The San Francisco 49ers could be looking to upgrade part of their offensive line this 2019 NFL Draft, and a few linemen stood out during workouts at the scouting combine.
It might not be as pressing a need for the San Francisco 49ers this offseason. But after Pro Football Focus ranked the Niners’ 2018 offensive line 15th overall, one can see why a few more additions might be wise between now and training camp.
The 49ers would like to re-sign versatile lineman Mike Person, who started all 16 games at right guard last season. And they have to think about a long-term replacement for veteran left tackle Joe Staley sooner than later.
Free agency will provide some options, although it’s not out of the question San Francisco will use one of its current six picks in the upcoming NFL Draft to bolster the O-line.
The top offensive line prospects got their workouts in at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine on Friday, and a number stood out. Whether or not any of these will be on the Niners’ draft radar is anyone’s guess. But, as was the case with the 49ers’ selection of former Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey in Round 1 a year ago, it wouldn’t be an absolute shock to see general manager John Lynch and Co. go this route at some point.
Here are five linemen who had impressive combine efforts on Friday, thereby possibly grabbing San Francisco’s attention.
The interior of the 49ers’ O-line arguably needs the most help this offseason, especially with Person hitting free agency.
One of the important things to note here is head coach Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone blocking scheme, which requires good lateral mobility and technique to block in space.
So far, NC State interior lineman Garrett Bradbury is showcasing this abilities. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compared him to the Niners’ own Weston Richburg, who was one of San Francisco’s high-profile free-agent targets in 2018. Bradbury spent three years in college at guard before switching to center his senior season. That kind of flexibility could add both depth and starting potential along the interior, and NFL Draft Scout projects Bradbury to be a Round 3 pick.
Bradbury ran a 4.92 40-yard time, and seeing sub-5.0 times from linemen is pretty rare. And he also had an impressive 34 bench-press reps, which is also right at the top.
If San Francisco is looking for both movement skills and strength, Bradbury could easily wind up being an under-the-radar day-two selection during the NFL Draft.