No. 1: 49ers Right Guard Tom Compton
One of those moves the Niners made along their offensive during the offseason was to part ways with veteran guard Mike Person, then inking veteran Tom Compton to a one-year deal.
Compton, however, doesn’t appear to be the favorite to secure the starting job in Person’s wake, and one might guess last year’s versatile standout, offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill, has the inside track to secure the starting right guard spot in 2020.
Based solely on Pro Football Focus grades, this would seem to be the right idea. Last year, Compton earned a lowly 49.7 overall grade, which stands in stark contrast to Brunskill’s notable 73.0 mark over a variety of positions on 474 offensive snaps. Granted, Compton’s efforts could improve amid a much better O-line than the one he played alongside a year ago with the New York Jets.
But there’s another reason why Compton could secure favor and end up starting in 2020.
Brunskill looks to be a perfect reserve candidate for each one of San Francisco’s spots along its O-line, and Kyle Shanahan has shown a tendency not to swap players around from one position to another, essentially weakening multiple spots in a rotational carousel. Instead, Shanahan prefers the plug-and-play method, and Brunskill is arguably the best kind of player in this ilk Shanahan has on his roster for this unit.
If Compton starts, it’ll be because Shanahan wants to keep Brunskill as his primary backup, which would be a bit of a surprise but not out of the ordinary, given Shanahan’s previous track record.