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Why 49ers drafted guard Banks, not WR or CB, with 48th pick

/ by Matt Maiocco
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Notre Dame guard Aaron Banks

The 49ers went to Banks on Friday to protect their long-term investment.

Notre Dame guard Aaron Banks was the 49ers’ choice with their second-round pick after moving back five spots to No. 48 overall.

General manager John Lynch could have gone a number of different ways in lending long-term support for quarterback Trey Lance, whom the club selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday.

Instead of selecting a playmaking receiver, the organization opted to provide protection with the selection of a powerful interior offensive lineman.

Now, the 49ers’ offensive line should be set for the 2021 season.

Banks (6-foot-5, 325 pounds) will be expected to immediately slide into a starting role at right guard in place of Daniel Brunskill, who was penciled in as a starter prior to the draft.

The 49ers looked to strengthen their offensive line in the offseason, and they did just that.

The club re-signed left tackle Trent Williams to a contract that makes him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL. The 49ers also added NFL All-Decade center Alex Mack as a free agent.

Banks will join a presumptive starting offensive line that also includes left guard Laken Tomlinson and right tackle Mike McGlinchey.

RELATED: Grading 49ers' Aaron Banks draft pick

Banks played left guard at Notre Dame, where he was a first-team All-American as a junior in 2020. He relies on brute strength and will have to learn the finer points of offensive line play under position coach Chris Foerster.

 

The 49ers could have easily gone after a slot receiver or defensive back after trading back with the Las Vegas Raiders. But the decision was made that the best way to get the most out of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, now, and Lance, in future seasons, is to shore up the offensive line.

The 49ers are rightly investing in their offensive line in the same week that Lynch revealed the team will pick up the 2022 fifth-year option for McGlinchey.

The 49ers got their enforcer on the offensive line and also picked up some draft capital along the way.

In moving back five spots and parting ways with a seventh-round pick (No. 230 overall), the 49ers also received a fourth-round pick (No. 121 overall) from the Raiders.

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