49ers roster: Predicting offensive line depth chart after NFL Draft

Offensive guard Daniel Brunskill #60 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Offensive guard Daniel Brunskill #60 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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SF 49ers, 49ers training camp
Colton McKivitz #68, Justin Skule #67, Daniel Brunskill #60, Laken Tomlinson #75, Ben Garland #63 and Tom Compton #66 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Storylines to watch along 49ers O-line

The bulk of the Niners’ starting positions for this group are all but set heading into 2021. Trent Williams and Alex Mack are the elder statesmen and are all but guaranteed to start this year, while San Francisco elected to pick up right tackle Mike McGlinchey’s fully guaranteed fifth-year option for 2022.

Still, there are going to be some crucial battles to be fought during training camp and into the preseason.

Who wins the 49ers’ starting right guard job?

The 49ers fully intend to have Aaron Banks eventually win this spot on the depth chart, but the ever-versatile Daniel Brunskill still stands in his way.

Last year, the Niners intended Brunskill to lock down the right guard role, only to see him moved to center in the wake of numerous injuries there, which in turn created another revolving door of players at right guard.

Ideally, Brunskill reverts back to being a quality backup capable of supporting multiple spots. But Banks will need to prove he can acclimate to Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone offense while retaining the exceptional pass-blocking prowess he flashed at Notre Dame.

Who emerges as the 49ers’ primary swing tackle?

Brunskill, assuming he goes back to being a reserve player, is in the mix here. Yet San Francisco has four other linemen at play to back up the tackle spots: Colton McKivitz, Justin Skule, Shon Coleman and the rookie, Jaylon Moore.

Skule has seen the most action in this role with the 49ers the last two years, while Coleman has yet to see action with the Niners in a regular-season game since being acquired from the Browns back in 2018.

Coleman also has zero in guaranteed money, so it’s feasible the team moves on from him for purely financial reasons.

If San Francisco stays healthy, particularly at tackle, this need won’t be truly necessary. At least that’s the hope.

Can Mike McGlinchey improve his pass blocking?

The 49ers are gambling on McGlinchey showing some serious improvement in pass protection.

Pro Football Focus ranked McGlinchey as an elite-level run-blocker, which is fine. Yet his pass-blocking grade was a meager 58.3 with a whopping 27 quarterback pressures allowed last season.

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One of the hopes is some consistency at right guard, perhaps with Banks, allows McGlinchey to develop some chemistry with the player directly to his left, in turn shoring up some of the areas where the former first-round draft pick struggled a year ago.

At least McGlinchey isn’t in any danger of missing out on the roster.