Shortly after Liam Eichenberg came off the board at the 2021 NFL Draft, another Notre Dame player heard their name called. The second Irish product finding an NFL home this year is none other than offensive lineman Aaron Banks.
He will reunite with fellow former Notre Dame offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey in the Bay Area to lead the way for a run-heavy offense orchestrated by Kyle Shanahan. Considering the 49ers selected Trey Lance in the first round, the desire for a quality offensive lineman to protect their new quarterback makes sense.
Banks projected as a late second-round early third-round pick, so it’s encouraging to see him get an opportunity in the middle of the second round with a team that truly isn’t too far off.
Banks benefited from a stellar final season in South Bend and capped it off with a phenomenal performance in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl. With the power run schemes that the 49ers employ, an athletic guard who can move and get blocks in the second and third levels of a defense will prove beneficial for San Francisco. Banks leaves Notre Dame as an All-American and All-ACC level player.
I believe that Aaron Banks has an opportunity to compete for a starting position going into camp. Even if he does not end up starting come Week 1 of the 2021 season, he will provide valuable depth at the guard position.
It should be no surprise to NFL fans that the first two picks of the Notre Dame 2021 draft class were both offensive linemen. Aaron Banks is a leader, he puts in the extra time, he is coachable, and he will be a positive addition to an already commendable offensive line in San Francisco.