NFL Draft: 49ers take Notre Dame left guard Aaron Banks with 48th pick

Michael Wanbaugh
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame left guard Aaron Banks was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the NFL Draft with the 48th overall pick.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pound left guard out of Alameda, Calif., was an anchor for the left side of the line for the past three seasons, playing in 38 games and starting 31 of them.

His Notre Dame offensive line mate, Liam Eichenberg was selected six picks earlier by the Miami Dolphins. Banks will return to the Bay Area and join former teammate Mike McGlinchey on the San Francisco offensive line.

Banks opted not to return to Notre Dame for a fifth season and a chance to move to left tackle. He finished his career at Notre Dame as a consensus All-American.

Joining the Irish as a four-star star recruit in the 2017 class, Banks did not see game action and redshirted in year one. He played in all 13 games the following year as a sophomore.

In that 2018 season, Banks started in the final six games. He replaced Alex Bars after the multi-year starter suffered a season-ending knee injury. Banks then made 31 consecutive starts from Navy in 2018 until the end of his collegiate career against Alabama in the College Football Playoff Rose Bowl.

Notre Dame offensive lineman Aaron Banks, right, clears the way for running back Chris Tyree against Alabama. Banks was named a consensus All-American on Friday.

What they were saying

“(Banks is) such a massive player. He takes up space. He does a nice job of staying square to rushers. He’s a large human being and he moves well. He’s not just a lumbering blocker out there. — The Athletic draft analyst Dane Brugler

“Notre Dame has the clear-cut best offensive line in the country, and Banks is a key cog in that unit. He was the only Power 5 left guard who earned a pass- and run-block grade above 80.0 this year. — Pro Football Focus analyst Anthony Treash

Notre Dame’s Aaron Banks (69) talks with Ian Book (12) after defeating Navy Nov. 16, 2019 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Five things to know about Aaron Banks

1 — Admitted to NDInsider.com that he watched the movie “Rudy” 12 times before signing with Notre Dame.

2 — Made the first-team All-American lists from The Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association and the second team from The Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation.

3 — His junior season Banks earned the second-highest pass-block grade from Pro Football Focus and allowed just two sacks on 844 snaps.

4 — Earned a prospect grade of 6.29 by NFL.com, which rates to “a good backup who could become a starter.”

5 — Majored in film, television and theatre while at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame offensive guard Aaron Banks was a consensus All-American in 2020.