The San Francisco 49ers have addressed their biggest off-season issues in free agency at wide receiver, running back, quarterback and keeping intact the dominate defense that led the team to the NFC Championship game. Along the way, free agency created a hole on the offensive line at right guard with Adam Snyder leaving for the desert after signing a five-year deal with the Cardinals. With starting right guard the final position to address, the 49ers are running out of viable options.
The 49ers front office has courted free agent guards like Geoff Schwartz and Deuce Lutui but has failed to sign anyone. There are other options still available, Vernon Carey, but its slim pickings in free agency with the best guards already signed with other teams.
The next logical step for the 49ers is to draft a guard in the first round with their 30th pick. Drafting a guard that late in the first round, it’s highly unlikely the guard would be ready as a starter in Week 1 of the regular season. The 49ers found left guard Mike Iupati in the first round of the draft two years ago but he was the No. 17 selection overall. To have a guaranteed starter at right guard the 49ers would have to trade up, which is not going to happen. The team probably won’t even draft a guard with their 30th pick. Look for a right guard to be drafted but in the later rounds, like the 3rd or 4th round. GM Trent Baalke is great at recognizing talent in the later rounds that can come in right away as a rookie and contribute significantly.
Right now, it looks as if second-year guard Daniel Kilgore will be inserted on the right side of the offensive line as the starter. It’s great that Kilgore was with the 49ers last season, so he has a grasp of the offense. But the problem is he played one snap last season. The 49ers traded up to the 5th round in 2011 to draft Kilgore out of Appalachian State. My guess is with Kilgore’s inexperience the 49ers are not comfortable having him as the starter. But Kilgore might be the best option available at this point for the 49ers.
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