OG AARON BANKS
Weight: 338 lbs.
School: Notre Dame
A former four-star recruit out of El Cerrito, California, where he was the 166th national recruit in the 2017 cycle, according to 247 Sports. Banks was very heavily recruited and was a star tackle for El Cerrito High School--he made the transition to guard once he got to Notre Dame; however, he does have some snaps at both tackle positions.
Banks was very productive for the Fighting’ Irish. He’s been named to the AFCA First Team, and he was First Team All-ACC in 2020. Banks was invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, where he had a solid week, and he was named an ESPN First Team All-American.
He was also a semi-finalist for the Joe Moore Award, along with the rest of his offensive line that includes draftable players like LT Liam Eichenberg, RT Robert Hainsey, and IOL Tommy Kraemer.
Wide bodied with a large bubble and thick legs - may be a bit overweight, and his frame is massive. He has adequate overall athletic ability and is a bit boxy on the move, unfortunately, reminiscent of Will Hernandez in that area.
However, he makes up for his slight pulling deficiencies with good technique. He does possess short-area lateral agility that allows him to excel at guard when the offensive line framework isn’t stretched too far.
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He uses his hands quickly off the snap, and he keeps his elbows tight to establish position on opponents' breastplates while using excellent grip strength (10 ⅛” hands).
Limits space well at the line of scrimmage. Has long arms (33 ⅛”) and readjusts when necessary. He’s not the best athlete on the move, but he mirrors well on the line of scrimmage and shows the ability to utilize short-area quickness to pick up delayed blitzes/stunts.
He possesses a high level of mental processing and sees stunts/twists well, even though he was beaten in the Alabama game in this area - the rest of his film checks out as a player with high football intelligence and enough short-area athletic ability (and length) to adjust and locate.
Possess good upper body strength to win at the point of attack, and he maintains a lower center of gravity for a bigger guard that’s not overly fluid. Good overall play strength and lower body drive; will intrigue vertical displacement teams that run DUO/Inside zone a bit more than stretch and outside zone teams--he doesn’t have a ton of range. He does a very good job in combo block situations where he chips and climbs--does a solid job locating linebackers at the second level.
He has impressive anchoring ability and footwork in pass protection. He handles counters well and keeps his hands active. Restricts space by using his hands to grab and pull defenders towards his massive frame--he gets his hands inside and leverages his use of hands to maximize his effectiveness.
Overall, Banks is a big-bodied guard who does well in a phone booth but can stand to lose a few pounds and trim up his frame to unlock a bit more quickness (scheme depending). He’s a bit boxy, and pulling may take a bit more time than desired, but he would excel down blocking and clearing paths on the play side in a gap/power system.
He’s adept at pass protection, uses very good technique, and has strong hands. Banks should be a mid-round selection in the draft who offers solid starter upside in non-stretch type of running schemes.