Rookie 49ers offensive linemen showing versatility

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa works against offensive guard Aaron Banks takes part in drills at an NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

There has been some chatter recently regarding the 49ers whiffing on second round draft pick Aaron Banks. During the portion of practice that was open to the media, Banks was getting work in at left guard. This is interesting considering Banks played on the left side during his time at Notre Dame and has struggled with transitioning to over the right side with San Francisco.

Banks wasn’t the only rookie offensive lineman getting work at a different spot along the line. Jaylon Moore was working at right tackle after spending the preseason on the left side.

This likely doesn’t signal any change of position for either player. Instead, it could be considered cross training. Now that the regular season is here, all of the backups need to be ready to play both sides of the offensive line.

While it’s understandable that some may be frustrated with Banks having yet to crack the starting lineup, this could end up being a positive for San Francisco in the future. By gaining experience at multiple positions, Banks will become more versatile — a trait the 49ers covet in their offensive lineman.

Other news and notes from today’s practice:

Kevin Givens (hip), and Javon Kinlaw (knee) returned to practice and were limited along with Trey Lance (finger). Meanwhile, Jalen Hurd (knee) and Emmanuel Moseley (knee) were held out of practice for the second day in a row.

It appears that Moseley will be unavailable for the game. If he is unable to go, the 49ers can turn to rookie Deommodore Lenoir, Josh Norman or call Dontae Johnson up from the practice squad.

Lenoir started all three preseason games and looked good. Meanwhile, the 49ers signed Norman on Monday. The 33-year-old veteran missed all of the preseason, however he kept himself in shape. According to defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, Norman is picking the defense up quickly.

This article has 5 Comments

  1. Considering the woeful state of the Lions receiver position, I can see DeMo getting some opportunity at the outside position backing up Norman and Verrett — with Johnson called up from PS for depth.

    On the O line, it seems that the Niners are looking to Moore to focus on the tackle position at this time (swing tackle of the future?). They expect the interior linemen to be versatile so that they can lose up to any two linemen in a game and still execute the offensive game plan competently.

    1. This is how I see it at the moment with Tom Compton being the inside/outside guy. I think the long term plan is to have Moore at guard.

      1. I think the long term plan is to have Moore at guard.

        I am not sure. I think that was the plan. But that may have changed when Moore showed promise as a potential swing tackle. Dunno who said that — maybe Ryan or Lombardi or Maiocco. Probably a valid point — a 5th round pick is more valuable as a swing tackle than a guard…
        Maybe they will let Skule and Moore battle it out next off-season for that role.

        1. I agree for 2021. With Tomlinson and Brunskill unsigned for next season they may choose to go with the young guys while Skule and Shon Coleman compete for the swing tackle role.

          1. Now that they have released Coleman with an injury settlement, I’m not sure he’ll be back. He spent 3 seasons with the Niners without playing a game, IIRC! With Jimmy G’s money freed up, I can see both Brunskill and Tomlinson resigned for modest money — perhaps also Brendel. Tomlinson is unappreciated by fans, IMO — he’s pretty solid and only allowed one sack last season (unfortunately that’s the one that got Jimmy G the high ankle sprain). A lot depends how the O line performs this season with stability at the center position.

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