No. 1: 49ers Center Alex Mack
Every player so far on this NFL free agency add list probably qualifies more for a reserve or situational player. Samson Ebukam could be a candidate for every-down roles, but it’s just as possible he winds up being a rotational pass-rusher.
Center Alex Mack, meanwhile, is going to be an every-down player as long as he’s available. That’s the easiest plan to understand.
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners sorely missed their veteran center, Weston Richburg, late in 2019 after he suffered a season-ending knee injury, and that same injury forced him out of the entirety of 2020. While the latest reports say Richburg will retire this offseason, San Francisco is likely to move on anyway after June 1 to free up cap space.
Richburg’s absence created a revolving door at center last season, which featured a trio of different starters, Ben Garland, Hroniss Grasu and right guard Daniel Brunskill.
The lack of continuity at the position showed, and most pundits agreed it was the interior of the 49ers offensive line that was the team’s biggest non-skill position liability.
All that changes with the 35-year-old Mack, who’ll reunite with Kyle Shanahan after already thriving in his system with both the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons, hopefully poised to take home his seventh Pro Bowl nod in 2021.
If Mack grounds the worry about the position this season, one should expect the Niners O-line to go from a relative weakness in 2020 to a major strength this year.
Hence why Mack is No. 1 on this power rankings list.