No. 10: Shore Up the Offensive Line
San Francisco made numerous changes along the offensive line in 2018. Key moves included signing veteran center Weston Richburg to a lucrative free-agent deal, starting journeyman lineman Mike Person and right guard and selecting former Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey in Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
McGlinchey is looking to be a solid choice and should only improve entering year two of his pro career. But Richburg, largely hindered by a knee injury upon which he had surgery after the year was over, disappointed his first season in San Francisco. And Person is a pending free agent.
Overall, Football Outsiders ranked the 49ers O-line 10th in run blocking last year but only 22nd in pass protection. Comparatively, the Rams and New England Patriots both boasted O-lines ranking out in the top 10 of each of these categories.
So the lesson appears to be, if you want to make the Super Bowl, your team better have a quality line of protection.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s return should help the Niners O-line in the pass-protection department, as was the case last season. He’s much more adept in pocket presence, which is a bonus.
Still, getting the O-line into the upper echelon should be a major priority this offseason.