No. 3: Who’s Going to Start at Offensive Guard?
I hate to say it, but the offensive guard competition on this team right now is more of a “lesser of two evils” thing.
San Francisco 49ers
The word “mediocre” is probably the best way you could describe the guard position on the 49ers.
In one corner there’s first-round-hopefully-not-a-bust-but-it’s-looking-like-it Joshua Garnett, who hasn’t played a snap since the Chip Kelly era. Josh, I love you for being in my profile picture, but you were just wholly unimpressive at both run and pass blocking while you started for the 2-14 Kelly-led 49ers.
In another corner, we have another first-round-hopefully-not-a-bust-but-it’s-looking-like-it, Jonathan Cooper, who is just trying to reclaim relevance in the league after disappointing in Arizona. He did block decently well in Dallas and help pave the way for Ezekiel Elliott to rush for 147 yards against the 49ers in 2017.
Now in this last corner we have Laken Tomlinson, another former first round pick who looked like a bust, but after being traded to San Francisco last year, greatly improved and became the best guard on the team. After earning a contract extension in minicamp, Tomlinson will start at guard in 2018.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of Tomlinson’s comeback, and hope that Garnett and Cooper experience the same type of revival soon.
But until then, the guard situation is murky. Whoever starts the season at right guard opposite Tomlinson will probably switch off in a rotation until one of them catches fire and holds onto the starting spot.