49ers roster: 5 players who can replace Laken Tomlinson (if he leaves)

San Francisco 49ers guard Laken Tomlinson (75) Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers guard Laken Tomlinson (75) Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa Hawkeyes
Offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum #65 of the Iowa Hawkeyes (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

49ers option No. 2: Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa (NFL Draft)

There’s always the chance San Francisco will use its first draft pick, currently No. 61 overall, to address a would-be Laken Tomlinson loss, and the chances of an offensive lineman being picked with one of the first three picks increases dramatically if the 49ers are able to get something viable in return for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Right now, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum is hovering towards possibly being a first-round pick, although interior linemen rarely get picked in Round 1. Should he have an excellent NFL Scouting Combine, that could change, though.

Still, should the 49ers want to both replace Tomlinson now and eventually find a long-term replacement for Alex Mack, Linderbaum might be the right choice.

The Niners have an affinity for Iowa’s offense, and looking no further than tight end George Kittle should provide enough evidence. Former quarterback C.J. Beathard, too, if you wanted more.

As far as the fit, Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network broke it all down as to how Linderbaum might fit within a system like that of Kyle Shanahan’s:

"He is a highly polished, highly cerebral and dynamic weapon on the offensive line that presents some unique traits that could make him a game-changer in the middle of your offensive front. Coming into Linderbaum’s evaluation, I expected to regard him as a wide-zone-exclusive fit that would make sense for the coaches off the Shanahan tree."

Linderbaum could easily be a plug-and-play option at left guard, potentially moving over to center when that time comes but at least solving the pressing issue San Francisco has at hand if Tomlinson is gone.