No. 3: Center Daniel Kilgore
Another one of the 49ers offseason trades involved former Baltimore Ravens center Jeremy Zuttah, picked up by swapping late-round picks in the NFL Draft.
Zuttah, a 2016 Pro Bowler, figures to be the favorite to land the starting center job. This position is of extreme importance to head coach Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone offense, so it makes sense Shanahan would want his hand-picked guy starting.
It also means the incumbent, Daniel Kilgore, is likely pushed out of his starting job.
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But with a 72.8 overall grade last year, per Pro Football Focus, Kilgore is still a serviceable and effective lineman. And at 29 years old, he has a few more years to go before age becomes a major factor.
Two things would likely prevent a trade from happening. First, Kilgore has an injury history. Since taking over the starting job in 2014, Kilgore has missed a total of 23 games due to a variety of injuries — not exactly his fault.
Teams may be wary of giving up draft capital to land an oft-injured player. But offensive lines suffer a great deal of attrition, and one training-camp or preseason injury could make a club desperate.
Yet the other factor is Kilgore can double as a guard. San Francisco’s tandem of Zane Beadles and Joshua Garnett were among the lowest-ranked linemen, per PFF, last season. And this makes Kilgore a viable option at one of these two spots.
If San Francisco is thinking long term though, moving Kilgore may not be a bad idea. He’s signed only through 2017 anyway.