49ers player No. 1: Offensive guard Aaron Banks
The only other player who could be considered more of a disappointment than Trey Sermon, second-round 2021 rookie guard Aaron Banks‘ first year in the pros has to be considered a total flop.
After failing to seize the starting right guard spot over Daniel Brunskill, not helped by a shoulder injury suffered during the preseason, Banks went on to appear on just five regular-season snaps over the course of the year.
Not good for a second-round pick.
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However, San Francisco was asking Banks to move over from his natural left guard spot where he played in college, and that transition isn’t always an easy one. And entering 2021, Banks certainly wasn’t going to unseat the veteran starter at left guard, Laken Tomlinson, who played admirably enough en route to his first-ever Pro Bowl nomination last year.
Yet Tomlinson is poised to be an expensive free agent this offseason, and the 49ers may have been sewing the seeds to replace him by sitting on Banks for his rookie season.
If the Niners aren’t interested in bringing Tomlinson back, especially at what could be an overpayment amid what’ll be a hot market for offensive linemen, Banks winds up being the de facto contingency plan entering 2022.