The 49ers tabbing the best offensive lineman in this year’s NFL Draft, Alabama tackle Jonah Williams, certainly would be an out-of-the-box move. But as Niner Noise’s Aaron Tan pointed out, it’s not without precedent.
The Pewter Plank
A year ago, the Niners used their first pick to grab former Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey, subsequently shipping off their starting right tackle, Trent Brown, to the New England Patriots the following day. McGlinchey is now poised to be a bookend for San Francisco’s O-line for the next six or seven-plus years. But with veteran left tackle Joe Staley getting up there in age, one has to eventually think of long-term replacements, right?
The problem, however, is finding Staley’s eventual replacement in Round 1 of the draft would be the equivalent of a luxury pick for the Niners — a would-be move that would make sense if Kyle Shanahan and Co. had only a handful of other pressing needs.
That’s not the case entering 2019. After two sub-.500 years, the 49ers need to land impact talent, particularly on defense, early and often throughout the draft.
Replacing Staley will have to wait.