49ers earn solid marks by adding Bay Area native Banks to O-line

/ by Josh Schrock
Presented By Big O Tires
Aaron Banks

A "Dancing Bear" is coming to Levi's Stadium next fall.

After trading down to pick No. 48 in the second round Friday, the 49ers selected Notre Dame guard Aaron Banks, a Bay Area native, to bolster the interior of their offensive line.

The 49ers desperately needed to address their pass-protection deficiencies. Their leaky interior line play was part of their collapse in Super Bowl LIV, and generally has plagued them during the Kyle Shanahan era. While the 49ers' offensive line has graded out well in run-blocking, it has struggled in pass-pro, ranking 26 in ESPN's pass-block win rate.

In Banks, the 49ers add a 6-foot-5, 325-pound mauler who excels in zone-blocking in the run game and is a multi-year starter who played in 38 games, with 31 starts, at Notre Dame.

Banks has some issues against quicker interior rushers, but he's stout against bull rushers. He should slot in as the 49ers' new starting right guard, giving Jimmy Garoppolo and/or Trey Lance a mountain to keep the pressure from getting in their face.

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With Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari and Purdue slot wizard Rondale Moore still on the board, I thought the 49ers might snap up one of the falling stars at a lesser position of need. But instead, they did the smart thing and focused on upgrading a true area of need, bringing a bully of a "Dancing Bear" back to the Bay.

Grade: B


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