Aaron Banks Notre Dame

Aaron Banks Notre Dame

Ranking The Irish: #15 - G Aaron Banks

Notre Dame guard Aaron Banks needs to be a consistent force for the Irish in 2020
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The Top 25 players for Notre Dame in 2020 continues with a look at senior guard Aaron Banks.

This analysis for the Top 25 Irish players is a combination of talent, expected production, importance of that player’s role and also the value the player brings. The value aspect includes the position played and also the depth chart, meaning who can the Irish least afford to lose.

Let's look at why Banks is such an important player for Notre Dame.

MAKING THE CASE

Banks is getting quite a bit of hype heading into 2020, with Pro Football Focus naming him a preseason second team All-American and a first team All-ACC selection. It’s easy to see why Banks gets so much attention, when he’s on his game he’s quite productive.

The California native took over as the starting left guard late in the 2018 season, and he performed well. Last fall, we saw Banks show flashes of being a big-time interior blocker, but consistent issues plagued him for much of the season.

Banks was wildly up-and-down through the first half of the 2019 season, especially in the run game. His lack of advanced technique often had Banks out of position, and it kept him from being the dominant blocker his talent should allow him to be.

The 6-6, 325-pound guard had his dominant moments as well, and it is those dominant instances that have created the recognition momentum for him coming into the 2020 season. Banks is massive and strong, and when he was locked in last season he and left tackle Liam Eichenberg formed a dominant one-two punch on the left side. If you want an example, go back and watch the Notre Dame/USC game.

We saw improvement from Banks as a pass blocker in 2019. According to Pro Football Focus, Banks allowed seven quarterback pressures in six starts in 2018, but he gave up just nine pressures in 13 starts in 2020, and just five in his final nine starts.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

Consistency and good health, those are the keys for Banks in 2020.

He’s an incredibly talented blocker, and a case could be made that Eichenberg is the only starter that can equal the raw, God-given ability that Banks brings to the lineup. When he’s on his game he is truly dominant, possessing the ability to drive defenders off the ball just as easily as he can stone a pass rush.

The issue for him throughout his career has been focus, which has impacted him from an effort standpoint, a technique standpoint and an execution standpoint. As a result, Banks’ play been far too inconsistent. He now has 19 starts under his belt, and he’s entering the point of his career where he should start being a more effective player on a snap-by-snap basis.

Banks also injured his foot during the winter, and he would have missed the entire spring had it not been canceled, so getting healthy is important.

If Banks does in fact find a level of consistency this season he’ll combine with Eichenberg to form arguably the best left side of the line in the entire country. 

Past Breakdowns:

#25 - Third Linebacker
#24 - Kurt Hinish, DT
#23 - Jonathan Doerer, PK
#22 - Lawrence Keys III, WR
#21 - Shaun Crawford, CB
#20 - TaRiq Bracy, CB
#19 - Jafar Armstrong, RB
#18 - Houston Griffith, S
#17 - Javon McKinley, WR
#16 - Jayson Ademilola, DT

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The Top 25 players for Notre Dame in 2020 continues with a look at senior guard Aaron Banks.

This analysis for the Top 25 Irish players is a combination of talent, expected production, importance of that player’s role and also the value the player brings. The value aspect includes the position played and also the depth chart, meaning who can the Irish least afford to lose.

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