The 49ers made substantial efforts to upgrade their offensive line this offseason, including two key NFL Draft moves that shake up the depth chart.
Particularly in the wake of so many injuries, player substitutions and generally inconsistent play outside of the main stalwart, left tackle Trent Williams, who earned his eighth Pro Bowl nod after jumping ship from the Washington Football Team last offseason.
Williams’ efforts prompted the Niners to offer up a record-setting six-year, $138 million contract, making him the highest-paid offensive lineman in league history, according to Over the Cap. The move also afforded San Francisco the opportunity to pass on one of the many top-rated tackles who ended up going early in this year’s NFL Draft, thereby leading to the team’s No. 3 overall selection of North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.
Yet the 49ers’ O-line moves didn’t end with Williams’ re-sign deal. Additionally, the Niners brought aboard another quality player, center Alex Mack, who had prior success under head coach Kyle Shanahan with both the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons.
Mack, a 35-year-old six-time Pro Bowler, is expected to fill the void left by injured center Weston Richburg, who is expected to retire after June 1.
The draft, too, provided two more faces to San Francisco’s O-line ranks, Notre Dame guard Aaron Banks in Round 2 and Western Michigan’s Jaylon Moore in Round 5.
Williams’ return doesn’t change much. But the addition of Mack, Banks and Moore helps shake up the team’s depth chart this offseason, prompting some predictions for how this unit pans out by the time Week 1 rolls around.
Let’s take a look.