No. 2: Offensive Tackle Shon Coleman
This one may seem like an odd one, given how Shon Coleman‘s season ended so prematurely during this preseason. But as noted, the free-agent class doesn’t inspire a lot of “go get that guy” responses, leaving Coleman as one low-risk flyer the 49ers can take.
In his two seasons, which essentially boils down to one full year and spot play as a rookie in 2016, Coleman has been steady but not incredible as a blocker, posting an overall PFF grade of 61.4 in 2017 with Cleveland.
So why even bother keeping him around?
Well, for one, he’s probably not going to cost very much given that he’ll be coming off such a horrific injury, though his presence might be enough to either supplant current swing tackle Justin Skule at that slot, or at least give the current rookie from Vanderbilt some in-camp competition.
For another, Coleman has been around the team long enough that he won’t need to learn the offense, making him a plug-and-play option off the bench.
Is Coleman a significantly better option than some of the other pending free agents who can play tackle? Likely not. But his cost, combined with knowledge of the offense, should convince the 49ers to at least bring him back for training camp.
So long as they are smart about the way they structure his deal — and the team usually is — it should allow them to “try and see,” but to get out if things don’t work out or they find a better option.