"It's massive, because before Adam [Johnson] there was Stewart Downing as well," he told BBC Tees.
"There's a gap on the left and although I'm right-footed, I'm not scared to go down the line and use my left."
The England under-19 international, like both Downing and Johnson before him, is a product of Middlesbrough's academy run by Ron Bone and Dave Parnaby.
And Franks is determined to savour the opportunity of regular outings this season having progressed through the youth team and reserve ranks to make his first-team bow at the end of last season.
"Every step that you go forward in your career is going to be harder. Going from the youth team to the reserves is a big step, but going from reserves to the first team is twice as big," he said.
"You've just got to grasp it with both hands really and enjoy it at the same time, but work hard."
Stockton-born Franks has made 17 appearances for his home-town club since making his first-team debut against West Ham United.