SF 49ers: 4 biggest unsung heroes over first 11 games of 2020

Kerry Hyder Jr. #92 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Kerry Hyder Jr. #92 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
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Daniel Brunskill, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill (60) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: SF 49ers Offensive Lineman Daniel Brunskill

Yes, San Francisco could probably use an upgrade for their offensive line over the versatile Daniel Brunskill.

But that doesn’t mean he’s underplayed his role over 11 games this season.

Brunskill, last year’s uber-reserve option to support the O-line, has continued that trend again this season, first winning the starting right guard spot before being asked to fill in at center — the fourth option the SF 49ers have gone with here so far in 2020.

It was supposed to be the starter, Weston Richburg, coming off a 2019 knee injury. But he hasn’t been available this season. No. 2 option Ben Garland has been out on injured reserve with a calf injury, and third-tier center Hroniss Grasu hasn’t cut it either, forcing Kyle Shanahan to bump Brunskill over to a position where he wasn’t totally comfortable in training camp.

The results haven’t been overly great, as Brusnkill owns a modest 61.5 Pro Football Focus grade on the season.

Yet he’s only allowed three sacks, which is tied for sixth best among guards so far. That’s not terrible.

And considering how worse things could be along the O-line’s interior, Brunskill at least deserves some positive recognition for helping keep this portion of the Niners offense afloat.