49ers roster: Aaron Banks in ‘sink or swim’ territory for 2022

Aaron Banks #65 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Aaron Banks #65 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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The 49ers’ second-round draft pick from 2021, Aaron Banks, is likely going from a rookie-year afterthought to a full-time starter a season later.

The San Francisco 49ers are fortunate they don’t have too many glaring concerns and question marks with regards to their perceived 53-man roster heading into 2022.

One of the spots that generates some skepticism, however, is the offensive line. More specifically, left guard. This, in the wake of the Niners losing Pro Bowl lineman Laken Tomlinson to the New York Jets in free agency earlier this offseason.

It appears as if San Francisco was preparing for this a year ago, though, as it used a second-round NFL Draft pick to select former Notre Dame left guard Aaron Banks at No. 48 overall.

If the plan was to grab Banks, then have him sit in reserve behind Tomlinson for a full year before being pegged to start, the 49ers executed that perfectly. However, Banks was given every opportunity to compete for the starting right guard spot along with Daniel Brunskill, the latter ultimately winning the job.

As a result, Banks found himself frequently an early season gameday inactive player, potentially influenced by a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason, and he then only saw five offensive snaps for the entirety of 2021.

Not exactly a promising outcome.

But, before we go ahead and label Banks a total bust, we have to take a look at some reasons why there’s actually a good chance of him finally living up to that Round 2 draft status, potentially as soon as this season.

He’ll have to.

Let’s dive deeper in our annual profiling of each player on the team’s 90-man offseason roster.