The 49ers offensive line will look a little different in 2020.
For the San Francisco 49ers, they suffered a lot of setbacks to the offensive line in 2019 which almost derailed their chances of becoming the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
As history shows, the Niners rallied to get the bye in Week 17. But it was a close thing.
For 2020, San Francisco will be praying for the O-line to be a lot healthier. The offensive line will be very different looking, and hopefully, that factor will provide some more stability to the trenches.
The 49ers are saying goodbye to left tackle Joe Staley and right guard Mike Person. Staley retires as arguably the greatest offensive lineman ever to play for the 49ers and will one day end up in Canton after a glittering career. Person’s career isn’t anywhere near as storied, but he was a very solid guard who missed all but two regular-season games during his Niners tenure, and he was let go due to salary cap restraints.
With a newer lineup, this is how the 49ers will ideally line up for 2020.
Left tackle: Trent Williams
Trent Williams is a new face for the 49ers offensive line, but he’s one of the few players from this decade who could stake a claim to being a better left tackle than Staley during his career.
After taking a year off in 2019 due to his holdout with the Washington Redskins, Williams will be refreshed and have plenty of time to heal.
There is some concern he could be rusty, but being familiar with head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense from their days together in Washington should be able to help compensate for this.
Left guard: Laken Tomlinson
A former first-round bust for the Detroit Lions, Laken Tomlinson has settled in well at the 49ers and somewhat lived up to his draft status as a competent blocker for San Francisco.
With continuity being more important than ever this season, Tomlinson is one constant on the left-hand side of the offensive line.
Center: Ben Garland
I’m sure people are surprised not to see Weston Richburg here, but he’s likely to be out for a very long time after landing on injured reserve late in 2019, and a torn patellar is the hardest injury for an athlete to recover from.
Between this, and his history of concussions, Richburg may not be the most viable candidate at center.
Ben Garland stood in very well for Richburg and was an unsung hero for the 49ers as they finished with the top seed in the conference. He’s deserved the chance to start for San Francisco.
Right guard: Daniel Brunskill
Like Garland, Daniel Brunskill stood up when the team needed him and his versatility to slot in at any hole on the offensive line was a huge reason for the 49ers finishing with the No. 1 seed.
Unlike Williams at left tackle, there is a camp battle for this spot. However, Brunskill is easily the favorite to make the spot his own.
Given his great blocking in 2019, it’s not baffling to see why.
Right tackle: Mike McGlinchey
Mike McGlinchey has been a fine right tackle since being taken as a first-round selection in 2018 and should continue to grow as he reaches his prime.
He’s always been a fairly consistent blocker and should continue to do so this season, as the debate will rage on whether he can be a left tackle when the spot opens up again or if he’s only just a right tackle for the pros.
The offensive line will look very different in 2020. If it can be durable and stay together for the season, the 49ers should be in very good hands.