49ers roster: 4 third-year players facing make-or-break season in 2022

Javon Kinlaw #99 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Javon Kinlaw #99 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Colton McKivitz, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Colton McKivitz (68) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: 49ers offensive lineman Colton McKivitz

Charlie Woerner and offensive lineman Colton McKivitz have two things in common, and it’s that they’ll both be on the roster heading into training camp.

In McKivitz’s case, he’s an exclusive-rights free agent entering 2022, meaning he can only negotiate with the Niners anyway, and they’ll want to make sure they have adequate depth for their offensive line in camp.

That said, there’s going to be a lot of potential fluidity on the O-line prior to Week 1.

Right tackle Mike McGlinchey is working his way back from a torn quad that ended his season. McKivitz was part of the discussion to fill in as a backup, but neither he nor 2021 rookie Jaylon Moore usurped veteran lineman Tom Compton for those starting duties. And on just 70 offensive snaps played, McKivitz surrendered two sacks, per Pro Football Focus, which isn’t a good endorsement.

Read More: 49ers O-line depth is emerging as a major problem

Additionally, fellow depth lineman Justin Skule, who suffered a torn ACL last offseason and reverted to injured reserve after being waived with an injury designation, is still in the mix, too.

Compton is a free agent. But San Francisco might still sign other options, and the need will be there for a player like McKivitz (or someone else, for that matter) to separate from the rest of the depth pack.

If there ever was a time to do it, 2022 would be it.