San Francisco 49ers: Projecting Each Rookie’s Role in 2016
By Peter Panacy
Offensive Lineman John Theus
It wasn’t a surprise to see the 49ers take back-to-back offensive linemen in the middle rounds of the draft. If one didn’t pan out, the other just might.
And San Francisco’s woes along the right side aren’t too hard to remember for any Niner fan.
Theus may not be as promising as the guy picked after him, Fahn Cooper, but he could still wind up providing a valuable service to San Francisco’s offensive line.
Ideally, Theus will be competing for a swing tackle role with veteran Erik Pears. Pears was ranked as the worst exterior lineman last season on the team, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), but his versatility could keep him on the roster in 2016.
Pears’ versatility and veteran prowess may give him an edge over Theus. And Pears can move inside to guard as well — something which may force tougher adjustments for the rookie.
But the 49ers got a good dose from Pears’ struggles last season, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Theus edge out in the competition here. Theus likely won’t start anytime soon, if at all, but he remains a possible backup option on the 53-man roster.
Next: Ronald Blair