banks is a wonderful pickup.
Why Aaron Banks struggles with 49ers in 2021
Head coach Kyle Shanahan hasn’t employed too many power-run schemes throughout his tenure. On prime of that, Shanahan’s scheme stays one of the complicated within the NFL.
Whereas Shanahan doesn’t put as a lot emphasis on accountability for his guards as he does tackles or facilities, inside linemen are nonetheless tasked with correctly executing pulls and bootlegs, thereby requiring some swift and exact motion.
On this regard, Banks might expertise loads of early troubles.
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Pauline additionally famous how the rookie “can not slide in area” and may have hassle eliminating defenders whereas on the transfer. Moreover, Banks’ bigger dimension might additionally reduce into his mobility a bit, lessening the sort of impression he would possibly in any other case have if he was a sooner, extra agile mover.
There’s a powerful chance Banks will take a while to regulate, that means it’s extremely potential he winds up being a reserve in yr one.
If he doesn’t, although, Banks might see extra discipline time than some other rookie the Niners onboarded this season.
Aaron Banks’ possible function, impression with 49ers
Banks was primarily a left guard at Notre Dame, however early indications level to San Francisco pushing him in the direction of taking up at proper guard, presumably for Brunskill.
For essentially the most half, a minimum of throughout non-contact organized staff actions, Brunskill has been working with the first-team unit, suggesting the 49ers aren’t merely giving Banks a beginning job straight away. He’ll must earn it.
Ideally, although, Banks winds up taking up that spot by Week 1, permitting the Niners to revert Brunskill again to a extremely helpful uber-reserve function he initially had again in 2019 and even thrived in.
Ought to this be the case, it wouldn’t be overly surprising to see Shanahan and the offense make use of some extra power-run seems this season, benefiting from Banks’ rapid strengths.
With Lance not more likely to see loads of rookie-year snaps with Garoppolo round, and working again Trey Sermon most likely featured as a rotational rusher, Banks might simply find yourself being the first-year San Francisco participant who sees the most important variety of snaps this season, rising because the 49ers’ top-played rookie in 2021.
Over the long run, it’s potential the Niners envision Banks transferring over to left guard so long as his maturation trajectory ascends positively sufficient.
Proper now, although, he stays a key participant to observe this season.