05 Aug Preseason Scouting Notes: Aaron Banks, OG, Notre Dame
Senior | 6’5″ 325 lbs | El Cerrito, CA
A tough interior lineman with good pass blocking ability and strength, but technical flaws that need to be addressed
Aaron Banks is coming off of his first full year as a starter at Notre Dame. He earned the role for 2019 after starting the final 6 games of 2018, and was a productive member of the Fighting Irish offensive line. As a guard in the Irish spread offense, he has experience running both zone and power running concepts, and does very well in pass protection on the interior of the line. The former 4-star prospect looks to help the Irish make history as they go into a full conference schedule for the first time ever in 2020.
- Good instincts in the run game. Walls off defenders to create running lanes or influences them out of the way to create them
- Good play strength in his initial punch and throughout the play
- Continually looks for work and gives good effort until the whistle
- Displays the athleticism to pull and get to the second level
- Can plant his feet and stifle power rushers
- Mirrors defensive lineman well in pass protection
- Does not panic when defenders stunt and picks them up well
Areas To Improve:
- Has a tendency to play with a high pad level as the play wears on
- Does not generate much drive off the line of scrimmage as a run blocker
- Strength of his punch is often negated by inaccuracy and poor timing
- Will often throw his shoulder and depend on his size rather than punching and using good technique
- Hands tend to drift out to defenders shoulders in pass protection
- Will occasionally lose his balance due to poor footwork
Banks has the makings of a backup guard in the NFL. His time at Notre Dame gives him knowledge and experience that allow him to be a fit in both power and zone-centric schemes. Technical issues and struggles to create drive off the line will hold him back from being more than a backup. His pass blocking efficiency will also make him desirable for teams who primarily throw the ball, as he only gave up 2 sacks in 844 snaps in 2019. Teams that are looking to add depth to their offensive line can pick him up early on Day 3.
What To Watch In 2020:
Banks has some technical issues to clean up for the NFL, but the physical tools are present. Generating more explosive drive off the line of scrimmage will be a key factor to watch out for, and can be helped by playing with a lower pad level. Improving his punch timing and accuracy is also something to work on, as it will allow him to better disrupt defenders at the start of the play and maintain control through the whistle. Cleaning up his footwork to maintain his balance and better navigate through the trash in the trenches.