Center: Daniel Kilgore
Guards: Zane Beadles, Joshua Garnett
Tackles: Joe Staley, Trent Brown
The 49ers will stay in a zone-blocking scheme in 2017. But under head coach Kyle Shanahan, the Niners will shift to an outside zone instead of the inside-zone scheme employed by former head coach Chip Kelly.
If you’re unfamiliar with how ZBS schemes and Shanahan’s running game works, check out what Niner Noise’s Rich Madrid wrote here.
Veteran left tackle Joe Staley isn’t going anywhere and remains San Francisco’s best offensive lineman. The same can’t be said of third-year pro Trent Brown though, who struggled in zone schemes a season ago.
Sure, Brown’s pass protection has been better than expected. But his abilities in run support — a 39.0 run-blocking grade, per Pro Football Focus, in 2017 — leave a lot to be desired.
At guard, Zane Beadles’ versatility should keep him safely on the Niners roster. He’ll likely start, since the 49ers don’t have any better options. And San Francisco better hope second-year pro Joshua Garnett improves on what was an otherwise lackluster rookie season a year ago.
We should also hope center Daniel Kilgore stays healthy. It’s been a problem for the 29-year-old veteran.