Aaron Banks is a big guy who knows how to fill big shoes.
When three-time All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson left Notre Dame for the NFL, Banks was the one who was tasked with taking his place. Following in the path of the No. 6 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft was no small challenge, but Banks did a commendable job.
Banks has continued to watch film of his former teammate, taking note of Nelson's progress and success in the NFL. He also has stayed in contact with some of his other former line-mates, including Mike McGlinchey, and has been using them as resources.
“I actually would watch a lot of games of Quenton and how he played and personally think that he was the best guard in the NFL in the past few years,” Banks said. “I’ve watched a lot of him in the NFL and in college. Certain parts of his game I would try to emulate my game after.”
Banks, a Bay Area native, shared that not needing to travel much will make his adjustment to the NFL easier. Playing his college career at Notre Dame also helped prepare Banks for Kyle Shanahan’s extensive playbook.
“We have a pretty big playbook at Notre Dame,” Banks said. “I think they did a great job preparing us for playbooks of this caliber, so I don’t think anything that has been given to me has been anything that I thought, ‘Man that’s too much, I’m going to have a hard time learning that.’”
The 6-foot-5, 335-pound lineman might be a little larger than Shanahan’s typical guards, but Banks is prepared to adjust to whatever the 49ers staff asks of him. He is excited to make a name for himself as a rookie.
Banks shared that he takes techniques from several different players, including both handwork and footwork, and that process has shaped the player he is today.
“I’m nobody but myself, so I’m going to approach every game as Aaron Banks and try to be the best me I can be,” he said.