NFL Draft: 3 offensive guards 49ers watch if Aaron Banks goes bust

Aaron Banks #65 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Aaron Banks #65 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Aaron Banks, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Aaron Banks (65) Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s a high chance the 49ers got a bust in second-round lineman Aaron Banks, meaning they might have to revert back to the NFL Draft for a replacement.

Things aren’t looking so good for the San Francisco 49ers‘ Round 2 pick from the 2021 NFL Draft, former Notre Dame offensive guard Aaron Banks, who was supposed to step in right away and compete for the starting right guard spot with the veteran, Daniel Brunskill.

Instead, Banks struggled in training camp and then suffered a shoulder injury early in the preseason that further limited his development.

Since that point, 10 weeks into the 2021 regular season, Banks has been active on game day only twice and has yet to see an offensive snap. And as far as any special teams activities, he’s gotten only four of those.

It’s safe to say the Niners are looking at the very real chance Banks is turning into their next major NFL Draft whiff, which isn’t exactly the kind of return the team needs on a second-round investment.

San Francisco will likely remain patient with Banks, at least for another year. But Brunskill is a restricted free agent in 2022, while veteran left guard Laken Tomlinson is one of the unrestricted variety and could command a hefty price tag of his own on the free-agent market this offseason.

At any rate, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the 49ers look for some younger replacements in the 2022 NFL Draft this spring.

The matter is complicated, though, as the Niners are without a first- and one of their third-round picks in next year’s draft because of last spring’s trade-up to grab quarterback Trey Lance. Combined with sizable roster needs elsewhere, San Francisco might need some bargain day-three additions to either upgrade or replace Banks altogether.

Here are three such prospects who could fit the bill.