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49ers GM Lynch promises rookie Banks will be 'great player'

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Aaron Banks

Right now, the 49ers do not have enough uniforms for rookie guard Aaron Banks to suit up for games.

However, 49ers general manager John Lynch predicts greatness for the team’s second-round draft pick.

The 49ers’ 2021 NFL Draft did not produce any first-year starters -- other than, perhaps, running back Elijah Mitchell, who has climbed up the depth chart due to a rash of injuries.

But, in time, Lynch said he believes such players as Banks, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, will prove his worth.

“It’s really important that the Aaron Banks of the world become players,” Lynch said. “I’m saying it about a player who hasn’t been active a whole lot. Aaron Banks, in my belief, is going to be a great player for us going forward.

"I’m very confident in that.”

Banks missed time in training camp with a shoulder injury. He has a spot on the 49ers’ 53-man roster, but veteran journeyman Tom Compton beat out Banks to serve as the backup to guards Daniel Brunskill and Laken Tomlinson.

NFL teams are allowed to suit up only 48 players with three backup offensive linemen. Through five games Banks has not earned the right to suit up for games.

The 49ers selected Banks with the No. 48 overall choice after first trading back from No. 43. Cornerbacks Kelvin Joseph (Dallas) and Asante Samuel Jr. (Los Angeles Chargers) were selected before the 49ers went on the clock again. One pick after the 49ers went with Banks, the Arizona Cardinals chose speedy receiver Rondale Moore.

 

The 49ers selected Banks with the idea that he could earn a starting job over Brunskill.

“Danny Brunskill is a tough player to beat out,” Lynch said. “He does enough to get you through a game -- and not just through a game, but to be part of the reason you have success.”

RELATED: Lynch says 49ers 'working hard' to identify reasons for draft hits, misses

Banks played left guard in college. It has not been an easy transition to the other side. Lynch said Banks has faced physical and mental challenges to get ready for NFL game action. He continues to get his body honed for the next level while also learning the intricacies of the team’s complex offense.

“He’s getting better every week,” Lynch said. “He’s being coached hard. Aaron, I think, I’m a firm believer, at some point this year, he’ll be out there helping us win games and his future is incredibly bright.”

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