The San Francisco 49ers offensive line doesn’t look to be a team strength this season. With that in mind, here are five moves the team could make to help fix this unit in 2018.
The San Francisco 49ers enter 2017 with relatively the same offensive line they carried into last season.
And a quick-take look from the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows back in March suggested the starting cast could be almost identical to what the Niners rolled out in Week 1 back in 2016.
This group ranked 30th in pass protection last year and dead last in run support, according to Football Outsiders. It’s far from a perfect group, and the lack of serious targets in the 2017 NFL Draft prevented general manager John Lynch from bringing in worthwhile talent.
Some moves, like trading for center Jeremy Zuttah, might help for now. But it’s likely Lynch tabled this need for next season at the earliest.
But if we could look ahead, what would some moves be to help fix this unit?
There are a number of problems to consider. First, left tackle Joe Staley will be 33 years old this August. He’s aging, as is Zuttah (31 years old). Offensive guards Zane Beadles and Joshua Garnett underperformed last year, and right tackle Trent Brown isn’t exactly a fit in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone scheme.
Overhauling the O-line won’t happen in one offseason. Yet there are some moves the Niners could make, both in free agency and the NFL Draft, when 2018 rolls around.
Here are five of them.